Dialogue 6

Partnerships and Initiatives Supporting Culture and Innovation in Cities


Culture and cultural diversity are sources of enrichment that contribute significantly to sustainable urban development.

Cities are hubs of innovation often deployed to address a wide range of urban challenges including employment creation, poverty alleviation, addressing inequality, access to basic services, mobility and renewable energy.

Strategic connections between partners in the culture, creative industries, and frontiers technologies are critical in addressing emerging challenges in sustainable urban development.

Creative and innovative partnerships are partnership between cultural institutions and relevant sectors of national and local governments, business, education, training and research, and civil society.

Creative partnerships enhance innovation, break down barriers between different fields and encourage cross-sectoral pollination of ideas.

These partnerships require cooperation from all parties, dedicated resources, shared responsibility and mutual trust. Well-structured and successful creative partnerships are beneficial for all parties as high impact low cost tools for addressing some of the most important issues in cities and human settlements.

As new partners harness their expertise, networks and internal platforms to deliver viable strategies, long-term value is created for entire populations, systems and countries.


This session will identify drivers of successful partnerships and initiatives for supporting culture and innovation in cities. These include policies, legislation, practical initiatives and good practices at all levels.

It will identify challenges to effective partnerships in culture and innovation to address poverty, inequality, as well as social, economic and environmental sustainability in cities and human settlements. 

Collaboration, capacity building, training and education strategies and plans necessary to mainstream culture and innovation into sustainable urban development practices will be explored.

Innovative solutions and partnerships between stakeholders in culture, the creative industries and frontier technologies on the one hand, and city managers, planners, and entrepreneurs on the other are critical to leverage the latest technological advancements.

The session will review cross-sectoral cooperation and avenues for partnerships in culture and innovation to be expanded and reinforced.

Guiding Questions
  1. What is required for partnerships in culture and innovation to be effective and successful?
  2. How can the skills and resources of the culture, creativity and innovation industries be leveraged for sustainable urban development?
  3. What are the structural elements of a creative partnership and how can existing creative and innovative partnerships be reinforced?
  4. What are some examples of existing mechanisms and tools to ensure the innovative application of culture for urban growth and local economic development?
  5. How can the creative industry effectively engage with local-level action?

Session Speakers