City People


Founded by Michael Cohen and Kim Spinks, City People is an arts and culture consultancy company that primarily focuses on:

  • arts and cultural strategy
  • culture-led placemaking and activation
  • arts programming and creative producing
  • public art strategy, curation and implementation
  • business planning and evaluation for cultural organisations

Having worked in the public sector, private sector and in the arts and cultural sectors, City People know that there is a real need for people who can think on a broad strategic level and work with cross-organisational stakeholders, yet plan on a local level and reflect community values and aspirations with an approach that is collaborative, inclusive and grounded in the local. Since 2017 City People has delivered specialist studies, strategies, frameworks and business plans for local and state government, including for State Significant Developments, town centres, major designated precincts and cultural institutions.

City People is a prequalified supplier under the NSW Government Performance and Management Services Scheme (SCM0005) and Government Architect’s Strategy and Design Scheme (SCM0801).

Awards: Place Leaders Asia Pacific Small Scale Place Project Commendation (Wanna Dance) 2022, Place Leaders Asia Pacific Place Process Commendation (Western Sydney Parklands Accelerator) 2021, Interpretation Australia Gold Award 2014, Interpretation Australia Bronze Award 2014, Interpretation Australia Award 2015.


City People has worked with organisations in the museums and galleries sector including La Perouse Museum, the Museum of Chinese in Australia and Collingwood House.


  • Developed a ten-year business and operations plan for La Perouse Museum for client Randwick City Council in collaboration with specialist arts infrastructure and heritage advisor Peter Watts AM.
  • Modelled different operations options aligned to the masterplanning of the headland and redevelopment of the museum.
  • The plan included market analysis, infrastructure upgrade options, considerations for creating a unique identity, appropriate governance and recommendations for a holistic approach to cultural programming.


  • Developed an activation plan for the Liverpool City Council-owned heritage property and surrounding parkland in collaboration with advisor Peter Watts and Aboriginal engagement consultants Venessa Possum and Thelmerie Rudd.
  • Strategic assessment included trends analysis for historic houses, recommendations for governance and management requirements and suggested curatorial approach.
  • A portfolio of activation directions was detailed. A key focus was promotion of the site’s designated Aboriginal Place status and emphasis on Cabrogal local custodians, stories and interpretation opportunities alongside the European heritage of the Bunker House.


City People has provided services to and partnered with the Museum of Chinese in Australia (MOCA), including:

  • Fundraising strategy,
  • Public program development and,
  • Delivery of Wanna Dance, a temporary public artwork and dance activation program at the exterior of the MOCA building on George Street, Haymarket.
Wanna Dance. Photo credit: Anna Kucera

City People has also delivered specialist research, strategy and reporting for technical studies and planning package elements for some of Sydney’s major State Significant Development precincts.

BAYS WEST (2022)

  • Public art objectives and controls for the Bays West Stage 1 (White Bay Power Station and Metro) Design Guide for the Department of Planning and Environment.


  • Authored the RHIP Arts and Cultural Strategy for client Health Infrastructure NSW, a strategic document to ensure a holistic approach to embedding arts and culture for precinct partners including Health Infrastructure NSW and the University of NSW, Prince of Wales Hospital and Sydney Children’s Hospital.


  • Developed the Blackwattle Bay Arts and Cultural Strategy for client Infrastructure NSW as part of the SSD planning package, which focused on creative placemaking as a driving force for creating a new identity and connection to Blackwattle Bay for future visitors, residents and workers.


  • Supplied arts and cultural strategy and advice to Western Sydney Parklands Trust and the multidisciplinary design team who are delivering the strategic land-use framework for the Southern Parklands and a 5-year implementation plan for capital works and detailed design.
  • In 2020 City People ran an arts and cultural accelerator, an innovative 10-day creative development lab for artists. Two arts projects developed in the accelerator are currently being implemented in the parklands.

Dr Michael Cohen
3 Joynton Avenue
Zetland NSW
Phone: 0423172818

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Year Commenced: 2017
Number of Staff: 3
Staff Basis: Permanent Contract Casual
AICCM member: N/A
GST Registered?: Yes
ABN: 38 623 211 058