AMS Planning & Research Corp.

Urban Transformation through Culture

In the last 30 years there has been an explosion of capital investment in urban cultural facilities, and AMS Planning & Research has been a key partner and advisor to many. Belief in the cultural and community development benefits of significant capital investment in the arts has driven projects in cities around the globe. But when is this strategy the right strategy for cities? And what is the actual impact?

New Jersey Performing Arts Center

photo by Scott Miller/Flickr

On October 9th and 10th, AMS will take part in an International Conference on Cultural Institutions and Urban Transformation, which will focus on the qualitative and quantitative impact cultural institutions have on cities. What has worked? What hasn’t? What are the lessons? Larry Goldman, past President & CEO of New Jersey Performing Arts Center, and Distinguished Practitioner in Residence at Rutgers University School of Public Affairs & Administration, is leading the development of an international conference to address these and other questions.

The conference, co-hosted by the Rutgers and NJPAC, will bring together academics, non-profit executives, leading funders, public officials, economic development professionals, and others interested in arts institutions as stimulators of urban change. AMS Principal Steven Wolff and Adrian Ellis of AEA Consulting will lead a debate examining the role of these institutions in catalyzing urban development.

NJPAC, a past AMS client, is among the leading examples of how an arts center has successfully driven the transformation of a challenged neighborhood.  Wolff and Ellis will examine this and other examples around the world in an effort to dig deeper into this complex phenomenon.

Conference attendance is by invitation only, and is limited to 125 people.  For more information or to express interest in attending the conference, visit

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