The ultimate clash of cultures: The World Cities Culture Forum
New research allows art-loving travellers to choose their destination by numbers
Nick Clark is the arts correspondent of The Independent. He joined the newspaper in June 2007, initially reporting on the stock markets. He has covered beats including the City, and technology, media and telecoms and made the switch to arts in December 2011. He has also contributed articles to the sports section.
Sunday 03 November 2013
Los Angeles has more museums and live music venues than other cultural “powerhouse” cities, while Seoul has the most theatrical performances, according to new research seen by The Independent.
The report analyses a range of cultural indicators including theatres, cinemas and bookshops in cities that have joined the World Cities Culture Forum, a cultural advocacy group.
The forum, which was set up last year to bring senior policymakers together to discuss cultural issues, has been so successful that it has almost doubled its number of member cities from 12 to 22.
Justine Simons, head of cultural policy at the Mayor of London’s office and chair of the World Cities Culture Forum, said: “We’ve been blown away by the interest in the report. Culture is the core of cities and the fact 22 are now involved in it shows there’s a recognition of that.” New cities involved this year include Amsterdam, Buenos Aires, Rio de Janeiro and Hong Kong.
While the plan was to release the World Cities Culture Report detailing the 60 cultural indicators every three years, the addition of so many new cities in 2013 persuaded the forum to update its data to present to officials who meet in Istanbul later this month.
Ms Simons continued: “Often cities only talk about what they offer in relation to themselves. For the first time, we pulled together a comparative portrait. It was an under-researched area and poorly understood.”
The inaugural report found London in particular was “strong in almost every category, with a great stock of cultural infrastructure, and high participation and attendance rates”.
BOP Consulting, which compiled the report, has now updated it to include the new cities. It found that the newcomer Los Angeles has topped a range of indicators in its first year including overtaking London as the city with the most museums at 221 compared with London’s 173.
LA has the most live music venues (510), and cinema screens (1,073), although Paris still has the highest number of cinema admissions at 58 million.
It is revealed that Seoul, another new entrant, stages the most theatrical performances, with roughly 67,000 last year, compared with New York’s 43,000 and London’s 30,000. It is also has the most dance performances with 15,200, more than double the number of those in New York, which comes second.
The forum will encourage more cities to join and has already had conversations with others that have expressed an interest.
The report provides crucial insight for governments on the role of culture in the development of the world’s biggest cities. “Culture is now at the heart of public policy in most major cities,” Ms Simons said. “You’re never going to capture in a report the feeling you get when you go to hear an incredible piece of music or you’re inspired by art. But this is a good stab at getting a portrait of the cultural standing of cities. Particularly from a policy perspective.”
- 2 Harry Potter fans can apply to the Hogwarts-inspired College of Wizardry
- 3 Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
- 4 Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
- 5 Orange Wednesdays are no more
Weather bomb in pictures: Storms cuts power for tens of thousands – and snow is on the way
Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
Russell Brand was rendered speechless on Question Time by this man
Fury at Airbus after it hints the super-jumbo may be mothballed
Disgruntled RBS worker writes hilarious open letter to Russell Brand after anti-capitalist publicity stunt leaves him hungry
Shock poll shows voters believe Ukip is to the left of the Tories
Nigel Farage's approval rating hits 'record low' as popularity suffers in wake of Ukip sex scandal
Nigel Farage defends Kerry Smith 'ch***y' comment: 'If you are going for a Chinese, what do you say you’re going for?'
Ukip candidate jokes about 'shooting peasants' in racist and homophobic rant
Pakistan school attack live: Taliban kill at least 132 children in 'horrifying' massacre
£65000 - £80000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Finance Director required to jo...
£15000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a unique opportunity fo...
£50000 per annum + 26 days holiday,pension: Ashdown Group: A highly successful...
£27000 per annum + pension + holidays: The Jenrick Group: A Quality Technician...