South African Cultural Observatory

Making Space for Culture – Handbook for City Leaders

BY 30.08.17

AS THE rapid development of cities places strain on affordability, many cultural spaces are threatened by displacement. How are global cities responding to artists and arts organisations on the brink?

In a ground-breaking survey of responsive actions from cities across the globe to protect and develop, the World Cities Culture Forum presents Making Space for Culture, the latest handbook in the forum’s Policy and Practice Series. The resulting report is a collection of proposals, illustrating how cities can respond to the threat this issue poses to the cultural vitality and character of cities from San Francisco to Shenzhen.

Twelve in-depth case studies from World Cities Culture Forum member cities including San FranciscoHong Kong, and Madrid, chart a variety of approaches to creating facilities, activating spaces, and raising awareness for cultural infrastructure. It covers a range of tactics from these global cities at the local level: from transforming an industrial heritage site to a street art centre in Seoul, to creating a rescue plan to save grassroots venues in London.

The World Cities Culture Forum believes that culture is an essential ingredient in the cities of the 21st century and that no global city can be successful without it. Members have a shared commitment to weaving culture through all aspects of urban policy, like a golden thread, contributing to city reputation, economic prosperity and quality of life.

This influential World Cities Culture Report is the most comprehensive compendium of data available on the subject, a key comparative reference point for urban policy makers.

This report deals with the challenge of ‘Making Space for Culture’: the question of how to maintain and develop a dynamic diverse mix of spaces and facilities for cultural production and consumption within the harsh realities of the real estate market.

Download the full report here.

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