Ποιειν Και Πραττειν - create and do

2. Analysis of the particular conditions (social, economic, cultural, political) in which such plans have been developed



2. Analysis of the particular conditions under which plans have been realized

2.1 Historical Prerequisite for understanding the need for cultural planning

2.2 Cultural planning strategies: the art of bringing together four different structural features of any city: economy, society, politics and creative people

2.3 A first analysis: the cultural capacity to overcome incompatibilities by bringing about consistency in order to sustain cultural development

2.4 Moving towards successful cultural planning strategies: specific examples

2.5 Major assumptions about cultural planning strategies

2.6 Issues being dealt with in what way – from Agenda 21 to cultural agenda

2.7 Local Development Issues

2.8 Identification of cultural needs and improving responsiveness to them

2.9 Second analysis: Cultural Impact studies and the capacity to anticipate future developments as strengthening the city’s profile

2.10 Integration and connectivity



Culture covers the yearning of people for a true and authentic life even though this is not true once 'authenticity' is examined closer, as has been done by Bart Verschaffel in the case of architecture. Still, culture includes dreams as much as stories told by grandparents to the younger generations. Often poems reveal a deep human pain incurred after a loss of love. Here poets and writers, but also film makers, painters and musicians contribute to the human saga and forms of expressions.

The singer Miriam Makeba said:

“You sing about those things that surround you,” she said. “Our surrounding has always been that of suffering from apartheid and the racism that exists in our country. So our music has to be affected by all that.”[1]

Culture results out of not being indifferent to the pains and fears of others. Words, music, visions lift the mind to touch upon that sphere called the 'imagination'. By way of the imagination, it is possible that 'we, the people' can be sung by John Lennon. Once the imagination is a given, then empathy can be developed all over the world for the others, in order to understand their fears and needs.

Many cultural expressions were developed over the centuries, and for which stand names like Homer, Virgil, Dante, Shakespear, Goethe etc., but for sure these expressions are not restricted to the Western World. Ernst Bloch would say while the Greeks discovered the light, the Arabs rescued and changed it to pass it on to Europe. There came about many interesting developments over the centuries, even though it took a long time for Europe to give up its colonies. While Albesrt Camus and others struggled to face the truth in Algiers, Tagore and others from India came to Europe to bring some new interpretations of the arts. Based on mutual appreciation, it was about freeing the arts from Western and at the same time post colonial ways of thinking. Waqas describes what happened in its wake in his essay 'Marketplace of voices'. The negative side of wishing to uphold forms of local patriotism and National sentiments helps but reproduce a closed cultural front at the exclusion of many other influences which could enrich life and take the appreciation of the other further.

The arts are based on appreciation as to what the other has been able to express. Sartre stressed in particular the Blues touch upon an universal human pain and it is this which makes this art universal. Hence it cannot be doubted that these cultural expressions hold world wide. 

Even if the dialogue between cultures is doubted in the face of Muslims not agreeing with Christians and vice versa, or the necessary dialogue between Europe and the Arab world has not been realized, attempts are made to listen to these other voices.

As a reminder once culture no longer follows the dialectic of securalization, then the very concept of culture as a discursive practice to make possible democratic life is deplaced by religion. The latter claims the superiority of its own God and therefore excludes all other forms of appreciating reality. The poet Brendan Kennelly would say such systems are then build on hatred of the traitor, and therefore it furthers the conversion logic by which prejudices can be converted into convictions. Once challenged, that is taken wrongly to mean but an insult. Hence the mass protest in the Islamic world against the Danish cartoons points only in the direction of still further misunderstandings about freedom of expression in an artistic sense.

At the same time, the economic historican Louis Baeck believes that the Western world is at risk because scholars and especially economists use only Western references, and therefore they are unable to comprehend, for example, the Islamic view of globalization. [2]


2. Analysis of the particular conditions under which plans have been realized


2.1 Historical prerequisite for understanding the need for cultural planning

The most simple example for flourishing cities are still the city states of the Renaissance. Even if their bloom lasted not more than ten to fifteen years, they left their mark for centuries. This is because such a degree of openness was attained while ‘enlightened dictators’ wished all of a sudden to be remembered not by the number of people they put in jail or put away in a more permanent way but by having created libraries, build cathedrals, and all in all attracted writers, scholars, artists so that the cultural life would be energized by all these brilliant minds.

Jürgen Habermas in his book “Strukturwandel der Öffentlichkeit” – structural changes of the public space – names one important condition for this openness, indeed transparency from the perspective of citizens participating in the decision as to which artist got what contract. Public art is the domain of not merely showcasing afterwards what a city could achieve under certain conditions and in given circumstances, but what went beyond that local style of politics called favoritism connected with some kind of parochial longing to be satisfied as local ruler and nothing more. It has always been a problem for artists as to whom they must humbly serve when their minds and more so their imaginations transcend with the speed of light the limited horizon of those who are about to award them with a contract but do not give them really the freedom to express themselves. So rather than one benefactor dictating the hands of the artist the Renaissance cities had a healthy competition especially between various guild houses. Each of them tried to attract a better artist than the others and altogether this climate of artistic competition brought about these amazing feats in architecture, painting, music, writing and clothing, if not dance and speech. There was dignity in the air as the artistic achievements dignified not merely the individual guild but what space it was taking in the city square.

To date you have in ancient towns those remarkable squares which reflect the stamp of those times upon how things were constructed. The buildings reflected also who was then wealthy and could afford the hiring of these talented artists to leave their mark in the visible areas of the city.

Yet this openness did recede with time since one thing was removed more and more according to Juergen Habermas from the public attention: the decisions having to do with money, hence trade and banking. At first deliberations were made still out in the open on long tables but as people wished to have their own deals in the contracts, the decision making process was moved inside. Decisions were made behind ‘closed doors’. With the end of the brief openness began.

In history such drastic ends of cultural creative times repeated themselves very often. It is always connected with the ending of openness. That has to be kept in mind just as much the conflicts between various forces wishing to leave their imprint upon the main street or key area of the city in order to demonstrate their dominance. In Berlin Potsdamer Platz has been altered so many times over the centuries and every time the changes went parallel to massive historical, political and social changes. The coming of the National Socialists meant they wanted their emblems of propaganda to be displayed there while after 1945 the division of Berlin was no where expressed stronger than the Potsdamer Square having become a no man’s land. After reunification Sony, Mercedes Benz and other global actors in enterprise left their stamps at the very same spot where people used to say existed the busiest place in Europe, that is prior to World War II.

Not withstanding this example, it says already a word of caution is needed for cultural development cannot take place if some powers over dominate the public image and space of a city and thereby suppresses all other cultural forces which might want to articulate themselves in due course over time and space within the city.

If one is to concentrate on historical prerequisites, then in this sense: by stepping out of a lack of democracy and into the open spirit of civil society based on a sense for culture as giving direction and values to such a process, then a city becomes alive and creative regardless who rules since the constraints on powers are there to safeguard that cultural development based on equality, freedom and respect for the other(s).

If there is to be searched for another word than democracy, then ‘quality of life’ under culturally mediated conditions of freedom would mean there prevails a human language consisting of categories of creativity and of productivity. It would be both a practical and a theoretical discourse possible since people would not be alienated from knowledge but draw upon their live long experiences to articulate thoughts, feelings and images of themselves and of the world. It is not by accident that such freedom of articulation goes hand in hand with trust in what others are doing and in knowing the constraints of life having also to do with respect of nature. Like all success stories over time, it has to do with subtle details only noticed once that period is gone.

Having said that, there is nevertheless possible to depart from the governance of a city and then go through the various stages of social, economic, cultural and political development in order to come to a better understanding why at a particular time a certain plan is being proposed.

2.2 Analysis of Cultural planning strategies: social, economic, cultural and political factors

Social analysis

– the transformation from an industrial to a post industrial society has brought with it new social constellations with greater emphasis upon services and intangible things making culture from being a mere ‘soft’ into a ‘hard’ factor. At the same time, family and reproduction patterns change with many more women preferring to work rather than staying at home. Even though social policies vary throughout the European countries certainly the concern about the family as core social unit has intensified with shifts in demographic structures reflecting an ageing population with less and less new borns who could sustain once they have entered permanent employment the ever more expensive social security systems.

Economic analysis

Economic conditions are best described by policy being directed towards growth rather than retaining an economic development which fulfils social conditions. Here cities need to look at development in terms as to who has the economic force to alter things and redirect the flow of goods and commodities. No longer the private sector as such can demand things but more so the combination of the private with the public sector can lead to overt development patterns which harm the rest of the urban development possibilities. This is certainly the case in Metropolitan cities in which subdistricts differ greatly from another in both economic base and investments made out of earnings gained from having some very specific economic activities in the area. For this can lead to the demand of having a new access road, a demand differing greatly from developing the public transportation system.

Cultural predicaments

Culture communicates in many even subversive ways lead models which people have identified as the successful ones in such a system and which they tend to imitate. This is because culture is largely determined by the media. As a matter of fact the media culture is such that it makes everything else into its own tool. Crucial is, therefore, whether or not a city and its social and economic groups can come to agree on keeping free some areas of their culture from over commercialization while still giving in to such money based activities as they mean a net return for the city in terms of cultural investments made. The accounting system of a city has here a special task. It starts with measuring the non-measurable and does not end there but demands a clear trans-sensitivity from economic costs to political gains out of each and every cultural action and event. That there are special tasks added such as preserving and promoting identity is not put into doubt but rather adds to the kind of cultural administration set up in order to bring some practical routines into what is doing business with culture.

Political realities: the hidden ‘irrationalities’

Politics reflects what constellations of interests favour which model of development, including just an economic growth model. Lately politics has come under the increasing influence by a certain rich class which has powerful links to business, media and politics e.g. Berlusconi.

That leaves ever more the cultural sector, including artists, writers, cultural workers etc. without a clear voice to be heard at all levels. More so, the creative artistic directors are vanishing from leading cultural institutions and are replaced by people disposed in quite another direction as funding and therefore success criteria are changing. Certainly a director of a National Gallery would in the past hesitate to invite artists in relation to national categories since such markations they know will harm these artists while today art exhibitions in a global business aim for quite another show casing of block buster types of exhibitions with high publicity value.

And always there are prestige, equally functional values which drive decisions in a highly symbolic direction to satisfy certain inherent interests e.g. to have a musical hall in the city. Such a demand is made more out of prestige reasons than out of recognition what culture does bring to a city.

When considering all of these various ingredients, it should be said oddly enough culture is not perceived as something in need of consistency. Despite consistency having a prime value when it comes to working through the conditions for cultural development, most of the cultural planning strategies think of everything else but of how to maintain consistency over time. They are often born out of frustration and the need to do something completely new, novel and innovative as if what happened before is irrelevant, old fashioned and derelict. By seeking only value in the new it optimises the dilemma of a society seeking only the radical new without anticipating that such a society will due to the cultural created out of a loss of continuity stumble into the same old questions which society has yet to resolve. Consequently it should not be overlooked that very often cultural strategies are developed at the height of a cultural crisis with everyone agreeing the neglect of culture can no longer continue. Something has to be done but what is not clear. This is when the next mistake is being made by imitating marketing strategies, by branding culture as if a product, by making the creative sector more efficient, operatively speaking, when in fact it is reduced to mostly high level restaurants and suggestions of high life, so as to leave culture to become equally functional e.g. the woman playing at the piano in a night bar in order to give just that touch needed to make the atmosphere for those dining and enjoying themselves a bit more magical than usual. It is good for business and if the artist can earn a living from it, why not. Then it is also good for the arts and culture. It is made to appear that simple: the equation between things that are in reality not equal.

2.3 A first analysis: the cultural capacity to overcome incompatibilities by bringing about consistency in order to sustain cultural development

Out of it follows a true strategic cultural plan has to relate first of all to all incompatibilities between the arts and culture when linked to a world wishing to operate under the premise ‘business as usual’. The business norm is, however, not a cultural norm but if the latter is silenced, then the incompatibility will not be perceived.

Consequently to bring about an authentic cultural development, there is needed to see to it how the city’s institutions can become more consistent by themselves. When in London in July 2005 bombs went off in the London Tube, afterwards a report about museums pointed out how few artefacts of the cultural communities existing in England can be found in museums. It is not merely a matter of collecting these items to show the creative path a community has been taking, but also who shall interpret and narrate the stories linked to those items? If museums have only a volunteer staff, made up of over fifty, white, male, then it can be easily imagined that most of the museums in the UK have difficulties of becoming consistent with the needs of these cultural communities. The recommendation in that report was made that museums should open up their collections to these communities.

Carrying Capacity Analysis (CCA)

Besides the Cultural Calendar such planning tools as Cultural Impact Statements substantiated by Carrying Capacity Analysis (CCA) of a tourist destination. The CCA is a useful tool for development planners and decision makers. It serves two levels: as tourist destination how it contributes to sustainable development and as feed back to the tourist market it gives orientation about how this local destination can and does respond to ‘global trends’. In Greece a first shift away from wild campers and rucksack tourists was to forbid wild camping and to move them into camp sites which had provisions like water, sanitation (toilettes) and even some basic shelters. At the same time, the capacity of local municipalities to cope with tourist influxes was severely tested once a critical mass was surpassed in the summer months. Here transportation, food, health services and accommodation must be able to sustain extra demand over and beyond a certain capacity if this means in the short term to meet extra demand; on the other hand, over investment leads to the sad sight of empty standing hotels reflecting badly back into the landscape as if not attractive enough as tourist destination. People begin to wonder why and attempt to discover reasons for failures. This can lead to confirming negative experiences more than acknowledging positive experiences made. Capacity means also extra staff in case of need and at mass scale, such as the funeral of Pope John Paul II, it meant for Rom and the region around Rom to involve the civil protection services as crowd control and management of large number of people without accidents and/or delays. Here special kind of vulnerability studies in the field of tourism are required just as they are being prepared for natural and man made disaster scenarios.

2.4 Moving towards successful cultural planning strategies: specific examples

Example 1: Linz - Cultural Development Plan

When the city entered the cultural planning process, then it was seeking a specific qualification approach, in order that Linz would receive the designation of being the European Capital of Culture in 2009. The Cultural development Plan was developed in 2000. Its prime aims was to seek new forms of cooperation between local, regional and federal level, in order to act in unison in the interest of gaining the support from all sides to be the European Capital of Culture.

Local level: working in neighbourhoods, providing services, better infrastructure until local people can use the city as stage to articulate themselves. This can be reinforced by promoting participation in international events (promotion of city expertise and profile) and by bringing international networks to link up with local networks e.g. in Linz identifying local meeting places – market places, pubs – meant also making use of local traditions and customs within the larger cultural development strategy plan.

Example 2: approaching the city from a regional level – the UK policy

“The Regional Development Agencies in the UK have begun to give a valuable spatial dimension to economic development, as regional plans and economic strategies are being brought together.”

Three concrete steps:

Setting the right tone - what initial papers on culture will set the right tone?

“The Planning Green Paper will be an important stimulus to this. The challenge now is to move on from thinking about structures – about design knowledge – to address the best ways in which to deliver policy – delivery knowledge.”

Change in agenda: list of priorities and how they match together with a structured approach to issues of development (in which direction, what cohesion, economic and social ramifications?)

“The link between the economic and social agendas was vital for the North East. This could be seen in some of the achievements of One North East; in the establishment of Regional Venture Capital and Loan funds, and a Regional Education Forum for example.

Linkage to modern social and technological developments crucial for a successful cultural plan:

“The creation of a 'learning society' in the region was paramount in the RDA's priorities.”

First appraisal:


Example 3: cultural planning strategy as dissemination of culture (cultural information and knowledge)

Cultural dissemination of good practices and creating an audience should not be the first aim of any cultural plan. Instead, getting information to citizens and finding out when and how they will want to participate in cultural events, is more about the original involvement of people in the life of their city than about attending lectures, seeing movies, going to concerts. The cultural dissemination of information is has a primary function of valorizing what is going on. When people say that is an important event or an astonishing exhibition which should not be missed, then the impulse to go there is almost similar to compulsive thinking. The next question is just as important, but what if everyone goes there, why should I or do I have to be as well a conformist in order to take in what everyone else seems to enjoy? That sort of personal reflection indicates another paradigm: taste and what constitutes an aesthetical experience (with many dimensions involved e.g. what makes one laugh, happy, sad, remorseful, thoughtful etc. can be evaluated quite differently in terms of where that person finds him- or herself at e.g. at the beginning of a love relationship, after the break-up of the marriage, loosing a friend or job, etc.) in terms of real human experiences and what is needed to reflect upon them.

At a second level there is the question of sustainability and obviously this is connected to the creation of audiences or visitors. Any advisor for museums like Peter Higgins from land design studio knows that there are local inhabitants who will come to a museum but once if they think if they have seen it once then they have seen it all. As a consequence he designed and advised the construction of a museum for sailing boats where the exhibition can be changed every year to allow many more and different sailing boats to be shown which otherwise would have been in storage, therefore out of sight. Always museums will let this interplay between permanent and temporary exhibitions shape their visitor policy in order to attract newcomers but also retain a consistent profile over time with which visitors can identify themselves with and what would constitute their identification with that institution. Obviously there are still other methods on how to create and to keep an audience while new comers are welcomed by those who are participating already in organized guides and tours through the museum. The example shows that there are many practical questions in need of being resolved when wishing to bring about a sustainable cultural development.

Out of it follows that there does coincide quite often the search for more consistency with finding consistency in what one is doing as main off spring for a more mature cultural planning strategy. The moment that difference to seeking just the new is reached, that is once more mature concepts prevail, then the formulation of a sound cultural planning strategy has more promises of success.

Dissemination in Ancient Greece – a historical example

Ancient Greek theatres facilitated the dissemination of Greek values through plays and discussions with audiences meant to be given insights into human values. Culture differs from propaganda techniques and ideological indoctrinations as adaptation of plays requires constant re-interpretation and furthermore the writing of plays. Once this includes the chorus as representatives of the people on stage, wisdom, practical judgment and the power of common people is demonstrated. Moreover Ancient Greek dramas had beside the chorus the protagonists and the omnipotent Gods as a kind of human trilogy.  If one thinks of these in terms of the modern concepts of judicial, executive and legislative powers, or what the philosopher Kant conceived to be the differences between theoretical, practical and moral reasoning, then only in the combination of the three there may be told the story and the hubris of it all find an illustrative example as to where law, human folly and just fate sets the limits and determines finally the outcome of things.

It should not be concluded that the Polis based on the Agora as meeting place was spread, culturally speaking, for that required not only a political will but also and fore mostly the recognition as to who is a citizen of such a Polis. By definition, this excluded others and made the term ‘stranger’ become as important as the ones who know their law and the rituals which go with them in order to demonstrate that everyone is willing to observe them. Here then religion and the scheme of appearance which enters with religion city life.

Of interest is that the term ‘citizens’ was bounded by the Polis to the city itself. From there to the citizens of Calais as portrayed in the sculpture of Rodin, there is a notion that citizens are not only bounded by their respective cities but are representatives in a political sense of the mass of people who stand behind their representatives. However, it is quite unclear where differences between citizens of a city and citizens of a nation was superseded by citizens being defined solely through the state and what kind of allegiance it demanded if the power of the state was to be upheld by all citizens. Thus from the Ancient Text beginning with “many words speak like the rain on stones long heated up by the sun” to “my fellow citizens” as expressed by politicians wishing to rally in first the citizens and then the troops for a certain cause.

Out of such reflections about the Ancient Past are born further going ideas but also it becomes for culture a strategic question but what audiences are to be created, if the creative process is to be sustained over time? And is it too simple to speak merely about a creative process if the invaluable lesson taught was in reality a morality one? Can that be compared with an audience going to the cinema instead of the theatre and what about music?

Certainly for the analysis it is necessary to establish out of the difference between there being already an audience which is receptive for a certain culture and the need to create an audience for new kinds of cultural interactions something like a barometer by which tastes and dispositions are established, in order to mediate between need to fulfill certain demands and the creation of new demands by bringing into play both a new form of expression and an audience which will accept such forms of expression. That may as well be reflected in debates about cultural policy in support of what cultural expressions, for if only traditional ones are accepted by the already existing audience, then the new forms of innovation may never be realized and thereby changes more passively experienced then really shaped consciously as part of the city’s desire to go with the times.

Example 4: Cultural planning strategy linked to a specific urban thesis when cities are threatening to become too large for social and economic cohesion to be upheld

When cities become too large, and it was already a worry in the thirties of the twentieth century, then new solutions are sought.  At that time the garden city movement or 'New Town' movement meant recreating entire new cities, in order to take the pressure away from urban conglomerations no longer unified as one community. Such a cultural planning strategy around the concept of ‘green space’ went together with the idea of curtailing urban expansion by having green belts around these cities so as to prevent land being build on. Naturally cities leapt over them and continued to expand but green space was saved for generations to come. Out of such a constraint developed a certain type of community with some typical features having an imprint on not only the social and personal life of people living there, but also on what urban culture meant in terms of having cities with green belts. It drew simply attention to the importance of nature and to the need for some breathing spaces insofar as it is recognized the human being cannot be surrounded only and always by built up areas but has to have access to nature, trees, parks, with children able to run over the grass while others just sunbathe or go for a walk with no particular goal in mind. The respite gained from such spaces makes it clear as a cultural demand that physical planning takes such needs into consideration.

Example 5: Lille

Linking up centre with peripheries through cultural routes based on the public transport systems

Since then the movement towards integration meant an attempt to bring together social, economic, political and cultural structures e.g. Munich – for the Olympics in 1972 – construction of metro system and opening up the city centre to pedestrian walks. This became known later as the agora concept.

Example 6: In response to policy measures and given framework conditions

Then, certain policies affect cities e.g. performance indicators in the UK makes cities attempt to fulfill also cultural targets. This means a cultural policy framework is in place e.g. ‘creative regions’ but these top down measures are monitored and finally administrated at various levels and not only at federal. Hence besides the regional and local level there are various institutional players e.g. MLA oversees policy implementation in the areas of museums, libraries and archives in the UK and can influence local actors while responding to the overall dynamic created especially in the museum sector due to funds being obtained through lottery while the digitalization process of the Information Society encompasses all three areas: museums, libraries and archives.

2.5 Major assumptions about cultural planning strategies

They are either developed due to the growing need to tackle issues within a certain time and after it has become obvious certain practiced models are no longer sufficient to resolve growing tensions between different cultures e.g. the model of multi culturalism as part of the immigration policy and method to integrate others into local communities.

Or else cultural planning strategies are developed in response to cultural needs having become generally recognized and desirable e.g. that the city is alive, open, vibrant while becoming more competitive in other than the traditional fields of the economy as managed up to now.

Cultural planning strategies are also developed when there is an impulse coming from some cultural initiative with its own success story e.g. Edinburgh festival, or else by a city wishing and becoming a European cultural capital.

The major assumption for promising to be a successful cultural planning strategy is when culture itself is in a flux and there is besides a movement of people and goods a lot of good ideas abounding to undertake cultural initiatives at all levels. Cities can seize upon local initiatives by providing them with space while on the other hand the willingness of all citizens to participate in a bid (e.g. all Leipzig citizens joined the city’s effort to get the Olympic bid by bicycling in a marathon around the city and undertaking other actions to draw the attention of the Olympic Committee to the fact that the people of Leipzig support this effort – one of the criterion for awarding the Olympic Games to any city) can make the city go for the whole revamping of its image and promise to be able to cope with a greater cultural demand upon its cultural and other infrastructures. In that case a success is directly linked to a cultural capacity to respond in a qualitative way to the challenge. It would mean the city can translate the tasks ahead in such a way that the organizational capacity amounts to a qualitative leap in the city’s development and thereby stands to gain in profile.

2.6 Issues being dealt with in what way – towards a cultural agenda

Current issues dealt with in the context of what kind of development meant to be linked to global challenges.  They may be as follows identified and lead consequently to specific cultural actions or campaigns meant to propagate certain key messages:

social exclusion                  culture as ‘soft power’ to facilitate integration

urban regeneration             artistic projects: Bob Palmer

sustainable development    add criterion of cultural sustainability

cultural diversity                UNESCO initiative and advance in cultural models

of integration (multi culturalism)

renewable energy               identify cultural resources

environmental upgrading   link quality of life to literacy

global change                      continuity of identity and consistency

Agenda 21 related developments since then have touched upon two important aspects: a shift away from national governance towards territorial integrity, thereby making it into a key task on how politicians imagine at that local-regional level a common future, and towards cultural agents, actors, artists in need of public funding if the cultural identity is to correspond to this territorial base. This development is influenced by two different types of project fundings: projects funded by the European Structural Fund and projects / artistic activities funded by the European Capital of Culture project which foresees that each city, once it has received the designation, does enter a cultural planning horizon entailed of at a minimum five years.

The importance of local and regional cultural policy building should not be underestimated in this regard. The title of the seminar proposed the concept of “territorial diplomacy”. Ferdinand Richard, President of RCF, explained that this concept, which could also be called “diplomacy of local governments”, is based on the shift in sovereignty to territories alongside nation states. This shift is linked to the development of Europe and globalisation. The political impact of regional development funds, for example, has strengthened the autonomy of local and regional authorities. Local cultural identity is being consolidated by touristic attractivity for the better or for the worst. A local politician will have to imagine the common future of his or her local inhabitants with the good quality creative talents that his/her territory deserves. Elected leaders could become mediators between local cultural actors and public spending, so as to define their territorial assignment on the long--‐term. International contacts are being developed to extend attractivity elsewhere. In this context it is no surprise that a timely local cultural policy framework has developed, the Agenda 21 for Culture, produced by a worldwide network of local governance, United Cities and Local Governments (UCLG). The indisputable effect of the European Capital of Culture phenomenon has lead to a transfer of cultural interests and aims to local authorities and this shift is upheld by international treaties such as the UNESCO Convention of 2005 on the promotion and protection of the diversity of cultural expressions.“

Source: Report – International Seminar on “International Artistic Mobility and Territorial Diplomacy” - Thursday 24th May 2012 at Vila Flor Cultural Centre, Guimarães, Portugal


2.7 Local Development Issues

We finally evaluate four main local development strategies, as implemented through e.g. the Structural and Cohesion Funds and the Common Agricultural Policy, as well as national development policies: Territorial Certification, Training, Tourism and Logistics. The following table summarizes the research outcomes, with particular emphasis on the potential integration with IS framework policies such as e-Europe.





Territorial Certification

1.        Strengthens self-esteem of local enterprises.

2.        Role of territorial marketing.

1.        Use ICT to manage adherence procedures, big opportunity.

2.        Important to add personal trust: guy on the label beyond certified product.

1.        Beware of contradictions in certification processes.

2.        Use ICT to improve awareness of certified producers.


1.        Interaction with other cultures as part of training.

2.        IT training, too technical, doesn’t address real needs, subtracts from cultural training.

1.        New methods of learning required using ICT: how to deliver cultural literacy?

2.        Difficulties in tailoring on-line learning to local needs.

1.        Is training relevant to citizens and businesses or only to regional directors?

2.        Major role for local development agencies.

3.        Training linked to European lack of mobility: need for efficient solutions.


1. Tourism as enabler of cultural literacy i.e. understanding of other cultures.

2. See to it that tourism supports local production rather than “global” business e.g. buying on Rhodes products made in China.

1. Local communities need to tell their own story and share values with others.

2. How to ensure that money is retained by the local economy rather than a place being merely exploited by international tourist enterprises?

1. Important for IS solutions since tourism is 95% information.


2. IS provides new platform for cultural tourism, can escape commercial exploitation.


1. Local cultural producers need efficient and cost-effective transport as motivation to move to e-commerce.

2. Eco-impact of transport should be introduced.

1. Learn to localise transport needs (factor four).

2. Invent new types of rural transport initiatives.

1. Efficient logistics key to access to culturally diverse goods.

2. Main problem: you need people for handling.

Other topics raised by interviewees include: the importance of spatial planning at all levels; the health sector; and the added-value of cooperatives (cultural identity, beyond just collective business-making).

2.8 Identification of cultural needs and improving responsiveness to them

It is always thought that knowing the real (not artificial) needs is the perquisite for all solutions. However, in chapters 4 and 5 when discussing how the cultural sector is financed and what cultural management should look like, there will become noticeable that there is a contradiction between cultural needs and how usually financial systems work. For it is said that a need orientated official policy will require state institutions to intervene in the process and by necessity make this become a heavily centralized model of implementation of policy with all the ramifications such a model has upon society and the cultural life in cities. Consequently this contradiction will have to be dealt but it is not within the scope of this study to draw some final conclusions about the kind of political model needed if cultural planning strategies are to be orientated along this key concept of cultural needs. Only some philosophical reflections can be given in the final chapters when further going recommendations are discussed.

In the model of a cultural plan there was attempted a first identification of cultural needs. Perception of needs is already a precondition of ongoing social dialogue and mediation. This dialogue shall be modified by institutions ranging from political to economic ones. Of interest is that neither identification nor the assumption of a hierarchy of needs is a foregone conclusion when considering how societies shape nowadays their responses to different needs. The key seems to be that culture does away with a hierarchy of values in order to attain equality. Out of that grows the demand that culture is equally accessible to all. That means itself mediation in culture differs from that of economic determination as to what is being done according to commitment of resources and what priorities have been set by politics.

To this can be added:


On the basis of descriptive analysis and on the basis of the data given, clarify if the cultural planning strategy should apply to specific areas within the city, to relationships between different areas, to the city as a whole or to the city in relation to larger areas (region, nation, Europe, international world). It is possible that one cultural strategic recommendation can be to develop on the basis of the twinning program a specific relationship to a few selected cities to start an exchange and on the basis of this a culture orientated innovation brought about by this twinning program. For instance, twinning with one African city can lead to developing relationships which include diamond cutting, special home constructions (environmental adjusted) and to a youth exchange for development work and exchange of know how.

As it is important for cultural planning strategies to respond to other planning procedures and methodologies adopted by the URBAN II program, specific cultural needs can be identified accordingly. It may provide at the same time insights into how reactions on the side of culture can be understood as part of an ongoing process of cultural adaptation to changing needs and emerging problems, short comings, crisis etc. The social dialogue between culture and economy may be formed on the basis of such insights.

For any analysis specific cultural needs have to be identified:


2.9 Second analysis: Cultural Impact studies and the capacity to anticipate future developments as strengthening the city’s profile

Cultural impact studies provide further going guidelines for cultural planning insofar a much wider, some call it holistic approach is taken and therefore a new notion of territory is introduced, insofar culture encompasses a greater space than what are the administrative borders of a city. Given the dependency of values being upheld both as a cultural and as a political process, democratic life in a city will take on a definite quality when cultural needs are satisfied and the discursive practice reflects the participation of the citizens in the intellectual life of the city. By intellectual life is meant a communication process which touches upon all factors which determine and shape life i.e. economic, social, polical, geographic, historical. The reference framework is usually defined as cultural heritage, both tangigle and intangible, but as active memory base, it is more than that, namely a critical criterion as to what sustains life in a city.

Furthermore, by wishing to take culture in the widest sense into consideration, it acknowledges that there are many other forces which have to be recognized, before taking any planning decision can be taken. It means in analytical terms the need to identify first of all those forces with an impact upon the local setting, in order to know and to anticipate if something is altered, what new forces will deplace the former ones and thereby alter even completely the local place. A critical border seems to be when citizens no longer recognize the meaning of place as it used to be perceived by the grandparents. They feel too many changes lead to alterations so that the place is no longer recognizable. One planning strategic goal has, therefore, to be worked out on how to introduce changes while respecting this need for a continuity of identity resting upon certain meanings of place. Iris Reuter called it 'careful planning renewal'. She used the method of a film to show what neighbors thought of the place. Thus it became common knowledge that one particular bench was used by many when they declared their loves. It had the consequence for planning the new lay out of the streets that this bench was not removed, but the road circumvented that spot and left it as it had always been: a semi secluded hide out from which to start out on a new life.

With regards to cultural profile and image of a city, many cities depart from what images they believe to have in terms of how the outside world views the city. They do respond almost like individual persons when they feel what weighs them down is a stigma e.g. Liverpool as an ugly port town or Genoa even as the ugly duckling of the Mediterranean sea, but once they became European Capitals of Culture they attempted to reverse and to alter this negative into a positive image. Some analysts would say the city engages then in a new kind of city branding.

The need for further analysis of the kind of image a city is especially needed if these negative or postive stamps transform themselves in such cultural initiatives by NGOs and institutions which merely reinforce the already existing image. What planning can do in such a case is to imagine the city in a different setting in which very different needs shall be articulated, and therefore allow for a re-imagining process.

However, if over time the discrepancy between image and what people (visitors and local inhabitants alike) perceive of reality grows, then both the local administration and the various policy making institutions have to prepare another cultural plan. They will have to come to terms with a new set of growing needs reflective of the danger to become either marginal or so over attractive that dangers such as over commercialization and gentrification sets in. At the same time, identity of place will be transformed so much that people feel a loss and are uncomfortable when familiar places and faces disappear. This shall be translated sooner or later into demands and all kinds of protests, if governance of the entire territory cannot be upheld in a positive sense of anticipation. The negative downside of this is self fulfilling prophecy just as the myth of a city is real as long as people continue to make experiences which confirm their expectations.

It should be remembered that there is both a passive and an active impact given the capacity of local governments to uphold cultural activities and the functioning of the cultural facilities within its boundary. The passive retains a sense of negative development through neglect of cultural sustainability; the active part is when as the case of Bilbao the Guggenheim museum clearly exceeds local production units and remains an entity by itself. Naturally the same could be said about tourist establishment like Club Mediterranean which isolates itself from the local community and is really a world of its own. The local population benefits only from a mere spill over effect and acquiring employment opportunities at the nearby camp or resort area. A similar thing can be said about golf courses as the local community will hardly benefit and only few golf courses will be really connected to the global golf circuit. This is why the special catering of cities to such events (tennis matches at Flush Meadow in New York or Wembeley, or Formula One car racing in Monte Carlo, the film festival in Cannes etc.) follows a global pattern which is repeatedly challenged by other cities wishing to outbid the others in order to attract the international stars and media. It is a way to focus attention on a city or country if it has obtained for a certain time the novelty of recognition through such events e.g. hosting the Olympic Games and what media attention, that is free publicity, it brought to Greece during the years leading up to the Olympic Games in Athens 2004. So a cultural planning strategy is very much linked to a very specific media strategy as communication of both intentions, real events and outcomes is very much needed if cultural competence aside from many other aspects of competence in a global world is to be attained.

2.10 Integration and connectivity

For purpose of further analysis it should be clarified when cultural planning should become a part of a collective learning process.

while becoming visible in some key results e.g. cultural plan, new cultural council to have a voice within the major decision makers of a city, innovative network between all cultural institutions, clear action plans for every year and season as to what the city can and does undertake given available cultural resources.

Any cultural strategic plan will identify cultural resources according to further grading principles e.g. ancient theatres of Greece had four categories: existed, but no more traces left; exists, but a nearly meaningless ruin; exists, and can be visited; exists, and is still used for making theatre and hosting performances.

Cultural resources are at all times in need of being developed further, and this at various levels:

- archaeological and professional maintenance

- special promotion i.e. marketing in terms of tourist and visitor services

- receptivity + quality of documentation as reflection of cultural heritage / cultural sophistication in passing on the narrative


If cultural planning at formal and institutional level, there will have to be demonstrated the following:



Annex 1: Sustainable development - Environment

35 European cities join race for European Green Capital title 2010 and 2011



From Pamplona in Spain, to Kaunas in Lithuania and all across Europe, major European cities have now embarked on the journey towards a more sustainable future. Since the EU Commission launched the European Green Capital Award in May 2008, 35 cities have entered the friendly competition to become European Green Capital for either 2010 or 2011. October 1st marked the deadline for sending in applications.

Europe is now an essentially urban society, with four out of five Europeans living in towns and cities. Most of the environmental challenges facing our society today originate from these urban areas.

"It is with great pleasure that we witness such a high level of commitment from European cities to improve the quality of life of urban citizens. Local authorities play an essential role in improving the urban environment, and the European Green Capital Award was conceived to support and promote their efforts, " says Pia Bucella, Director of Communication in DG Environment, European Commission.

An evaluation panel, composed of international experts, will now study the applications from the participating cities. They will then select six applicants - three for each year - who will be asked to submit further details to support their applications.

The evaluation panel will present its recommendations to a jury, which will then make the final decision. The announcement of the first two European Green Capitals for 2010 and 2011, will take place at a ceremony planned for early 2009.

Applicant cities

  • Amsterdam, Netherlands
  • Bordeaux, France
  • Bremen, Germany
  • Bristol, United Kingdom
  • Cluj-Napoca, Romania
  • Copenhagen, Denmark
  • Dublin, Ireland
  • Espoo, Finland
  • Freiburg, Germany
  • Hamburg, Germany
  • Hannover, Germany
  • Helsinki, Finland
  • Kaunas, Lithuania
  • Lisbon, Portugal
  • Łódź, Poland
  • Magdeburg, Germany
  • Malmø, Sweden
  • Montpellier, France
  • Murcia, Spain
  • Munich, Germany
  • Münster, Germany
  • Oslo, Norway
  • Pamplona, Spain
  • Prague, Czech Republic
  • Riga, Latvia
  • Rotterdam, Netherlands
  • Sabadell, Spain
  • Stockholm, Sweden
  • Tampere, Finland
  • Toruń, Poland
  • Valencia, Spain
  • Vienna, Austria
  • Vilnius, Lithuania
  • Vitoria-Gasteiz
  • Zaragoza, Spain


Source: European Commission DG Environment


Annex 2: Leipzig Charter

EU ministers outline 'European City' ideal

Published: Thursday 24 May 2007    | Updated: Friday 29 June 2007


The Leipzig Charter on Sustainable European Cities, signed by European ministers on 24 May, lays the foundation for a new integrated urban policy in Europe, focusing on helping cities tackle problems of social exclusion, structural change, ageing, climate change and mobility.


Cities generate 75-85% of the EU's GDP. Creating a high-quality urban environment is a priority of the renewed Lisbon Strategy – to "make Europe a more attractive place to invest and work" – in order to enhance its potential for economic growth and job creation.

But many European cities are suffering heavily from congestion, pollution, high noise levels and social exclusion. As the source of almost three quarters of energy consumption, cities also have a major role to play in the fight against climate change.

While the EU does not have any direct competence in urban affairs, its cohesion policies as well as sectoral policies in the areas of transport, environment and social affairs, for example, can have a significant impact on cities and on their capacity to deal with these challenges.

An integrated urban development policy, combining all these policy areas and involving actors at all levels – local, regional, national and European – is thus needed.

More on this topic:

LinksDossier:   Urban Transport

LinksDossier:   Sustainable Development: EU Strategy

Analysis:   The future of the world is urban

Other related news:


EU ministers responsible for urban and spatial development laid the foundations for a new urban policy in Europe, on 24 May 2007, with the signature of the “Leipzig Charter on Sustainable European Cities”, at an informal meeting on Urban Development and Territorial Cohesion, organised by the German Presidency.

With this charter, the 27 member states have, for the first time, outlined an ideal model for the "European City' of the 21st century and agreed on common strategies for urban-development policy.

  • Strengthening the inner city

According to the charter, the primary aim should be to attract people, activities and investment back to the city centres – which are the engines research, innovation and economic development in Europe – and to put an end to the urban sprawl phenomenon, as this simply increases urban traffic, energy consumption and land use.

Focus should be on regeneration of existing residential and business areas in inner cities, with a greater mixture of living, working and leisure areas, making cities more exciting and vibrant, but also more socially and economically stable.

  • Assisting 'deprived neighbourhoods'

Member states agreed that doing something about deprived neighbourhoods should receive particular attention and be considered as a "public task" because the existence of such neighbourhoods jeopordizes attractiveness, competitiveness, social cohesion and security in cities. "There must be no 'no-go' areas in Europe," the text states.

  • Better funding

The charter also urges the Commission to ensure that cities are at the heart of European funding policies.

So far, of the €350 billion structural and cohesion funds for 2007-2013, €19.5bn has been earmarked to support EU cities. But the Leipzig Charter makes it clear that member states will have to do more if they are to be able to face up to demographic change, global warming and economic structural change due to globalisation pressures.

It recommends that governments make more use of public-private partnerships to enhance investments in city infrastructure.


German EU Council President Wolfgang Tiefensee said that the fact that living in cities was becoming increasingly popular was "a positive development, and one that we have to boost...Industrial sites are being put to new uses. Living and working on what used to be derelict industrial sites is becoming attractive. In short: Europe's cities are currently experiencing a renaissance, and policymakers have to shape this renaissance."

"We have to join forces to do something about one-sidedness and monotony in urban development. The era of individually-optimised residential and business areas, oversized shopping centres and large traffic spaces is over. There must be a greater mixture of areas for living, working and leisure in cities. This can make cities more exciting, vibrant and socially stable", he said.

He added that tackling social exclusion and isolation in individual neighbourhoods was "imperative" and that policymakers must not tolerate downward spirals and the stigmatisation of certain city districts.

"Longterm and stable economic growth will not be possible unless whole cities remain socially balanced and stable," Tiefensee added.

He highlighted youth unemployment as one of the major challenges. "With an unemployment rate among young people under 25 years of age of 18.6 %, cities have to compensate for enormous fluctuations. Here, urban development policy also has to offer solutions," he said, adding: "In particular, we have to devote even more attention to the educational requirements of children and young people in these urban areas. If more than one half of young people in these deprived neighbourhoods leave school without any qualifications, there are bound to be problems in the future."

Regional Policy Commissioner Danuta Hübner said: "Cities and urban areas are home to most jobs, businesses and higher education institutions. They have been and they will be the engines for regional, national and European economic growth. On the other hand, many cities are confronted with severe problems of social exclusion. Despite progress in areas like waste and water management, trends in urban transport and urban sprawl are alarming. The battle for sustainable development will almost certainly be decided in cities…We need cities in good shape, wisely using their resources in an innovative and sustainable way, cities for all, for us today and for future generations."

Eurocities, the network of major European cities, underlined the importance of the European dimension in integrated urban development. "This dimension is crucial in two ways. Firstly, by virtue of the impact that EU policies have on cities and on the policies they can or must implement at local level. Secondly, due to the impact that city-level actions, particularly collective action by a number of large European cities, can have in addressing the major challenges that Europe is facing today, recognising that the majority of Europeans live in urban areas."

Eurocities CEO Catherine Parmentier said: "Cities are committed to delivering higher social and environmental standards and ensuring that everyone is able to enjoy a good quality of life. They have a major role to play in helping to deliver the objectives of European policies and strategies in favour of cohesion, employment, economic growth and sustainable development. The national governments have much to gain from the knowledge and expertise which exists in our cities."

Hungarian socialist MEP Gyula Hegyi welcomed the Leipzig Charter as recognition that, up to now, the importance of the city has generally not been taken sufficiently into account in EU projects and funds. "Imagine that 80% of EU citizens are living in towns and cities. And their interests are not really represented. 40% of our entire budget goes towards agriculture. The rest goes towards cohesion and infrastructure funds, and most of this money also goes to the countryside…As a group, citizens living in cities are not targeted properly by the Union's funds."


EU official documents


Eurocities: Eurocities & the Leipzig Charter – Leading Sustainable European Cities

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  3. ACE Beverage Carton Industry Supports Commission Proposal to Fight Illegal Logging
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