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Declaration “I hereby declare that this dissertation submission is my own work and has been composed by myself. It contains no unacknowledged text and has not been submitted in any previous context. All quotations have been distinguished by quotation marks and all sources of information, text, illustration, tables, images etc. have been speci�ically acknowledged.

I accept that if having signed this Declaration my work should be found at Examination to show evidence of academic dishonesty the work will fail and I will be liable to face the University Senate Discipline Committee.”

Name: Atanas Dimitrov

Student Registration No: 201553613 Signed:

Date: 05.12.2016

Culture as a catalyst for urban regeneration


Culture reflects the collective achievements of society and outlines the ethical and moral dimensions in which we live and operate. It can be traced in all spheres of live, from our political systems that define the strengths and freedom of the individual and the community, to everyday events in urban inhabitation. Culture reveals itself in the man-made environment - it is the values by which we live and the material forms that surround us. It is the statement of the activities for future development and preservation of what is already achieved in the public world. It is the spirit of philosophy, science, technology and art. The output of any work can only be culturally significant through interaction and echoing of the collective. The culture of any form of collective is its distinguishable trait to which the individual relates its own identity and self-expression (Sauerbruch, 2013).

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City is the place of communication, public life, development, economics and politics. It is an intersection of all processes that trigger progress. In its essence, the city is the material representation of what we understand as culture and the diverse forms it takes. The city is the container of cultural memory, its continuous renewal and development. Throughout history culture has created its synonymous elements in the urban environment, which we today recognise as architectural typologies, often outlining preconceptions for the places for cultural activities. Although challenged by the 20th century culture of the street, these activities still happen in the frame of the city. All these phenomena have left lasting impact on architecture and the urban environment as we know it today. But what would the architectural setting of new culture be? (Sauerbruch, 2013).

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City of Culture

This thesis explores the concept of culture as a catalyst for urban regeneration. Provoked by the current development of Plovdiv and the challenges that the city faces, the work focuses on the ideas behind the ‘EU Capital of Culture’ event. Following the development of the programme in selected European cities, it is juxtaposed to the ‘UK City of Culture’ to analyse common issues in the urban environment of different parts of the continent. The work aims to extract successful practices in the regeneration of these cities, highlighting transitional but not transient solutions to urban problems through culture. The focus of the thesis is on the direct impact of culture on the community, economic development, partnerships and quality of urban life. To conclude with objective realisation, the work will outline practices in the cultural management of the studied programmes, relevant to the context of Plovdiv and Paisley and their long-term regeneration potentials. How can a city’s culture challenge its city?

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Contents Culture City City of Culture Provocation

Tobacco District, Plovdiv

European Capital of Culture UK City of Culture Marseille-Provence 2013 1. Context 2. Concept 3. Programme

Wroclaw 2016 1. Context 2. Concept 3. Programme Plovdiv 2019

1. Context 2. Concept 3. Programme Paisley 2021

1. Context 2. Bid 3. Regeneration plans Diversity

Conclusion Bibliography


Tobacco District, Plovdiv

Tobacco District is a former industrial area in the centre of Plovdiv, Bulgaria. It was the steerling wheel of the local economy from the turn of 20th century until late 1980s. Plovdiv became the centre of the country’s tobacco industry due to its central geographical location - intersection of main trade routes from the Middle East to Central Europe. Throughout history the industry and its material heritage were always directly linked to prosperity, power and profit in both positive and negative aspects. Some locals describe tobacco as the oil and gold of the time. Today the area and the sites of the former warehouses are a subject of business interests.

In 2016 two of the tobacco warehouses, listed as individual monuments, were partially destroyed in events of demolition. The Orient warehouse was demolished with an excavator for the clearance of its site for a hotel development. The event resulted in intense public reactions and media attention and with the common efforts of the local community the demolition was stopped. Later in the same year, an arson was set in the Kudoglu warehouses and spread in the cluster of neighbouring buildings. The increasing public reactions to similar situations in the country provoke questions for the place of Bulgaria’s industrial heritage in the contemporary cultural context.

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Clash of cultures

After numerous events of restitution, changes of ownership, stagnation and doldrums for the industry in 1990s, the warehouses were left vacant and neglected in the contemporary urban context of Plovdiv. 18 19

Tobacco worke rs at a

co’, film 1962

strike - ‘Tobac


Tobacco District, Plovdiv - 201

g Tobacco tastin

in Plovdiv - 19


Architectural layers and culture of urban inhabitation in the context of Plovdiv

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In 2012 the tobacco warehouses became a focal point in Emil Mirazchiev’s project ‘Urban Dreams’, which transformed abandonded buildings in the city into cultural centres for a day. It was an act of provocation and support for the new vision of the municipality for contemporary art in Plovdiv.

The ‘Urban Dreams’ project was a part of Plovdiv’s application to become the EU Capital of Culture in 2019. The plans for the former industrial area included: spontaneous occupation with artistic actions, an urban incubator for art and creating a model for restoration. In 2014 the city was officially anounced as the EU Capital of Culture 2019. Therefore, the study aims to develop an in-depth understanding of the event, its concept and urban impact in the following chapters through comparison of its realisation in different EU cities.

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European<>UK city of culture




European Capital of Culture

European Capital of Culture

annual event, started in 1985 on the initiative of the then Greek Minister of Culture Melina Mercouri


• through culture to improve the quality of life in cities and strengthen their sense of community • to bring fresh life to these cities, boosting their cultural, social and economic development • to reinvigorate urban centres, bringing creativity, visitors and international recognition • highlight the richness of Europe’s cultural diversity and take a fresh look at its shared history and heritage ECOC designated cities 1985-2016:

Benefits • create economic


attracted a record number of 11 million individual visits.

Pecs 2010 (Hungary) experienced a 27 % increase in overnight stays.

• build a sense

of community: Liverpool 2008 (UK) had nearly 10 000 registered volunteers.

In Linz 2009 (Austria), local volunteers and students built 900 polythene animals as a part of ‘Flut’ (“The flood”) project.

• regenerate cities:

Pilsen has opened its first incubator for creative industries “DEPO2015” in a former tram and bus depot

(ECOC More than 30 years:Fact Sheet, 2016)

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Selection criteria • Contribution to the long-term cultural strategy • European dimension - Co-operation with the partner ECOC • Cultural and artistic content • Capacity to deliver • Outreach • Management themed around

“Where culture meets technology” “Metro IT Europa” is a virtual metro and large scale exhibition through the city for tourists and future cultural operators.

Leeuwarden2018 and Donostia San Sebastian2016 highlight the history of the lesser used languages in Europe

-involvement of the local population and civil society in the preparation of the application

-a range and diversity of activities - ECOCs normally translate their strategic vision into several streams/seasons/episodes

A long-term cross-party political commitment to the project. The regeneration of the Vieux Port was not part of the ECOC but it provided a catalyst for the bid.

(ECOC 2020 - 2033: Guide for cities preparing to bid, 2014)

The ECOC event is promoted as...

...a high-profile cultural event,...

Mons 2015

...a festive event...

Liverpool 2008

Essen for the Ruhr 2010 European Centre for Creative Economy Dortmunder

...leading to local and regional development. 30 31

Legacy - Glasgow 1990 • became a model for culture-led urban regeneration • initiated the incorporation of the ECOC event into long-term transformation and development plans • changed the scale of the cultural event and the direction of selecting cities ususally not associated with arts and not percieved as cultural capitals • broadened the scope of the programme aims • became iconic for post-industrial regeneration through culture • one of the most studied cities named ECOC • visible long-term benefits • the first ECOC offering year-long activities (Garcia, B. & Cox, T., 2013)

Programme highlights • Pavarotti Screen Event • Glasgow’s Big Day Concert • Street Biz • George Wyllie’s project ‘Paper Boat’ • Tramway arts centre

Glasgow 1990 advertisement and branding

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UK City of Culture

UK City of Culture quadrennial event, developed by the UK Government to build on the success of Liverpool as European Capital of Culture 2008 and the Cultural Olympiad in 2012


• contribute to community cohesion, health and wellbeing • to use culture and creativity as a catalyst for change • development of new partnerships • encourage ambition, innovation and inspiration in creative activity • attract media attention, tourism and change perceptions


• increase media interest in the city • bring community members together • increase levels of professional artistic collaboration • regenerate cities • raise the international profile of cities • breathe new life into a city’s culture • boost tourism

Derry 2013

highlights: -Ireland Fleadh Cheoil attracting an audience of 430,000 over the ten-day Irish traditional music festival -the Lumiere Light Festival

- overnight trips increased by 61% between 2012 and 2013 -for every £1 spent, there has been a £5 return -managed to revitalise the urban landscape through cultural investments

Place des Anges in Hull, 2016

Objectives • to deliver a world class arts programme • to drive engagement and participation • history will inform our present whilst pointing us towards the future • support of young people and health and wellbeing • to bring together Hull’s diverse communities


• to support the marketing of Hull as a great place to live, work, study and visit • to make the city a “shop window” for inward investment • to build on the renewed confidence of the city • to create champions for Hull • to create a blueprint for the delivery of a year of culture


The Freedom Festival/ The People’s Tower, Olivier Grossetête

Season 1: Made in Hull (Jan-Mar) - welcoming Season 2: Roots and Routes (Apr-Jun) - explores Hull’s connections and its place in the networked, globalised and digital world Season 3: Freedom (Jul-Sept) - celebrates Hull’s impact on the emancipation movement Season 4: Tell the World (Oct-Dec) - exploring the future of Hull and its place as a city within the Northern Powerhouse

(Hull 2017: Strategic Business Plan, 2015)

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Marseille-Provence 2013


Panorama view of the Old Vieux Port (author: Chensiyuan)

• second biggest in France, with a population of 850,000 • strategic role as a Mediterranean port • after the 19th century French colonisation of Africa the city became particularly prominent for it’s role as a “gateway to the orient” >>> strong multi-ethnic and multi-cultural heritage

The Euro-Méditerranée urban renewal project • the project commenced in 1995 at the same time as the launch of the Barcelona Process • it is among the largest in southern Europe • renovation of an extensive site in the centre of Marseille, between the commercial harbour, the Old Port and the terminal for the high-speed train TGV • despite positive developments, in the last decade Marseille has experienced increasing cases of gun-crime, gangs and drug trade area - 480 ha >>>housing, businesses, public facilities, green spaces, 35,000+ jobs, 38,000+ population, investments - €7 Billion

Digital visualisations of the Euro-Mediterranee urban renewal project ( 40 41

Cultural facilities â&#x201A;Ź660 million investment

Museum of European and Mediterranean Civilisations - a permanent collection following history and culture of cross-fertilisation in the Mediterranean basin

Villa MĂŠditerranĂŠe - promotes the history & culture of the Mediterranean area

FRAC centre for contemporary art

Friche la Belle de Mai cultural complex in a former tobacco factory

Le Silo performing arts theatre

Palais Longchamp housing museum of natural history and musée des beaux-arts

Conservatoire Mairie d’Aix-en-Provence

Musée de l’Arles antique archaeological museum

Fondation Luma Arles

Hangar J1

Eden Théatre

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Concept Vision


• affirm the role of culture as a sustainable force for transformation on economic, urban and social level • make Marseille-Provence 2013 a lighthouse territory of the Euro-Mediterranean area, creating a real platform to meet and exchange • producing lasting impacts on the territory and improve the attractiveness and international visibility of the territory

• to enrich the cultural element of the Barcelona Process by creating a permanent hub for intercultural, Euro- Mediterranean dialogue in Marseille. • to develop artistic and cultural activity as a force for renewal • issues on focus - quality of public space, cultural irrigation of the area, widespread citizen participation and the appeal of the metropolis.


Euro-Mediterranean Workshops

Episode 1 (Jan-May) “Marseille-Provence, Welcoming the World”: focused on the regional traditions of hospitality, cosmopolitanism and relationships with others.

Episode 2 (June-Aug) “Marseille-Provence, Open Sky”: took place during summer and gave pride of place to nature, walking trails and outdoor shows. Episode 3 (Sept-Dec) “Marseille-Provence, Land of a Thousand Faces”: focused on art, living together in public spaces, contemporary writing, compositions for younger audiences and some of the Mediterranean’s most renowned artists and philosophers. (Ex-post Evaluation of the 2013 ECOC, 2014)

Episode 1

Opening ceremony

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Episode 2


Named after the seasonal migration of people with their livestock in ancient times, the parade celebrated nature and temporality, which is not respected in contemporary rhytm of life. The 600km journey started at two locations in Provence and culminated in Marseille. It involved 3000 sheep, 150 herdsmen and walkers from different nationalities and backgrounds. (Webb, 2013)

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Episode 3

Métamorphoses: The Ephemeral City

Olivier Grossetête’s structures were built in the Bargemon area of Marseille using cardboard boxed and tape. Thirty buildings of the utopian city were built for a week with the participation of locals.

‘By introducing a fiction into our everyday space, we can wager that this Fleeting City will disrupt our perception of the contemporary city just a little and that it will gradually become a new public agora as the buildings rise skywards.’ (Lieux Publics, 2013)

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Wroclaw 2016


(Wroclaw city centre, author:Artur Bogacki)


• fourth-largest in Poland, with a population of 637,075 • the ancient settlement originated at an intersection of main trade routes • in the 18th century the city became a centre of Baroque literature and the First and Second Silesian schools of poets • the concept of IQ was first introduced by Prof. William Stern at the Wroclaw University in 1912 • mixed architectural heritage influenced by Austrian, Bohemian and Prussian history and important examples of 20th century Modernism • in 2016 hosting the World Book Capital, EU Capital of Culture and Theatre Olympics events Wroclaw Puppet Theatre Wroclaw University

Housing complex Grunwald Sq.

Centennial Hall

Lower Silesia EU Capital of Culture Wroclaw 2016 involved the geographical region of Lower Silesia and important cities linked to its historical development - Hradec Kralove(Czech Republic) and Görlitz (Germany). The aim of the event was to strengthen the histocial relationship of the cities of Lower Silesia for continuing mutual benefit in economic, social and cultural aspects.

Why was the ECOC title important for Wroclaw? • tell the story of the open Wroclaw to the worldthe identity of the mixed Jewish, Polish and German culture after the ruins of WWII and the city’s redevelopment • discuss the metamorphosis of culture • celebrate the co-creation of new more accessible culture and the eight-year period of preparation as a holiday • present the newly-created friendly spaces for arts and culture and their ‘bea’ athmosphere • deliver diversity of ‘independently’ curated cultural events and provide an opportunity for locals to understand culture through participation


(Space for Beauty:Designed, 2015)

Schloss Fürstenstein

Hradec Králové

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Concept Spaces for Beauty • the presense of beauty in social and personal live • create spaces to restore the presence of beauty in public life and in daily habits • the changes in the understanding of space • the relationships between the meanings and notion of what is beautiful • open up Wroclaw for the culture of all European countries (Spaces for Beauty:Wroclaw’s application for the title of ECOC 2016, 2010)

Long-term plans

• better access and participation in culture • culture and development - cultural section will gain highly qualified professionals to coordinate culture locally and internationally, and support the creative industries • be more recognisable in the country and abroad • economy - double the tourist in Wroclaw and the region and use the ECOC as a long-term investment (Spaces for Beauty: Designed, 2015)


Four stages: • The Wroclaw Stage - citizens create identity; develop dialogue between citizens and their city • The Lower Silesian Stage - emphasise the regional role of Lower Silesia as a partner in the project • The National Stage - debate about culture and municipal responsibility for it; draw conclusions • The European and World Stage - international cooperation between creator of culture; present international culture to Wroclaw <> present Polish culture abroad (Spaces for Beauty: Designed, 2015)

Curatorial areas Architecture

Wohnung und Werkraum housing estate


T Mobile New Horizons Film Festival





Visual arts



(Spaces for Beauty: Designed, 2015)

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(Spaces for Beauty:Wroclawâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s application for the title of ECOC 2016, 2010)

new cultural facilities: National Music Forum

White Stork Synagogue conservation

the banks of Odra River

Regeneration initiatives

Reclaiming Beauty

architectural competition: Contemporary Art Museum

new cultural facilities: University of WrocĹ&#x201A;aw Library

Psie Pole District

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Opening parade


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Projection mapping performance


Curated by Chris Baldwin, the performance symbolically depicted the 20th century history of Wroclaw on the facades of the Cathedral Island buildings. It celebrated the rebirth of the city and its transitions after the fatal consequences of WWII, demolitions and reconstructions. (, 2016)

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Plovdiv 2019


Typical for Plovdiv is the separation of districts by local specifics and different manners of urban inhabitation. Each area and its distinctive environment incorporates contrasting cultures of urban living, usually not corresponding with the traditional understanding of cultural life, present in developed city centres.




City Centre


Hadji Hasan Mahala

Tobacco District

Plovdivâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Seven Hills


Southern District



64 65

Concept Plovdiv Together • everything we are proud of in Plovdiv is problematic - history, diversity, culture, urban space, the sense of togetherness • bring back the trust of citizens in the city as a place to live together • Plovdiv Together - because we are proud>> too proud to cooperate, accept criticism, rethink ourselves in the relationship with the rest of the world


• remove social division and borders • position the city on the cultural map of Europe • provide young people with opportunity to realise ideas • re-link isolated landmarks to the city - the Seven Hills and Maritsa River - through artistic intervention • engage business and entrepreneurs in cultural processes • decentralise the cultural knots - from city centre to residential areas • accessibility to cultural events


Four project platforms: • Fuse - integration and connections between social groups, communities, separated urban areas • Transform - regeneration or neglected sites, change of perceptions, new approaches to education • Revive - searching for new ways to preserve and present identity • Relax - focused on the quality of urban life, well-being and the citizens’ problem-free attitude (summarised from Plovdiv 2019 Bid Book, 2013)

City of ‘Ailyak’ Among younger generations the city is known for the care-free attitude of its residents and relaxed athmosphere. The Turkish word ‘ailiyak’ - originally having a negative connotation - is used self-ironically to describe the image of the city.

City of cafes In Bulgaria, Plovdiv is known for its ‘cafe culture’ and specific urban habits of socialising and gathering. From small coquettish ones to larger clubs, such places are an inevitable part of the everyday life in each of the city’s districts.

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Urban infrastructure and regeneration initiatives

Kapana Creative District + Cycle lane network

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Plovdiv Celebrates One year of holding the ECOC 2019 title, 2015 70 71

Paisley 2021


Paisley town centre(unknown author)

• Scotland’s largest town with a population of 76,834 • in 12th century became important after the establishment of Paisley Abbey - a key monastery for medieval Scotland • in the 19th and 20th century the town became a centre of textile industry and weaving • gave the name of the Paisley shawl and the Paisley Pattern • the textile industry gradually grew quiet and by 1993 all of Paisley’s mills had lost their industrial function • Paisley is the home of University of the West of Scotland and Glasgow International Airport • in 2016 preparing for the 2017 bid to become the next UK City of Culture Paisley had its role in the history of the industrial revolution. The town is assosiated with the radical movement from the end of 18th century and the Radical War in 1820. Weavers mobilised themselves for mass demonstations, protests and riots on the town’s high street. They were active in the failed 1820 war, but the high status that they held for control of the town was taken over by the mill owners.

Paisley transformed the world â&#x20AC;&#x153;This is the story of a small market town transformed into an international textile producer...â&#x20AC;? (

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Bid Bidding motives • attract a million visitors to Paisley and Renfrewshire • economic boost of estimated £50m in the region • rebuild the Paisley’s high street economy • new jobs and long-term economic development • accesibility to cultural activities • tackle poverty • improve Paisley’s image on local and international level • build a sense of community and pride

Strategy and Objectives

• tell the story of Paisley and define the visitors product • highlight the significance of the town on the international cultural map • drive economic benefit for the local community and regeneration plans • improve visitor’s experience and create cohesion in the town centre • develop a brand for the town and region and increase publicity (Paisley: The Untold Story, 2014)


• bring communities together and break demographic barriers • make the town more secure • provide more activities for young people • create a greener Paisley • make it more attractive for living, work and education • initiate a lasting scene for arts and culture • attract more investments • raise awareness in young people (Renfrewshire Community Planning Conference, 2016)

The Spree National Arts Festival

National Pipe Band Championships

Contemporary programme in Paisley’s Arts Centre

Cultural events

Scotland’s largest Beer Festival

Sma’ Shot Day

The Monte Carlo Classic Car Rally

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St Mirren Park/Paisley 2021 stadium

regeneration of Paisley town centre

Paisley Museum renovation

Arnotts store redevelopment

Russel Instritute conservation

Regeneration plans

High Street economy

Ferguslie Park and deprived areas

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Events supporting the UK CoC 2021 bid

Paisleyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s winners attitude

Paisley Halloween Festival 2016

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Picadilly Circus London


Wroclaw ECOC

Marseille-Provence ECOC

Marseille-Provence ECOC TransHumance

Marseille-Provence ECOC

Hull UK CoC

Sydney Festival, Australia

Hull UK CoC

Wroclaw ECOC Flow

The study of the EU Capital of Culture and the UK City of Culture programmes reveals the focal points of their development and exploitation in different parts of Europe. The programmes have developed simplified and easily understandable concepts for the impact of culture on urban regeneration and the awareness of communities of their significance on the cultural map of the continent. The incorporation of the City of Culture concept into large-scale redevelopment plans in each of the studied cities forms two directions for further analysis and examination - the management of the cultural programmes and the architectural and urban planning strategies. While the delivery of the cultural events depends mainly on a strong concept and community engagement, the regeneration plans outline a more complex issue involving the municipal capacity to develop, budgets and interests of additional stakeholders. The focus of this thesis is on the events, which create lasting impressions of each city being named a Capital of Culture. Bearing in mind the main goals of highlighting the diversity of Europeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s culture and bringing international recognition, the comparison of the 21st century Capitals of Culture in many cases leads to a blurred image of the realisation of this stroke in the programmes.

Marseille-Provence, Wroclaw and Plovdiv have developed successful concepts and approaches in line with the straight-forward EU guides and criteria, in order to provide transparency and understanding to larger audiences. The slogans of the ECOC events in these cities are clearly supported with the results and impact of the cultural events delivered - Euro-Mediterranean Workshops, Spaces for Beauty, being Together. In all of the analysed cities key words in the structure of the cultural programmes have been diversity, partnerships, cohesion, connection. However, the long-term impressions, which the cultural events shape for each Capital of Culture, do not always bring the local cultural specifics and significance to the surface of the cultural celebration. The aim of the ECOC to become a catalyst and a blueprint for urban regeneration has met successful results. But it has also become a template for the delivery and development of the cultural programmes, which contrasts with the goal of revealing the richness of European culture. The scheme of introducing new plans and a breath of new life to cities through culture has proved to trigger positive impacts. On the other hand, the template concept has spread into the entirely cultural side of the initiative.

In the history of the ECOC, Glasgow 1990, Liverpool 2008 and Marseille-Provence 2013 became turning points for the perceptions of culture and cities to learn from. Marseille-Provence brought a new scale to the Glasgow 1990 initiative of incorporating culture into urban regeneration plans. The French Capital of Culture succeeded in creating a lasting image for its city by exposing its cultural memory in contemporary context. Could this be a new focal point for the further development of the City of Culture events? In the 2000 millennium year the EU programme introduced partnering cultural capitals. However, the abiding impressions of the following events were based on the individual capacities to deliver. Learning from the past experience of Europe, how can the future cities of culture - Plovdiv and Paisley - accentuate on the strengthening of UK-EU cultural partnerships by highlighting the local?

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S T U D I O E . A . R . T. H â&#x20AC;&#x2DC; 1 6

Education, Architecture, Research, Theory & History


City of Culture  

5th Year Thesis Inception University of Strathclyde 2016

City of Culture  

5th Year Thesis Inception University of Strathclyde 2016