World Cities Culture Forum

The World Cities Culture Forum is the biggest global network of senior leaders and influencers, made up of 38 city governments.

These world cities champion culture to create dynamic cities to visit, study, work, or live. The Forum inspires cities to come up with new ideas, share challenges and work together to help all our citizens’ access culture. 

The Forum is conducting comparative research on member cities to build a strong evidence base about the many ways in which culture impacts on a world city and its inhabitants. The Forum is Chaired by the Deputy Mayor of Culture, Justine Simons OBE.

World Cities Culture Summit 2019: Lisbon

credit: Ibero-American Capital of Culture, 2017. Image courtesy of City of Lisbon © José Frade
City of Lisbon © José Frade

In October 2019, Lisbon will host leading cultural officials from around the world at the eighth World Cities Culture Summit. 

World Cities Culture Summit 2018: San Francisco

Courtesy of San Francisco Arts Commission

In 2018, San Francisco hosted officials from around the world at the Forum’s annual summit.

This included discussions on place-keeping for culture and communities; arts, innovation and technology; cultural equity and diversity; and the impacts of technology on culture.

World Cities Culture Summit 2017: Seoul

Dancers performing on a road in front of a crowd

In November 2017, Seoul hosted officials from around the world to share experiences and devise responses to a new civic agenda for World Cities.

This included discussions on culture and civic engagement, cultural participation and well-being.

The full programme and information about all participants can be found online on the official Seoul Summit website.

World Cities Culture Summit 2014: Amsterdam

The City of Amsterdam hosted the last World Cities Culture Summit in November 2014.

City leaders, cultural experts and senior representatives from more than 25 cities around the globe explored the essential role of culture in the success of global cities. There were interactive sessions and working groups. Amsterdam’s approach to cultural policy was used as the starting point for discussion. Partner cities shared their successes, as well as their challenges.

Read the overview for this summit and download the World Cities Culture Report 2014.

World Cities Culture Summit 2015: London

Hosted by the Mayor of London, the fourth World Cities Culture Summit brought together representatives of 31 cities for high level talks aimed at sharing experience and formulating long-term policies putting culture at the heart of future city planning.

Participants tackled persistent issues affecting world cities and each had its own story to tell about successes and challenges.

Read the London World Cities Culture Summit overview

Read the World Cities Culture Report 2015 report, highlighting the inspiration, evidence and the city perspectives from 32 World Cities of Culture around the world.

World Cities Culture Summit 2016: Moscow

In October 2016, Moscow hosted officials from around the globe highlighting the use of culture in the urban space.

The summit focused on the urgent challenges facing world cities in the twenty-first century, including rising populations, increased inequality, soaring property prices and environmental issues threatening sustainability and liveability.

Read the Moscow Summit 2016 overview.

World Cities Culture Report 2013

The cities came together to examine and champion the importance of culture in world cities. The first version of this report brought together twelve cities and was launched at a summit in London held at the same time as the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. Out of the inaugural event in London was born the World Cities Culture Forum - a fitting legacy for the London Games.

Read the World Cities Culture Report 2013.

World Cities Culture Report 2015

All around the world, culture is having an extraordinary and far reaching impact on cities and their people. The results are extensive and profound. From cinemas in the Rio favelas, workspace for artists in Toronto, cultural quarters in Moscow, tourism in Amsterdam, urban renewal through street art in Bogota, the Olympic legacy in London and social circus in Buenos Aires.

Read the World Cities Culture Report 2015


World Cities Culture Report 2018

For all the myriad of challenges, cities are amazing places. They spark new ideas, grow entrepreneurs and power national economies; they trace histories, celebrate cultures and bring people together from all over the world. The raw ingredients couldn't be better. People continue to flock to cities for all that they offer - to work, to play and to live a full life. In the midst of this rapidly changing environment, culture has emerged as a powerful force.

Read the World Cities Culture Report 2018

Share this page