Global Cultural Districts Network (GCDN) Convening. Lugano. October 12 – 14, 2020


por Juan Carlos Belloso

Lugano GCDN

Making a Difference: Agency, Accountability and Impact 

The 2020 GCDN Annual Convening will bring together international cultural and civic leaders to consider the role of cultural districts in a changing world. Co-hosted by LAC Lugano Arte e Cultura in Switzerland, the convening will explore social impact; climate crisis; land value capture; and the relationship between anchor institutions and the creative industries.

Opened in 2015, LAC has already made a significant contribution to the cultural, social and economic life of Lugano. The city’s modest scale, its complex amalgam of languages and cultures and its location at the heart of Europe provide a rich site for a highly participative programme of debate, workshops and networking activities. LAC itself serves as a context to explore definitions of impact and the variety of models of cultural districts in Switzerland, Europe and the world.

In a time of economic, environmental and political flux, cultural organisations are increasingly keen – and encouraged – to utilise their resources and cultural heft to make a difference. Cultural districts have a civic and collaborative purpose at heart, encompassing a cluster of organisations and creative enterprises with a desire to improve urban life. As the stakes grow higher, it becomes ever more essential to go beyond the rhetoric and refine understanding of impact; the resources and appetite required to achieve meaningful change; now and in the future. The 2020 convening will support GCDN’s commitment to make an authentic contribution to the most challenging issues of the day.