Population > 12.6 million
Leading indicator > Named UNESCO's first-ever City of Design; more than 14,000 students are enrolled in the University of Buenos Aires's design and architecture programs
Fast company > Pol-ka Producciones
It took an economic catastrophe for Argentina's capital to realize its creative destiny. Since 2001, the nation has played down historic ties to Europe in favor of homegrown culture. So Buenos Aires's Palermo SOHO district has emerged as a design hub, with more than 300 new shops and studios and a slew of upstart film- and television-production companies. The Centro Metropolitano de Diseño promotes and funds innovators in art and design.
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