Urban cultural vanguards why culture matters for urban success

Karima Kourtit*, Peter Nijkamp

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


This paper addresses the multifaceted relationships between culture and urban performance. It seeks to identify and examine evidence-based characteristics of urban success (or socio-economic performance) that are related to the cultural profile (‘urban cultural value’) of a city. Also, the broader socio-economic context and significance of ‘urban cultural magnets’ is examined. The empirical analysis is based on a large international multivariate data base on the relevant characteristics of 40 global cities, and employs exploratory statistical analysis and regression models in a stepwise way. The analytical framework of our research is based on the overarching concept of an ‘urban cultural complex’. The key cultural factors for urban performance are systematically assessed in a quantitative way. The study confirms the relevance of culture for the performance of contemporary large cities.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)198-213
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Urban Management
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2022


  • Cultural performance
  • Cultural vanguards
  • Urban century
  • Urban cultural complex


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