Why must culture be at the heart of sustainable urban development?
– published by the Agenda 21 for Culture (UCLG), January 2016

January 2016 policy paper published by the Agenda 21 for Culture (UCLG) strongly contributes to the acknowledgement of culture as a central element in the paradigm of sustainable cities. Inspired by the three models for Culture and Sustainable development, the analysis clearly shows that “there are multiple ways of viewing culture’s relationship with sustainability, and that myths about culture present obstacles to fully integrating culture into urban development planning and strategies.”

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Culture for cities and regions: call for participation in study visits, deadline: March, 21st
– the Culture for Cities and Regions initiative

Culture for Cities and Regions is an initiative of the European Commission, fully funded through the Creative Europe programme. The project is managed by a consortium led by Eurocities, with KEA European Affairs and the European Regions Research & Innovation Network. It aims to highlight successful cultural investments in European cities and regions, and to promote knowledge transfer to other cities and regions. Applications to participate in study visits are open to representatives from cities and regions from countries participating in the Creative Europe programme.

More information




Civic space in Europe survey
– Civil Society Europe 

Contribute to this survey on Civic space in Europe lead by CIVICUS and Civil Society Europe. Given recent developments, it aims to assess how operating conditions for civil society have changed in Europe over the past 12 months. A better understanding of the trends will better equip us to work together by responding collectively to common challenges. Your participation ensures a diverse range of views is included; findings will be made freely available for information and use.

Link to survey




What is the role of cultural industry in tackling climate change and promoting environmental sustainability?
– Sustainable Cultural Management – International Intensive Summer Course in Thessaloniki, Greece, 6 – 10 June 2016




Urban Development and Public Space: Culture as a Driver for Cities
– EU-LAC Foundation

This paper is the outcome of a round table event that took place on the 4th of June 2015 and which was organised in the context of the 8th EU-LAC Summit/ 2nd EU-CELAC Summit of 10-11 June 2015. This initiative, taken by EU-LAC Foundation in partnership with the Centre for Fine Arts in Brussels (BOZAR), with the support of the European Commission – DG DEVCO, EUNIC and More Europe, has the objective of strengthening relations between Europe, the Caribbean and Latin America. More than 20 experts from different backgrounds – academics, members of international institutions, artists, journalists and specialists from private and public sectors and civil society – from those regions gathered to discuss the theme “Urban Development and Public Space: Culture as a Driver for Cities” and introduce the urban context of the Summit’s theme “Shaping our Common Future: working for prosperous, cohesive and sustainable societies for our citizens”.

More information




Report of the 8th ASEF Public Forum on Creative Cities
– Published by Asia-Europe Foundation (ASEF), November 2015

Schermafbeelding 2016-01-21 om 15.28.56

You will find here the report of the 8th ASEF Public Forum on Creative Cities which took place last November 2015 in Gwangju, Korea. The report highlights some of the most important topics discussed during the Forum: among others, how cities of today are trying to overcome inter-regional, cross-sectorial and inter-generational barriers, while including culture in their political and economic agenda.
The relation between the global development of creative cities and the rise of the creative economies has been recognised as one of the main priorities on the cultural agenda of the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM).

Read report




Build the City: Perspectives on Commons and Culture
– Published by Krytyka Polityczna and the European Cultural Foundation

A new anthology of essays, Build the City: Perspectives on Commons and Culture, powerfully confirms that the “city as a commons” meme is surging.

The essays of Build the City celebrate the idea that ordinary people – tenants, families, artists, the precariat, migrants, community groups, activists – have a legitimate role in participating in their own city.  The metropolis is not the privileged preserve of the wealthy, industrialists, investors, and landlords. It is a place where commoners have meaningful power and access to what they need. In developing this theme, this book is a timRebel clown army confronts the G8 Summit in Scotland. “Build the City.” complements to the Bologna “The City as Commons” conference in November.

This carefully collection of 38 essays shows the depth and range of thinking now underway.  The book was published by Krytyka Polityczna and the European Cultural Foundation in September as part of ECF’s Idea Camp convening.

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Narratives of Inclusion: Can cities help us live together?
– The Guardian, December 2015

Cities are booming. But who exactly is it going well for? Eminent urban sociologist Richard Sennett and author Suketu Mehta raised questions of identity, grounding and belonging in the contemporary city. By exploring the urban experiences and narratives of migrant communities and their inextricably linked connections with both their new and their home environment, this debate considered one of the greatest challenges for any city builder today: how do we form a community within these enormous, historically unprecedented, and continuously mobile agglomerations of people? Can we create cities and neighbourhoods which perhaps are not fully inclusive but at least are not exclusive to particular groups? How can we live better together in the 21st century city, these 10…20…60 million people living side-by-side, and on top of each other?

This conference was one of the series of five public Global Debates celebrating ten years of the Urban Age programme. ( link here)

Speakers: Suketu Mehta, Richard Sennett
Chair: Tessa Jowell




Urban regenerators Assemble become first ‘non-artists’ to win Turner prize.
– LSE /Urban Age, December 2015 –

A direct action collective described by one member as “sort of architects, sort of not, sort of maybe” has won the UK’s most prestigious art prize with an urban regeneration project. The 18 members of London-based Assemble were named winners of the 31st Turner prize on Monday night, receiving their £25,000 prize from the Sonic Youth co-founder and artist Kim Gordon at an awards dinner broadcast live on Channel 4 from Tramway, Glasgow. Assemble are the first non-artists, in the strictest sense of the word, to win the prize. They were nominated for their work tackling urban dereliction in Toxteth, Liverpool, the aim being to use art and design to improve houses and the lives of residents living in an area called Granby Four Streets.

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artikel the guardian
Three members of Assemble – Lewis Jones, Amica Dall and Fran Edgerley – inside A Showroom for Granby Workshop, created for the Turner prize show. Photograph: Andy Buchanan/AFP/Getty

by Arts correspondent




Four tips on how to run a smart city demonstrator.
– Nesta, December 2015 –

Manchester has just been announced as the winner of the £10m Internet of Things city demonstrator competition. While few details from the winning proposal have emerged so far, essentially the UK government is funding Manchester to install sensors across the city, to demonstrate the ability of the so called ‘Internet of Things’ to address challenges that cities face. According to the press release, the project will cover everything from healthcare and transport to the environment and community.

Read more

By Tom Saunders




Lucy Neal on Playing for Time – On arts and building connections for change

This book has gathered up those stories with over 60 people giving voice to that narrative of change through the artwork they’re making. ‘‘Being an artist’ you become a circuit breaker, interrupting the familiar to create a different way of looking at things. The arts and being an artist create emergent space for us to do that. That’s precisely what Transition’s doing – presenting us with a new context to live our lives and a coherent narrative.’

Read more on this book.



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