Cities and territorial challenges: the role of cultural centers in resilience and development dynamics: connecting stakeholders to contribute to sustainable, inclusive and innovative cities.

Representatives of ongoing social, political and economic transformations, European cities have to re-invent their mode of development and sustainability, taking into account democratic, social, economic and environmental challenges ; they need to connect to local issues as well as to globalized dynamics. What role do artistic and creative stakeholders, and specifically cultural centre, play in this landscape of development and change ? How do they offer spaces for experimentation to engage citizens  in new forms of participation, of economic, social or environmental resilience? How may they contribute to the interconnection of their local territories at a European and international level? What are the benefits and challenges of developing new relationships with local and international cultural centre and stakeholders? These are some of the issues that will be explored during the forthcoming ENCC conference in Bury – UK, February 2016.

Bury – UK is an interesting example of such challenges and dynamics. The city has focused on its cultural sector as one of the main assets in its development strategy, with Bury Arts Museum playing a key role in this process. In recent years Bury Arts Museum has prioritised building strong and productive partnerships with international culturalcentres, including those in China, Japan and Taiwan. Bury is therefore a fascinating example of a cultural centreworking internationally whilst also negotiating a myriad of local issues – while developing their model of international working Bury Art Museum have had to engage local authorities, partner organisations and local audiences, clearly informing them of the benefits of this model and how it contributes to the town’s territorial development.

The conference is co-organised by Bury Arts Museum and ENCC. It will provide participants an opportunity to meet people from across the cultural sector around the main topic, including local and international cultural stakeholders, policy makers, activists, academics. The event will also follow previous ENCC meetings by providing a forum for networking, capacity building and engaging in analysis and debate.