Branding Cultural Districts and Destinations


por Juan Carlos Belloso



Cities have become the focal point for creation, innovation and exchange. In the new urban age, where all cities compete against each other to attract and retain residents, visitors, investment, talent, events, creative people, organizations, etc., culture, creativity and the arts are increasingly a central point of differentiation and attraction. They help to transform and to shape people’s own identities, both for residents and visitors.

Cultural districts of all shapes, sizes and forms emerge from the world’s cities as a key tool for the physical, cultural, social and economic transformation and development of urban communities.

A key aspect and challenge for the success of any cultural district and destination is its ability to attract and retain visitors, cultural institutions, investors, artists and creatives, as well as its engagement with and ability to retain existing local residents, artists and creatives in their home district and city. A strong, distinctive and appealing identity and brand image serves as one of the key factors shared by successful cultural districts.

Best practices were gathered and identified from conversations and knowledge and information exchanges with a range of participants representing 20 cultural districts around the globe.

The research, directed by Juan Carlos Belloso, member of the advisory Board of the Global Cultural Districts Network (GCDN), a federation of global centers of arts and culture, that fosters cooperation and knowledge-sharing among those responsible for conceiving, funding, creating and operating cultural and creative districts, quarters and clusters, is now available online for free at the Global Cultural Districts Network (GCDN) website (www.

For further information and inquiries: