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    Beyond Concrete Barriers: Innovation in Urban Furniture and Security in Public Space

    Safety is a fundamental, if often unspoken, premise of successful placemaking, informing both the design and programming of public spaces. More and more placemaking efforts are focused on the creation or revitalization of public spaces, often in downtown areas involving heavy foot and vehicle traffic. For these projects to be successful, it is critical that the design, technology and security oversight be effective but also recessive, requiring imagination and intelligence to be applied to the design process from the start. Managers of cultural districts, Business Improvement Districts, and other public spaces are seeking innovative solutions for securing their public spaces in ways that retain the beauty and attraction of these areas.  
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    Cultural Infrastructure Index

    The Cultural Infrastructure Index, undertaken for the Global Cultural Districts Network by AEA Consulting, seeks to measure investment in capital projects in the cultural sector, identifying projects with a budget of US$10 million or more that were publicly announced or completed within a calendar year. “Cultural infrastructure” comprises museums, performing arts centers, and cultural hubs or districts, and projects tracked include new buildings, renovations, and expansions. This inaugural Cultural Infrastructure Index covers 2016. The collected data reveals some US$8.45 billion in new physical assets that came online last year (101 completed projects), and a further US$8.54 billion in investment announced across 135 new projects. Our analysis shows the median budget for announced projects (US$36 million) is lower than that for completed projects (US$41 million). The 2017 Index will be released in spring 2018.

Upcoming Publications

Governance Models of Cultural Districts

Each year, the GCDN embarks on a major research project on a topic of significant interest to our members. For 2018, we have decided to focus on the issue of governance and create a White Paper that will contain case studies and explore the governance needs of districts in the preliminary planning phases and those existing and operating at full capacity. While the focus will be on cultural districts, defined as geographical areas with a high concentration of creative and cultural organizations or amenities, the research will also look at innovation districts and design districts as points of comparison.

To be released spring 2018