The paper examines the production of value within that specific kind of cultural district developing in the urban areas characterised by integration between residential and productive areas, between infrastructures and landscape, and by a smooth transmission of knowledge. The progressive loss of attraction that affects many urban areas as residential and productive locations requires a new mode of governance that proves able to exploit local cultural resources within a soft development paradigm. The main value of urban areas is then generated by its symbolic dimension, and the creation of a cultural districts can be possible through a sequential integration of top.down and bottom-up processes. In such a respect urban cultural districts are able to effectively carry out an integrated policy based upon the value of creativity, inclusion and capability. The paper examines the examples of Homebush Bay in Sidney, Australia, and Bicocca in Milan, Italy.