American Academy in Rome Residency, January 2019

Ongoing project:The Future of Italian Museums: What Happens Next to the Franceschini Reform?
Article includes interviews with museum directors, art professionals, and the head of the selection committee, Paolo Baratta.


2nd Annual International Symposium on Culture, Athens, Greece, May 2017

“Culture and the Migrant Crisis: Getting to the Heart of the Matter.”  Paper presented at 2nd Annual International Symposium on Culture, Athens, Greece, June, 2017. Sponsored by Athens Institute for Education and Research. Thesis: The social study of the lived experience can assist in taking the measure of crises, conflict, and stability and help us see the city as THE integrative unit that it is.

Linda Lees, PhD, Director, CCI


Panel Discussion: “Having an Impact,” Bronx Museum, February 18

“Having an Impact” featured esteemed New York City cultural leaders discussing the issues faced by institutions working to make their voices heard locally and across the city, the importance of leadership and vision at the helm, the development of a strong board and core constituency, and methods for getting their messages heard amid the many voices vying for public, financial and critical attention.

Panelists: Holly Block, Executive Director, The Bronx Museum of the Arts;Tom Finkelpearl, Executive Director, Queens Museum of Art; Linda Lees, Founder, Creative Cities International and the Vitality Index; and Stephanie Roach, Director, The FLAG Art Foundation. Moderated by Fran Kaufman, Kaufman Vardy Project


III Congresso Internacional de Cidades Criativas, Campinas, Brazil

“How We Think About Cities Today.” Paper presented at III International Congress of Creative Cities, Campinas, Brazil, August 2013.  Sponsored by University of Campinas and University of Madrid.  Thesis: Education will be the determining factor for the future of cities to counteract economic inequality and sustain growth.

Linda Lees, PhD, Director, CCI


American Creativity Association International Conference, Singapore

“Culture Counts: A New Math for the Future of Innovative Cities,” Plenary Presentation at ACA International Conference, “Creating the Future: Innovation and the Global Challenge,” Orchard Hotel, Singapore, August 20, 2012 CULTURECOUNTS_VS.pdf

Linda Lees, PhD, Director, CCI

UN Alliance of Civilizations Partners Forum, Istanbul

Linda Lees was invited to present the Vitality Index as part of a panel on “The Alliance of Civilizations: Cities and Citizens.” UNAOC Partners Forum, Istanbul, 31 May-1 June 2012


Kadir Topbas, Mayor of Istanbul
Kahlifa Sall, Mayor of Dakar

Lutfu Savas, Mayor of Antakya

Snezana Markovic, Director General, Democracy Project, Council of Europe

Josep Roig, Secretary General, United Cities and Local Governments (UCLG)

Creating a Sense of Place: Engaging Creativity in Towns & Cities

Panel Discussion of the Creativity Conference, The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum. April 27 & 28, 2012. Presented by The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum, Ridgefield Library, Ridgefield Arts Council


Andrea Gartner, Executive Director, CityCenter Danbury (Connecticut)
Linda Lees, PhD, Director, CCI
Philip Morris, CEO, Proctors Theatre, Schenectady, New York

Alyson Baker, Executive Director, The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum

Steven Dahlberg, Director, International Centre for Creativity and Imagination, moderator


Doha Forum, UN Alliance of Civilisations

Linda Lees, along with Advisory Board member, Fred Manson, spoke on the Vitality Index at the 4th UN Alliance of Civilizations Forum, December 11-3, 2011, Doha, Qatar. UNAOC Doha Forum link:

Interview with in:polis, Berlin

November 2011, Linda Lees was interviewed by Brendan Colgan of in:polis, an organization devoted to place branding and marketing, about the Vitality Index. Read the interview here:

Vitality Index Release

CCI was proud to release the groundbreaking Vitality Index report and ranking of 35 cities in the United States on July 20, 2011. To download the pdf, go to:


Coyotes in the Bronx: Valuing “Good Messiness”

Paper delivered at European Union “Capital of Culture Symposium on Creative Cities/Creative Industries.” Linda Lees, Istanbul. November 2010

Creativity in the City: The New Measure

Article published by Linda Lees in UNESCO Observatory, Faculty of Architecture, Building and Planning, The University of Melbourne Referred E-Journal, Vol 1. Issue 5. April 2010,


Creativity, Public Engagement and Political Accountability: The New Measure

Paper presented by Linda Lees at “Government Encounters: Policies, Research and the Emergence of Creative Spaces Conference”

Sponsor: Copenhagen Business School, May 2009


Cities Live! Vision and Implementation

“Marketing Cities: Place Branding in Perspective” Conference

Sponsors: Georg Simmel Center for Metropolitan Studies, Humboldt University, and Association for Place Branding and Public Diplomacy

City Hall, Berlin, December 2008

Museums and the City: A Creative Combination

March 2008

Sponsor: Creative Cities International and The Wilson Center for National Affairs, The New School, New York


Fred Manson, Urbanist

Frederic Schwartz, Architect

Kinshasha Holman Conwill, Deputy Director, National Museum of African American History & Culture, Smithsonian Institution

Marc Pachter, Director, National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution

Moderator: Linda Lees, PhD, Director, CCI

A video recording of the panel is available:


“Brooklyn Matters”

October 2007

Sponsor: The Wilson Center for National Affairs, The New School


Candace Carponter, Head of Legal Team, Develop Don’t Destroy Brooklyn

Francis Morrone, architecture critic

Ron Schiffman, Director, Pratt Institute Center for Community and Environmental Development

Isabel Hill, filmmaker, Building History Productions

Moderator: Linda Lees, PhD, Director, CCI

Featuring Isabel Hill’s documentary film, “Brooklyn Matters”

Economic Development Competitiveness

December 2007

Sponsors: Charlotte Regional Partnership Investor Forum

Charlotte Chamber of Commerce, Johnson & Wales University

Charlotte, North Carolina

Participants included:

Richard Greene, Principal, Creative Cities International

Ed McCallum, Principal, McCallum Sweeney Consulting

Eric Stavriotis, Jones Lang LaSalle

Jessica Hayden, Jones Lang LaSalle

John Rhodes, MSB Consulting

Building Lasting, Sustainable Communities

Sustainability Conference, CoreNet Global, London Summit, September 2007


Linda Lees, PhD, Director, CCI, “Elephant & Castle: A Cultural Approach to Economic Development”

Susie Wilson, Community Development Manager, Greenwich Peninsula (MDL), Lend Lease, Greenwich Peninsula Development

Moderator: Philip Tidd, Managing Director, DEGW UK Ltd


“Art as an Impetus for Successful Re-Development”

Sponsor: Hudson Valley Center for Contemporary Art, Hudson, New York, September 2007


Joyce Schwartz, arts consultant

Maider Bilbao Echeverria, artist-in-residence

Linda Lees, PhD, Director, CCI

Moderator: Livia Straus, Founder


Urban Land Institute: ULI Europe

“Cinderella Cities: Tales of Modern Urban Renaissance”

Birmingham, UK

June 2006

Culture: Celebrating Cornerstones of Community


Sir Albert Bore, Councillor, Ladywood Ward, Birmingham, UK

Pierre Baillargeon, Director, HOK International Ltd, London, UK

Charles-Henri Malcot, Director of International Relations, City of Lyon, France

Linda Lees, PhD, Director, CCI, New York

Moderator: Reinier de Graaf, Partner, Office of Metropolitan Architecture, Rotterdam, The Netherlands


“Rebuilding Baghdad: Planning the Civil Society”

October 2005

Sponsors: Creative Cities International, Goethe Institute and The Wilson Center for National Affairs, The New School, New York

April 2005


Benjamin Barber, Director, The Democracy Collaborative

Fergus Muir, Head, Architecture, Department of Culture, Media, and Sport, Foreign and Commonwealth Office, London

Paul Kahlfeldt, Kahlfeldt Architekten, Berlin

Moderator: Marc Pachter, Director, National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution

Featuring excerpts from “Return to the Land of Wonders,” a documentary by filmmaker Maysoon Pachachi.

“Making the Creative City: A Vitality Index”

Presentation by Linda Lees at the New York Metro American Studies Association Annual Conference: “Public and Private in Urban Space”

Hunter College, City University of New York

October 2005

“Immigration Today: Revisiting The Fertile Verge”

Sponsor: The Wilson Center for National Affairs, The New School

October 2005


Tamera Luzzatto, Chief of Staff to US Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton

Elzbieta Matynia, Director, Transregional Center for Democratic Studies, Graduate Faculty

Judy Rabinovitz, Senior Staff Counsel with the ACLU Immigrants Rights Project

Earl Shorris, author of New American Blues

Moderator: Linda Lees, PhD, Director, CCI

“The Prince of the City”

Giuliani’s New York and the Genius of American Life

Sponsor: The Wilson Center for National Affairs, The New School, New York

June 2005


Andrew Kirtzman, WCBS-TV, author, “Rudy Giuliani: Emperor of the City”

Michael Tomasky, Executive Editor, American Prospect

Jon Avlon, New York Sun

Andrew White, Director for New York City Affairs, Milano Graduate School

Fred Siegel, author, “The Prince of the City”

Moderator: Linda Lees, PhD, Director, CCI


Memory and the City: Living the Past in the Present

March 2004

Sponsor: Creative Cities International and the American Institute of Architects, co-sponsored by the Goethe Institute and AIA

The Center for Architecture, AIA, New York

Panelists included:

Diane Lewis, architect

Susan Szenasy, Metropolis Magazine

Ron Schiffman, Professor, Pratt Institute

Austin Williams, Chair, Future Visions, London

Moderator: James Sanders, author, “Celluloid Skyline”

Creative Capital: The Creative Class

April 2003

Sponsors: Beacon Project Space and The Vera List Center for Art and Politics, The New School

April 1: The New School, New York


Alberta Arthurs, arts consultant

Jeff Madrick, Editor, CHANGE and writer for New York Review of Books

Neil Scott Kleiman, Director, The Center for an Urban Future

Vera Zolberg, Professor of Sociology, Graduate Faculty, The New School

April 8: The Hudson River Valley: Case Study in Culture and Community Development, Beacon Project Space, Beacon, New York


Sidney Plotkin, Professor, Political Science, Vassar College

Ann Davis, Professor, Economics, Marist College

David A. Ross, Director, Beacon Cultural Project

Moderator: Linda Lees, PhD, CCI

Cities of Destiny: How Do They Achieve Greatness

October 2003

Sponsor: Creative Cities International and The Wolfson Center for National Affairs.  Co-sponsors: AIA and Brooklyn Brewery

The New School, New York


Rafael Viñoly, architect

Fred Manson, urbanist

Marc van de Mieroop, Professor, Ancient Near East Studies, Columbia University

Moderator: Marc Pachter, Director, National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution

New York Talks to London and Berlin

May 2002

60 Thompson Hotel, New York

Keynote: Sir Peter Hall, Professor of Planning, Bartlett School of Architecture and Planning, University College London



Will Alsop, architect

Fred Manson, former director, Southwark Borough of London

Peter Ford, former chairman, London Regional Transport


Axel Schultes, architect

Michael Moenninger, architecture critic, Die Welt

Volker Hassemer, Partner for Berlin

New York:

John Belle, architect

Alex Garvin, Lower Manhattan Development Corporation

Paul Goldberger, architecture critic, The New Yorker

Anthony Cracchiolo, Director of the Office of Priority Capital Programs, The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey

Moderators: Tony Travers, Head, Greater London Group, London School of Economics and Marc Pachter, Director, National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution

Major funding by the Rockefeller Foundation and Deutsche Bank. Special assistance provided by the Municipal Arts Society

Sustainable Creativity: Getting Serious About Profound Change

November 2002

New York Academy of Art

Conference sponsored by Creative Cities in collaboration with Metropolis Magazine, and The Privatization of Culture Project, New York University, New York


Lord Richard Rogers, architect

Fred Manson, urbanist

Tony Travers, Head, Greater London Group, London School of Economics

Teixeira Coelho, University of Sao Paulo

Frederic Schwartz, architect

Anthony Cracchiolo, Port Authority of New York and New Jersey

Rocco Compagnone, architect

William Wheeler, Metropolitan Transportation Authority

Stan Eckstut, architect

Rowan Moore, Head, Architecture Foundation, London

Support provided by CB Richard Ellis, the Durst Corporation, the Corporation of London, and the Fund for the City of New York

Creative Cities: Renewing New York

October 2001

On the future of Long Island City South: Queens Plaza to Queens West

Conference hosted by P.S. 1 Contemporary Art Center, New York

Sponsor/organizer: The British Council (UKwithNY Festival), Van Alen Institute: Projects in Public Architecture, and The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey

Participants included:

Charles Landry, author of “The Creative City”

Joseph B. Rose, Chairman, NYC Planning Commission

Bernardo Fort-Brescia, Principal, Arquitectonica

Mary Lea Bandy, Deputy Director, Curatorial Affairs, MoMA

Hong Yee Lee Krakauer, Executive Director, Queens Council on the Arts

Mary Ann Tighe, Insignia/ESG

Peter Wilson, Tate Modern

Fred Manson, Head, Regeneration and Environment, Southwark Borough Council, London

Christopher O. Ward, Chief of Planning and External Affairs, PANY&NJ

Raymond Gastil, Executive Director, Van Alen Institute

Linda Lees, PhD, Director of Cultural Affairs, The British Council

Additional sponsorship provided by Halcrow Consulting Engineers, LCOR, Inc., EHS Partners, Pepsi-Cola, NY Waterway, M&C Saatchi

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