World cities act as global cultural incubators. They are characterized to a significant degree by the particular mix they achieve between local cultural activity and the intersections of that activity with national and international cultural flows and networks. These flows may be manifested in people (cultural workers such as artists, musicians, designers, etc.), products (symbolic goods such as paintings, shows, films etc.), technology (computer games and other digital artefacts), or education (resulting in the production and exchange of cultural knowledge). Culture characterizes and enriches the everyday experience of those who live in world cities, functions as an important marker of individual, group and civic identities, and is increasingly recognized as an important driver of economic growth and urban regeneration.
The Knowledge, Culture and Urban Affairs strand of WC2 (formerly “Global Cultures”) focuses on the cultural flows and intercultural relations within and between cities as well as the relationships between knowledge production, culture and policy.