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Culture for cities and regions [European Union]

In 2014, EUROCITIES was chosen by the European Commission to lead a brand new initiative called ‘Culture for cities and regions' which is implemented in partnership with KEA European Affairs and ERRIN (European Regions Research and Innovation Network). The project runs from January 2015 to September 2017.

Troughout this project three main dimensions will be explored:

  1. culture and the creative industries for local economic development and urban regeneration
  2. cultural heritage as a driver for economic growth and social inclusion(with 'best practice' case-studies)
  3. culture for social inclusion, social innovation and intercultural dialogue

The societal value of cultural heritage
Cultural heritage features an important intrinsic and societal value. In its tangible and intangible manifestations, heritage is crucial for local identity as promoting shared understanding and sense of community with positive impacts on social cohesion. Cultural heritage can play a relevant role in promoting citizens’ participation and heritage-based participatory processes in cities and regions, thus promoting new models of multi-stakeholder governance. Cultural heritage is also particularly relevant when it comes to promote intergenerational dialogue and lifelong learning.

Cultural heritage as a driver of economic growth and vitality
Even though cultural heritage is certainly a European shared resource, it is at the local level that it features the most important development potential. The most recent research and contemporary projects show that the revitalisation of historic areas and the safeguarding of cultural heritage can provide important economic benefits to local production systems, giving new impulse to economic activities and generating locally-rooted jobs. Cultural heritage creates considerable externalities at local level in terms of image and attractiveness. Furthermore, as cultural heritage helps to distinguish from other towns in the global competition, it is a key asset to brand cities and regions and raise their international outlook with the aim of attracting not only visitors, but also talents, businesses and investments.

Cultural heritage as a tool for urban and territorial regeneration
The promotion and valorisation of cultural heritage can be instrumental for the regeneration of areas facing challenges such as de-industrialisation, lack of attractiveness and the shift to the new economy. The rich and varied European heritage features great potential to promote lesser known destinations as well as to develop sustainable cultural tourism.


For all case-studies of this project, go to the catalogue of practices...