The rise of global arts precincts

Melbourne Arts Precinct was presented to global audiences, alongside four other significant developments, at the Hong Kong International Cultural Summit.
Katrina Sedgwick is standing on stage in front of a large projector screen presenting a slide that includes an architectural render of The Fox: NGV Contemporary.

Arts precincts are characterised by a large stretch of land that features several major institutions across art forms, alongside tenants and independent organisations under one cohesive umbrella or vision. Perhaps more strategically than coincidentally, they are often on the waterside and create pockets of public space where art, leisure, food, entertainment and cultural tourism ideally work in harmony.

The last decade has seen a steady rise of cultural precincts. In 2014, Adrian Ellis, Director of Global Cultural Districts Network (GCDN) predicted that over US$250 billion (AU$277.57 billion) would be invested into new developments in the next decade… and here we are.

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Celina Lei is an arts writer and editor at ArtsHub. She acquired her M.A in Art, Law and Business in New York with a B.A. in Art History and Philosophy from the University of Melbourne. She has previously worked across global art hubs in Beijing, Hong Kong and New York in both the commercial art sector and art criticism. She took part in drafting NAVA’s revised Code of Practice - Art Fairs and was the project manager of ArtsHub’s diverse writers initiative, Amplify Collective. Celina is based in Naarm/Melbourne.