Measurement and interpretation of ‘global cultural cities’ in a world of cities

Freke Caset, Ben Derudder

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


The intuitive connections between global cities of finance and global cities of art have been repeatedly asserted. However, systematic analyses of how both geographies conjoin in major cities remain thin on the ground. The purpose of this paper is to analyse the geographical intersections between renderings of global cities as key sites for the coordination and accumulation of global capital and visions of these cities as international art hubs. To this end, we develop a ‘global arts centre’ (GAC) index in which cities are assessed in terms of their centrality in ‘field-configuring events’, such as festivals, biennials and fairs. This GAC ranking and a number of art sector-specific disaggregations are then compared with the ‘global financial centre’ (GFC) index established by Z/Yen Group by means of correlation analysis. Cities featuring in both rankings are labelled ‘global cultural cities’ (GCCs). We find that the parallels between both indices within the top-tier rank positions are considerable. The rank correlation between the art and finance indices suggests a clear positive association between both. Most GCCs are located in Europe, Pacific Asia and Northern America. The most notable geographical pattern is the prominent presence of GCCs in Pacific Asia, suggesting the rapidly changing economic environment in this region has complemented interest and investments in high-end art. We conclude the paper by singling out some key research agendas that may further inform the empirical analysis presented in this paper.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)238–248
Number of pages11
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 20 Feb 2017


  • art
  • cultural policy
  • finance
  • global city
  • global cultural city
  • ranking


Dive into the research topics of 'Measurement and interpretation of ‘global cultural cities’ in a world of cities'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this