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Music can drive economic growth

Words: Laura Edgar
Live music / iStock_000051573308

A report has recommended that more creative urban planning and investing into citywide music strategies could reap ‘huge’ economic and social benefits.

Cities across the world could be richer if they included music in development and regeneration strategies, supported live music venues, and invested in music technology, says Sound Diplomacy.

This would help to safeguard infrastructure and create opportunities for inward investment and tourism.

The London-based consultancy, which has advised the mayors of Vancouver, Barcelona and San Francisco, as well as London, on music strategy, has set out a 13-point manual that aims to amplify the economic and social value of music.

Treating music as social infrastructure and having a strategic vision for how regulation, performance, education and artists can be embedded in cities to generate “significant” economic and social benefit, and create thousands of jobs.

Recommendations in The Music Cities Manual urge cities to:

  • Be more creative with urban planning: Ensure the arts, music and culture are incorporated into local plans as this can enhance the value of housing and commercial space by driving footfall and amplifying the brand value of a development. More inclusive thinking on urban planning can more encourage more productive use of space.
  • Appoint ‘night tsars’ and support a night-time economy policy: A single port of call to manage relations between residents, businesses and civic leaders can address night time‑related issues.

Shain Shapiro, founder at Sound Diplomacy, said: “This manual is our attempt to synergise our work with city leaders around the world into 13 actionable steps. There’s huge scope for cities, regions and place shapers of all kinds to improve their communities and affect real, positive change through music. A huge body of evidence supports not just the economic gains, but the social benefits from having music incorporated right across the policy landscape.”

More information about the manual can be found here.

Image credit | iStock