couple of weeks ago, The World Cities Report 2013 was launched. The initiative
was set up by the Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, and aims to examine and
champion the cultural provision of 21 world cities.
report gathers evidence on 60 cultural indicators, assessing both the supply of,
and demand for culture, and reports on the thinking of cultural policy makers
in those places.
the report, there are a few messages that clearly emerge:
cities are as important in culture as they are in finance or trade
is at the heart of public policy in world cities
a globalised world, culture gives world cities a distinctive appeal
report shows that the dynamism, scale and diversity of our world cities make us
central hubs in global culture", says The Mayor of London.
But what makes a 'world
cities that are featured in the report are considered global cultural hubs not
because their share of cultural activities is growing fastest, but because they
can afford to 'specialise' in culture, providing the infrastructure of
commissioning, distribution, management and other professional functions that
enable these sectors to get their products to market.
There are three elements
which characterise culture in such cities: dynamism,
scale and diversity.
World Cities features in the report are Amsterdam, Berlin, Bogotá, Buenos
Aires, Hong Kong, Istanbul, Johannesburg, Los Angeles, Montréal, Mumbai, New
York, Paris, Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo, Seoul, Shanghai, Singapore, Sydney,
Tokyo and Toronto, and of course our very own London…
London: the hub of culture & arts
of theatre and music performances, film screenings, art and cultural
exhibitions and festivals happen in London every year. With a population of around
8 million people, the city has 173 museums and 857 art galleries available and open for the public.
diversity and youthful energy is a remarkable key strength for London’s
position as a world city. The sheer number of cultures in London gives it a
different 'feel' from other cities – more free, more tolerant, and more relaxed
features prominently within each and every category in the World Cities Report
2013. Like only a few other cities in the report, the capital combines rich
cultural infrastructure, and high participation and attendance in the arts and
Los Angeles, the capital has the highest
amount of museums, and after Paris it has the highest amount of public art galleries.
is the third city with the highest
amount of public libraries, at 383.
the fact that London ranks as 7th in terms of the quantity of theatres,
it comes in 3rd place on the number of theatre performances that take place
every year. Just over 32,000!
occupies the 3rd place on music performances, but has the highest
amount of comedy performances.
also has the highest amount of world
The report also highlights that London has the highest amount of students at a specialist public Art & Design
institution among the cities featured in the report.
Challenges for London
capital has a huge stock of cultural assets, and efforts continue to strengthen
that cultural legacy. However, its biggest challenge at present is to maintain
its status as a leading player in global culture particularly in an increasingly tough economic environment where there are reductions in public subsidy
for the art.
can find out more about London’s diversity in my previous blog where I talk about the predominant
language diversity in London schools.