Singapore 2019

August 27-29 | Co-hosted by the National Museum of Singapore

New Collaborations: Creating Cities Together

The Global Cultural Districts Network (GCDN) Annual Convening brings together civic and cultural leaders from around the world and provides a unique forum for the development of new ideas and collaborations. This year’s event will be held in Singapore, August 27-29, 2019, co-hosted by GCDN member National Museum of Singapore, sponsored by BuroHappold, and in partnership with the British Council, the Centre for Liveable Cities, Chijmes, The Esplanade, and The Asian Civilisations Museum.

Cities are changing at a formidable pace. Arts and culture have repeatedly demonstrated their strategic value in defining urban character and identity; improving livability; attracting investment, knowledge workers and tourists; and building community. Distinctive urban areas that combine a rich cultural life with compelling public spaces and architecture – cultural districts – have been integral to this success.

Billions of dollars are being committed to cultural infrastructure globally – but this investment is difficult to get right. The conditions in which culture and creativity thrive need to be nurtured, especially as the economic, social and political circumstances that gave birth to them change.

Cultural districts have a collaborative purpose at their heart; as a set of organizations with a shared agenda to animate local environments through culture. How constitutive members collaborate with each other, across institutions and disciplines; with local communities and their changing demographics; with city stakeholders; with diverse funders; and with other urban agendas; is crucial to their success.

In today’s world, the cultural sector is under greater scrutiny to demonstrate an ability to be open, porous and build ingenious alliances for meaningful impact. This year’s convening will take collaboration as a loose theme to ask vital questions for the leadership of cultural districts and share learning through two days of engaging discussions, workshops and social events.

GCDN is an initiative of AEA Consulting. Find out more about GCDN here and please contact us if you have any questions.

All information is subject to change. Last updated on May 21, 2019


Please register by July 1.

GCDN Membership provides free registration to the convening for two representatives – please contact us if you require the code to book your complimentary tickets.

Speakers Include

Andrew Tan, Former CEO of Maritime Port Authority & National Environment Agency; Founding Director & Fellow of the Center for Liveable Cities – Singapore

Carlo Ratti, Professor of Urban Technologies and Planning, Director, SENSEable City Lab, MIT – School of Architecture + Planning – Cambridge, USA

Carolien Nederlof, Co-owner, Imagine Leisure – The Hague, Netherlands

Dr Cheong Koon Hean, CEO Housing & Development Board – Singapore

Elaine Bedell, Chief Executive, Southbank Centre – London, UK

Geoffrey Crossick, Distinguished Professor of Humanities (and Former Director, AHRC Cultural Value Project), School of Advanced Study, University of London – London, UK

Helle Søholt, Founding Partner and CEO, Gehl – Copenhagen, Denmark

Kulapat Yantrasat, Founding Partner and Creative Director, wHY – Culver City, USA

Lucinda Hartley, CoFounder & CIO, Neighbourlytics – Melbourne, Australia

Mariët Westermann, Executive Vice President for Programs and Research, The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation – New York City, USA

Michael Rodrigues, Managing Director, Time Out Australia – Sydney, Australia

Pier Luigi Sacco, Special Adviser to the EU Commissioner for Education and Culture, European Commission – Milan, Italy

Phil Kim, Managing Director Asia Pacific, Jerde Partnership – Hong Kong, China

Sarah Gaventa, Director, Illuminated River Foundation – London, UK

Sarah Ichioka, Director, Desire Lines – Singapore

Tim Tompkins, President, Times Square Alliance – New York City, USA

Victoria Rogers, VP/Arts, John S. and James L. Knight Foundation – Miami, USA

Vince Kadlubek, CEO and Founder, Meow Wolf – Santa Fe, USA




Regional Partner

Knowledge Partner

Venue partners


Convening attendees enjoy special rates at the Rendezvous Hotel Singapore at Bras Basah. Please use the form below to book your rooms.


Please note that this provisional timetable is subject to change.