The World Culture Cities Forum, in Moscow on 5-7 October, will convene official representatives from the world’s largest cities, including deputy mayors and the heads of culture departments and authorities.
Moscow joined the World Cities Culture Forum (WCCF) last year. The 33 member cities have a combined population of over 200 million and more than 100,000 cultural facilities. These key cities account for 60 percent of the world’s creative industries, which create or use intellectual property, such as advertising, architecture, crafts, movies, design, the arts and media.
This year the summit participants will discuss the critical importance of culture in a city’s success. The economic value of culture is increasingly recognised, as well as the quality of life and social benefits it brings to people living and working in megacities. Culture generates billions through tourism, the creative industries, performance venues and other cultural spaces.
The issues on the Moscow summit’s agenda include the influence of urban development on the new creative atmosphere in megacities; economic development through urban festivals and cultural centres; the influence of technology on the development of creative cities; and new forms of support and services.
An in-depth international report on the development of culture in the key cities will be published after the summit.
Delegations from 24 cities to come to Moscow
The World Culture Cities Forum was established at the initiative of the London Mayor. As of now, 24 cities from 19 countries – Amsterdam, Brussels, Buenos Aires, Dakar, Edinburgh, Hong Kong, Istanbul, London, Los Angeles, Madrid, Montreal, New York, Paris, Rio de Janeiro, San Francisco, Seoul, Shanghai, Shenzhen, Singapore, Stockholm, Tokyo, Toronto, Vienna and Warsaw – have confirmed their intention to attend the Moscow summit.
Sessions and panel discussions will be held at well-known cultural institutions. The Summit Organising Committee has chosen the Myrrh Preparation Hall of the Patriarchal Palace in the Moscow Kremlin, the Multimedia Art Museum, VDNKh, the Garage Museum of Contemporary Art, the ZIL Culture Centre, the Stanislavsky Electrotheatre, the Pushkin State Museum of Fine Arts and the Pashkov House.
“The World Culture Cities Forum, whose summit Moscow will host this year, is a kind of cultural G20. Its members are 33 of the world’s key cities that generate major cultural programmes and many cultural initiatives and are tourist centres. Hosting such an impressive assembly is a wonderful opportunity to showcase Moscow’s achievements in this area,” said Alexander Kibovsky, Moscow Government Minister and Head of the Department of Culture.
The forum participants will be able to see not only Red Square and the Bolshoi Theatre, but also the new parks and cultural and public spaces that have been created in Moscow over the past few years. “We want our partners to see that Moscow has become a full-scale megacity with a diverse and very interesting cultural agenda. It is heart-warming that our bid, which was not the only one, was supported, and we will be able to host the summit despite the unfavourable circumstances that go beyond the framework of cultural dialogue,” Alexander Kibovsky added.
Presentation of Moscow’s experience
The decision to hold the World Cities Culture Summit in Moscow was made public on 17 May. The agreement was signed by Alexander Kibovsky and Justine Simons, Head of Culture for the Mayor of London and Chair of the World Cities Culture Forum, in Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre.
“Culture is a golden thread that runs through our cities, adding to their character, but also being the catalyst for ideas and innovation that are at the heart of successful cities. But as cities grow there are serious challenges and the World Cities Culture Summit is working on practical solutions to ensure talent and creativity don’t get forced out,” Justine Simons said.
“Moscow takes culture seriously. In recent years it has pursued ambitious new policies in a range of areas from social inclusion to regeneration to public space. The Summit will be an opportunity for our host city to showcase these policies and their results and for the other cities to learn from Moscow’s experience,” said Paul Owens, Managing Director of BOP Consulting, which manages the World Cities Culture Forum on behalf of City Hall.
The fifth World Cities Culture Forum will be held in Moscow. Other host cities before it were Istanbul, Amsterdam and London, which hosted the summit twice.
The attendance of WCCF summits is usually confined to the heads of culture departments from the member cities. But the Moscow summit will be the first WCCF event that can be attended by any culture professional: an open session will be held at the ZIL Culture Centre on 7 October. Advance booking is required. Information on this will be posted on the World Cities Culture Forum website on 28 September.