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Future Creative Cities - Why Culture is a Smart Investment for Cities

By Eurocities and KEA, December 2017, 25 pages

This new Eurocities - KEA report reflects on innovative local cultural policies and sets out a vision for the future of cultural and creative place-making in cities and regions. The Culture for Cities and Regions project (2015 - 2017) analysed how cities and regions invest in culture. The project ran for 30 months and identified successful cases of cultural investment throughout the European Union (71 case studies), shared experiences and helped selected cities and regions to improve their cultural strategy through coaching and tailored advice. The three main themes were the following:

  • cultural heritage as driver of economic growth and social inclusion;
  • cultural and creative industries as a motor for urban regeneration and economic vitality; and
  • culture for social inclusion, social innovation and intercultural dialogue.

The report presents concrete examples aiming to tackle key cultural challenges at the local level. These included facing the demographic challenge, empowering audience, and developing better partnerships between local administrations and cultural and creative spaces. While investment in culture is perceived as inherently risky, the report debunks that myth, building ample evidence that investing in culture pays off.

To make cultural investment work in cities, the following recommendations are formulated:

  • set out a bold vision for culture in your city,
  • understand your cultural resources,
  • value your cultural workers,
  • think in terms of innovation (R&D&&I) for culture,
  • help cultural workers to get organised locally,
  • encourage accidental encounters for innovation in the CCS,
  • identify 'linking pins' or 'creative mediators', and
  • monitor and evaluate: document impacts of culture on the wider society and economy.

The full report is available at nws.eurocities.eu/MediaShell/media/Future_creative_cities_.pdf