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Creative Cities

Partnering with cities to foster creativity

Our UAL Creative Cities model allows us to build strategic city-level partnerships that place creative leadership at the centre of long-term regeneration, entrepreneurship and public engagement. As a result, we are able to develop and enhance the creative industries at a regional level. The model focuses on five key areas:

  • Public sector
  • Civil society
  • Academia
  • Industry
  • Environment

We aim to build values-based partnerships and access funding opportunities for initiatives that respond to local and global challenges. Engaging in research and knowledge exchange opportunities allows us to enhance our position as a leader in creative education internationally.

Case Studies

Girl wearing futuristic glasses and globe earrings


Bilbao became UAL’s first Creative City in 2019.  The partnership has given UAL a unique opportunity to share its expertise in one of Europe’s most ambitious urban regeneration projects, the Island of Zorrotzaurre ; a creative district of residential, commercial, office, and civic uses.

Visit the Island of Zorrotzaure website.

Painting and textile installation featuring multi-coloured patterns in blues, blacks, greens, oranges, pinks and yellows.
Postgraduate: MA Textile Design, Painting and textile installation by Yan Feng, © David Poultney


Lisbon offers a wealth of opportunity in terms of collaboration. With large regeneration projects involving Higher Education Institutions, we have been able to draw comparison and share expertise in the development and usage of space.

Close up shot of a student taking measurements of a black suit on a mannequin.
Postgraduate: BA (Hons) Bespoke Tailoring, Misa Okamura working in the Studio, © Alys Tomlinson


We are building on existing partnerships with organisations and institutions in Canada to establish Toronto as our next Creative City. With extensive regeneration projects and organisations supporting Creative Industries, Entrepreneurship and Climate Action, Toronto presents a unique opportunity for international collaboration and engagement.

T-Factor Consortium
T-Factor Consortium image


We are a proud partner of the Horizon 2020 T-Factor project which challenges what is called the ‘waiting time’ in urban regeneration. It demonstrates how culture and creativity can stimulate collaboration across sectors. This work feeds into UAL’s wider goal of putting the ‘arts’ into STEM: Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths, highlighting the value of art and design practices to public and social innovation.

Visit the T-Factor website.