European Capitals of Culture: What are their Individualities? Cover Image

European Capitals of Culture: What are their Individualities?
European Capitals of Culture: What are their Individualities?

Author(s): Nataša Urbančíková
Subject(s): Rural and urban sociology, EU-Accession / EU-DEvelopment
Published by: Academia de Studii Economice - Centrul de Cercetare in Administratie si Servicii Publice (CCASP)
Keywords: European capital of culture; Culture-led regeneration; cultural heritage; urban development;

Summary/Abstract: Cities are exposed to the competition triggered by rising European and worldwide interconnectedness and increasing mobility of human resources. One of the newer approaches to this competition is to adopt culture-led urban regeneration and development. Culture can be advocated as a tool for determining a superior city identity, regenerating the genius loci and advancing pride of place. The program «European Capital of Culture (ECOC)» was originally designated as a sequence of one-year cultural projects in dif-ferent cities in the EU. Over the last three decades, the European Commission has adopted several new principles by presenting the ECOC as a public policy initiative. This has highlighted a shift towards pre-senting culture as an economic driving force and imposing the active participation of citizens instead of only consuming arts and culture, leading to higher social cohesion and intercultural dialogue. This paper concentrates on creating a typology of ECOC cities based on a cluster analysis. The decomposition of the ECOC cities into clusters explains how different the ECOC cities can be and how varied the cultural policy projects can be implemented according to different contexts. This diversity can be demonstrated in the position of foremost cultural centers of European significance (Florence, Paris) and smaller towns with a historical and cultural heritage (Avignon, Pátra, Salamanca). Increasingly post-industrial cities are awarded the title of ECOC as they look for an entirely new identity, creating an appropriate culture-led strategy (Essen, Glasgow, Košice). This study provides a classification of ECOC cities into eight type categories, their relationship to UNESCO cultural heritage labels and several explanations of their geog-raphy.

  • Issue Year: 13/2018
  • Issue No: 4
  • Page Range: 43-55
  • Page Count: 13
  • Language: English