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WGSN's Cities to Watch in 2024

Skyscrapers light up at night
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Feb 25, 2024 By WGSN Insider
City x City

From coastal concrete jungles to hyper-connected tech hubs preserving traditional cultures, here’s our pick of the cities rising to meet the changing demands of urban living for 2024.

Each of our Cities to Watch is multifaceted, merging tech with culture, balancing beach life with urban living, or infusing tradition with modernity. 

Portland, Maine

Portland, Maine – not to be confused with Portland, Oregon – is a historic port city located on America’s East coast. Filled with coastal charm, it has evolved to become a third city populated with people migrating from other major metropolitans, fuelled by the post-pandemic work/life flexibility reset.

WGSN Original Image
WGSN Original Image

A focus on locality brings together the old and new crowds, whether it’s the celebration of traditional crafts in galleries like Maine Craft Portland, fresh-caught seafood at Scales or microbreweries like Belleflower Brewing. The city has risen in prominence in the past few years, and increased interest in rural and coastal living will continue to drive interest in 2024.

Athens, Greece

Gritty-but-glamorous Athens has lured foreign artists with the promise of cheap studio space and inspiring surroundings for many years. Dive into the thriving contemporary art scene by visiting the National Museum of Contemporary Art and the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center. 

WGSN Original Image / Unsplash / Andrea Leopardi

Other landmark developments include the abandoned Ellinikon International Airport transformed into the world’s biggest urban regeneration project, as well as the expansion of the metro through creative communities.

Manila, Philippines

Manila boasts a tight-knit and well-connected creative subculture that integrates fashion, music and art. From Manila Community Radio’s maximalist graphic design philosophy to the success of conceptual label Salad Day, contemporary wear line ḢA.MÜ and bespoke eventwear label Sassa Jimenez, a wave of Filipino maximalism is fuelling the creative scene.

WGSN Original Image
WGSN Original Image

Highlights include The Alley at Karrivin, a repurposed warehouse featuring galleries, bars and restaurants. For all things contemporary art, explore the Museum of Contemporary Art and Design (MCAD) and Artinformal Gallery.

WGSN City by City is an expertly curated portal for global travel inspiration and planning that highlights the best of global cities and culture. Find out more here.

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