Student Project- What Next for World Cities Culture Data?

As part of our MPA programme, students work with urban policy makers to carry out cutting edge research that will directly support and influence policy decisions. This year, students are working with the World Cities Culture Forum and the Greater London Authority.

Our first meeting with the team at the Greater London Authority

In 2012, the World Cities Culture Forum (WCCF) published the World Cities Culture Report (WCCR) 2012, which featured culture data and analysis for 8 global cities. In 2018, with the support of the Greater London Authority (GLA), BOP Consulting and Bloomberg Philanthropies, the latest report was devised in collaboration with 33 global cities. At current, the WCCR 2018 contains the most comprehensive dataset for city culture data ever created.

However, the GLA recognises that the urban cultural landscape within cities is complex and constantly evolving and that it is vital to iteratively review and improve the analytical methods/ intelligence which underpin the development of WCCRs. Thus, in tandem with BOP Consulting, the GLA has initiated a collaborative research partnership (from November 2018 - September 2019) with the Urban Innovation and Policy Lab at University College London to explore a fundamentally important question for future city leaders- ‘What’s next for world cities culture data?’.

This project consists of developing an analytical framework around the phenomenon of superdiversity in contemporary cities. Superdiversity is a concept used especially by the social sciences to explain the speed and scale of population change because of an increasingly diverse migrant population. The super-diversification process in cities is, then, the result of the growing demographic complexity. There are already two projects in the world that explore the effects of superdiversity in the world: The Max Planck Institute for the Study of Religious and Ethnic Diversity in Germany has developed a superdiversity platform for three cities: Vancouver, Sydney and Auckland . Also, in New Zealand the “Capturing the Diversity Dividend” or CaDDANZ project has been developed by Massey and Waikato Universities and funded by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE).

To better understand the dynamics of superdiversity we propose to develop an analytical framework including dimensions and indicators to analyse the process of urban super-diversification on key cities of interest to the client that represent a balanced sample of the WCCF network. This research will also implicate the development of data visualisations to understand the dynamic of superdiversity in cities. The relevance of this research consists on understanding the implications of urban super-diversity in a specific WCCF city. Also, developing a detailed consideration of migration journeys and diversity dynamics. This can result in new insights to help guide policy development. Finally, this research can become a first step towards a future bigger analysis of the superdiversification process across different cities of the WCCF.

Students: Hua Deqin; Paola Cuttitta; Tom Henderson; Giancarlo Duluc; Maria Estelí Jarquín.