Re-imagining Cities through Arts and Culture

Why are art and culture so necessary for a city? Who should pay for it? How can festivals, carnivals and other cultural projects help transform or re-imagine a city? These were some of the questions discussed in our latest monthly NewCities Summit 2014 Tweet chat.

Our “Re-imagining Cities through Art & Culture” Tweet chat was moderated by NewCities (@newcitiesfound) in partnership with our friends at Global Cultural Districts Network (@GCDNet). We were joined by featured guests from a spectrum of fields, who over the course of one hour explored the impact of art and culture on urban life.

#Tweet chat highlights

Why do we need art and culture in a city? Who should pay for it?

Churchill on closing the National Gallery during WWII, alledgedly asked “then what are we fighting for?”@MaxAndersonUSA

A city without art & culture risks to become a dormitory. Art & culture help people to appropriate of their cities @IcomOfficiel

Art and Culture define a city and its citizenry far beyond entertainment, that’s something we need more people to understand. @SantosTITAS

Art is only medium / industry whose constant questioning of its own definition, boundaries is central not marginal @SlavsandTatars

Maybe art is like education and land. The public should pay for the public; and the private should pay for the private? @sarmoti

How can a cultural district have a positive impact on urban life?

It must be absorbed into every day life – not ghetto-ised @OKellyEmma

Cultural districts can revitalize cities, stimulate economies, and focus civic pride @GDCNet

Research has shown cultural districts will generate >$250Billion in investment over the next decade @DalArtsDistrict

Cultural Districts are gathering places. in a time of cyber coms, we need physical gatherings especially in sharing cultural experts @SantosTITAS

Cultural districts can provide a focus for the continued development of informal spaces where arts can thrive @the_letter_d 

Do you have examples on how cultural projects can help re-imagine cities?

Temporary efforts (festivals) = a way for cities to try something on for size in a low-risk way. @mortati

Pop up museums, perhaps? The old exhibit bus trick! @Uptownpaulie

Depending on those events will lead to the personality of the city. Ie: The Annual Key West Art Garden in April to July. @ANMBF2014

The now brings more tourism $ to Scotland than golf annually! @BrentReid

Festivals and carnivals can transform the city if they are used to empower people, not just to acritically brand @Agenda21Culture

Thank you!

Thanks to all the participats who joined the discussion. We hope to hear from you again in our next Tweet chat session on June 4, the last one before the NewCities Summit in Dallas.

You can view more highlights of the conversation here on Storify.

To find out more about the NewCities Summit 2014, visit and check the #NCS2014 hash tag on Twitter