This report, published by the Greater London Authority and the London Development Agency in March 2008, benchmarks London’s cultural offer against four other world cities: Paris, New York, Tokyo and Shanghai. It was the first comprehensive such undertaking compiled according to international standards. The initial report generated such interest that it ran to 15,000 copies. At my suggestion, the Burns-Owens partnership, who produced the report under my editorship, created the World Cities Cultural Forum, a network of nearly fifty cities that is still active today.
Specified and commissioned by Jude Woodward, the Mayor’s Cultural Advisor, it employed the methods first specified in an original mimeograph report by Qu Shijing (2003) and entitled ‘The Cultural Competitive Advantage of Shanghai in the Global Context’.