Global Cultural Districts Network

The [ Global Cultural Districts Network (GCDN)] is a federation of global centers of arts and culture. Its members represent cities, cultural districts, and cultural institutions from around the world, including Australia, the United Kingdom, Canada, the United States, China, and Singapore.


GCDN was founded in 2013 by Adrian Ellis, and established by AEA Consulting, the New Cities Foundation, and the Dallas Arts District. Beatrice Pembroke was appointed as Director in March 2018 and Adrian Ellis is Chair.

The network’s formation was stimulated by a series of conversations among cultural leaders, who were aware that, though forums for cultural institutions to meet and discuss common issues did exist, there were none for those responsible for cultural districts.


GCDN’s 45+ current members represent cities, cultural districts, cultural institutions, non-profits, foundations, and private initiatives from around the world, including Australia, the UK, Canada, the US, Dubai, China, and Singapore.


GCDN's current members include:

  • Abu Dhabi Department of Culture & Tourism – Abu Dhabi, UAE
  • Adelaide Festival Centre – Adelaide, Australia
  • Alserkal Avenue – Dubai, United Arab Emirates
  • Arizona Arts, University of Arizona – Tucson, USA
  • Auckland Live – Auckland, New Zealand
  • Better BanksideLondon, UK
  • Brooklyn Cultural District (Brooklyn Academy of Music/Downtown Brooklyn Partnership/Downtown Brooklyn Arts Alliance) – New York City, USA
  • Canberra Theatre Centre – Canberra, Australia
  • City of Providence Art, Culture + Tourism Dept. – Providence, USA
  • City of Sydney – Sydney, Australia
  • Culture Mile (Barbican Centre/Museum of London/City of London Corporation) – London, UK
  • Dallas Arts DistrictDallas, USA
  • East Bank at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park – London, UK
  • Exhibition Road Cultural Group (Discover South Kensington) – London, UK
  • Genesis Holdings – Beijing, China
  • Goldsmiths, University of London – London, UK
  • Harbourfront Centre – Toronto, Canada
  • Harbour Trust – Sydney, Australia
  • HOTA, Home of the Arts – Surfers Paradise, Australia
  • Kingston Creative – [Kingston, Jamaica]
  • LAC Lugano Arte e Cultura – Lugano, Switzerland
  • Melbourne Arts Precinct (Arts Centre Melbourne/Melbourne Recital Centre) – Melbourne, Australia
  • MiSK City – Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
  • MuseumsQuartier Wien – Vienna, Austria
  • National Heritage Board – Singapore, Singapore
  • Navy Pier, Inc. – Chicago, USA
  • New Jersey Performing Arts Center (NJPAC) – Newark, NJ, USA
  • New World Symphony, America’s Orchestral AcademyMiami Beach, USA
  • Olympic Foundation for Culture and Heritage – Lausanne, Switzerland
  • Onassis FoundationAthens, Greece
  • Parnell Square Cultural Quarter, Temple Bar – Dublin, Ireland
  • Pittsburgh Cultural Trust – Pittsburgh, USA
  • Quartier de la Création – Nantes, France
  • Quartier des Spectacles PartnershipMontreal
  • RAB/BKO – Brussels, Belgium
  • Sharjah Museums AuthoritySharjah, UAE
  • The Kuwait National Cultural District - Kuwait City, Kuwait
  • The Lowry/Salford Quays – Salford, UK
  • The Music Center – Los Angeles, USA
  • Theater District HoustonHouston, USA
  • Times Square Alliance – New York, USA
  • West Kowloon Cultural District AuthorityHong Kong, China

    Affiliate Members

    GCDN affiliate members are organizations and individuals who share a professional interest in contributing to the governance and operation of international cultural districts.

    GCDN’s affiliate members include:

  • BuroHappold – Bath, UK
  • Cistri, Singapore & Hong Kong – Urbis, AustraliaSingapore, Hong Kong, Australia
  • DesignSingapore Council – Singapore
  • Grimshaw – New York, USA
  • Jason Bruges Studio – London, UK
  • WordsearchSingapore


    GCDN members are invited to regular convenings to share emerging best practices, hear expert panels, and discuss the place of cultural precincts and complexes in urban policy, economic development, and related areas of public policy such as technology, travel and tourism.

    Past GCDN meetings include:

  • GCDN Annual Convening, Singapore – 2019
  • GCDN Annual Convening, Dubai – 2018
  • GCDN North American Regional Convening, Providence, Rhode Island – 2017
  • GCDN Annual Convening, Barcelona, Spain – 2017
  • GCDN Annual Convening, Brooklyn, New York – 2016
  • GCDN Annual Convening, London, UK – 2015
  • New Cities Summit, Jakarta, Indonesia – 2015.
  • GCDN Members Convening, Montreal, Canada – 2015.
  • New Cities Summit, Dallas, Texas – 2014.


    GCDN regularly commissions and publishes academic research. Some of the network's publications include:

  • The Social Impact of Cultural Districts (2019) – A study and report commissioned by the Global Cultural Districts Network (GCDN) and written by Professor Geoffrey Crossick.
  • Governance Models of Cultural Districts (2018) – Research co-commissioned with the University of the Arts London and conducted by James Doeser and Anna Marazuela Kim.
  • Beyond Concrete Barriers: Innovation in Urban Furniture and Security in Public Space (2018) – Research initiated by the Quartier des Spectacles Partnership and conducted by Jon Coaffee.
  • Cultural Infrastructure Index (2016-2019) – Annual survey seeking to measure investment in capital projects in the cultural sector.
  • Branding Cultural Districts and Destinations (2017) – Research co-commissioned with Future Places and directed by Juan Carlos Belloso.