Ποιειν Και Πραττειν - create and do




(Cultural Innovation and Economic Development) 


Volos, Greece - Project Leader

Cardiff, UK

Galway, Ireland

Palermo, Italy

Leipzig, Germany



Dr. Hatto Fischer

Content of Recommendations

  1. CIED as an Article 10 – ERDF European Project
  2. Culture is theory
  3. What is an innovative idea? 
  4. Progress made
  5. Setting – the local factor
  6. Cultural Impact Studies
  7. Culture and Investments – towards Good Practice and High Quality Development
  8. Cultural Consensus
  9. CIED methodology – degree of complexity and sophistication
  10. History and theoretical – artistic background
  11. Organisational principles of CIED
  12. Scientific background
  13. Pitfalls of modernity: corruption of the mind
  14. Measures of Time
  15. Innovative Networks: new work forms
  16. The negative Industrial Heritage and Energy Policy
  17. Types of investment
  18. CIED’s Self-Understanding


1. CIED as an Article 10 – ERDF European Project


-                             pursue active citizenship

-                             learn to allow others to make decisions on behalf of the others by developing trust in political processes based on consensus

-                             advance in participation by letting cultural actions lead to democratic practice;

-                             safeguard the openness of culture by allowing for tolerance of cultural differences

-                             promote and follow-up innovations

-                             ensure investments in the future as benchmark of democracy;


Cultural dimensions – from aesthetical to practical reflections:

going further, if culture as expression of ‘way of life’, ‘way of doing things’ reflects the self-understanding people have of themselves (Adorno), then culture relates to the knowledge people can develop in the light of societal recognition.


Economic dimensions transmitted by measures of time, distance, value

This knowledge transmits through reflections upon historical and economic developments such measures (standards; in Greek ‘metron’) that allow mediation between individual and collective needs within the same locality, but defined and regulated by the market and society as a whole;


2. Culture is theory

-                             culture as theory furthers this reflection as means to ‘perceive human beings and the nature of things’ governing interactions as part of an ongoing process to develop and to sustain life;

-                             subsequently such process is made possible by a cultural dynamism shaping and reflecting subsequently the degree of social cohesion as well as the substance of economic development,

-                             insofar as then culture is a ‘way of doing things’ while coming to terms with ‘problems of perception, explanation and interpretation’, economic sustainability is an outcome of what is being upheld (also in the way of values) while changes are incurred due to specific dynamics shaping the space and scope of economic activities;

-                             therefore much depends upon the possibility to discuss values, ideas and understanding the nature of projects (programs) in terms of their impact upon cultural identities, in order to know what can lead to good practise;

-                             consequently culture reveals as much as enables legitimisation of actions and/or planning interventions;

-                             yet if sustainable development is to be attained through governance of things, then culture has to be seen as an outcome of how people inform one another about what is going on in reality prior to making decisions;

-                             it means one of CIED’s five objective, ‘namely to learn how to use, but not abuse culture’, turned out to be a most important linkage between people, institutions and sustainable economic development;

-                             as such, CIED rules out use of culture in a discriminatory manner in order to exclude others;

-                             that is, economic development can only be achieved, if there prevails a clear distinction between a culture under threat and being challenged by both modern and regressive developments, for only open cultures to an ongoing learning process from the other(s) can be innovative by allowing themselves to be challenged in both political policy and methodology of implementation to satisfy economic terms of sustainability.


3. What is an innovative idea?

As in the case of all European projects, formulation of the proposal and the set-up of the project required extensive negotiations with local authorities and their experts. Crucial was here to identify the ‘innovative idea’ in both cultural and economic terms to be undertaken at local level, in order to advance in conjunction with the other international partners. The aim was to achieve ‘Good Practice’ in both planning procedures and investment decisions.

There were needed also negotiations at the European level with the European Commission. At the outset CIED had to accept a reduction in the overall budget by 100 000 Euros. Retrospectively speaking, this had a negative impact upon the partnership (loss of initial project leader / changes in partners) and made it extremely difficult to realise all the inherent potentialities of the project.

CIED’s inherent methodology entails a very sophisticated approach to questions of culture in relation to economic development. Many more innovative capacities could have been stimulated, had resources not been so limited. By necessity, the approach to any linkage between culture and economic development has to be both complex and explorative enough, so as to allow for sustained development as a learning experience with concrete outcomes for all actors involved.

Prior to applying its notion of what are manageable projects, it is recommended that the European Commission reconsiders the complexity cultural projects have to deal with, the time span needed to work out solutions and what is a realistic co-financial arrangement. Especially if sustainable development is to be achieved, then different kinds of investments and cultural factors have to be activated to start a process of maturation. Until someone grows up in a city after having internalised a set of complex values and then makes the right decisions as architect, engineer or planner, that transcends more than one generation. Also projects must be able to take risks and to learn out of ‘mistakes’, if they are to be innovative. Without investments in culture and infrastructures, social cohesion and economic development cannot be achieved. Needless to say, all of this is not possible within the brief time span of two years.


4. Progress made

As the maturation process around the 5 objectives and the continuity of CIED shows, much progress was achieved since the project opened up many vertical and horizontal forms of collaborations between different actors. However, the ‘critical mass’ needed for advancing the European project based on extensive international co-operation could not be reached fully within these given time limits as set by the eligible expenditure horizon.

CIED can be perceived as a kind of ‘adventure of ideas’ linked to discovering and exploring cultural dimensions of economic development. As this takes place in the context of local decision-making, many experiences were made on how culture can be used to refine current urban/regional planning methodologies. The most valuable result rests in the fact that CIED can now be perceived as a kind of scanning devise for identifying cultural and political issues in need of being resolved before any further progress at both local and European level can be made. The identification of issues, problems and potentialities is a prerequisite prior to any further political solution leading on to further European programmes and investments.

Added to such general cultural dimension have to be literature (poetry), history, architecture, ancient and industrial heritage, since here man’s self-understanding is articulated. It gives a better insight into what constitutes ‘cultural identity’, or as an example, the Mexican writer Carlos Fuentos takes a broken mirror as metaphor to explain the current condition of the Mexican identity. In Ancient Greece it was Homer who brought about change by giving his fellow-men not only the needed self-confidence to undergo tremendous changes, but he transmitted through the stories about Odysseus measures of time or what it takes to manage all the transitions from a backward to an advanced society.

No matter what is used to further this self-reflective process, culture defines itself through the means made available to the people in order to reflect upon themselves as much as upon the conditions of mankind. Empathy and imagination are needed to transcend many of the limiting borders incurred in daily life and yet they are often defined or drawn by history intermingling with circumstances and life long expectations never fulfilled.

The stuff reality is made out of and this means the people can be taken as material substance of any living culture. It should not be confused with tradition nor with images projected by state mechanisms or advertisements in order to promote a certain style and way of life. Exactly the entry of consumption and commercialisation of all walks of life has given rise to increasing worries about ‘cultural identities’ becoming even less than just broken mirrors. As James Clifford in Predicament of Culture would say, the loss of cultural diversity in a world beginning to look everywhere the same, that rebounds negatively upon any ability to maintain and to articulate a unique cultural identity.

CIED attempted to address also at local level not only the matter of cultural identity being challenged by recent and modern developments, but also the need to have a conscious cultural policy. Over and again it was stated that politicians rarely listen to cultural arguments. As a result there was a great risk that market forces could drive out all life out of any locality due to neglect of a conscious cultural policy that could offset this trend. This is something Michael D. Higgins stressed over and again when speaking at the various CIED conferences. He referred to the very few decisions the Council for Culture had taken at EU level during his four-year term of office. The lack of compassionate arguments for cultural policy in Europe reflects itself in overstressing the economic side of all things without thereby realising that the cultural dimension is needed to achieve exactly this goal of full employment and a sustainable economic development.

CIED worked furthermore towards some concepts for Good Practice in the Cultural Sector. The fear was that this sector would be repeating the same mistakes as other economic sectors had committed before. By developing the Cultural Calendar as tool for cultural planning a kind of mediation between ‘supply’ and ‘demand’ in the Cultural Sector was started, e.g. a study of regular meetings by doctors, lawyers, clubs etc. could be seen as a demand for potential artistic performances so that through mediation many artists could gain recognition and a chance to perform. The city of Palermo did this most wisely in the old City Centre by motivating newly opened restaurants to hire artists during a special festival period in exchange for a tax break that would have to be paid otherwise if putting out on the street tables and chairs as extension of their premises. A Cultural Calendar brought together the programs of all restaurants and bars, so that in the end people came due to the overall attraction and each individual restaurant owner profited from the increase in demand. As a matter of fact a well worked out cultural calendar, as developed by Joerg Asshoff in Leipzig, is needed in order to gain insights on how the cultural sector can be linked more consciously to ongoing economic developments i.e. cultural tourism.

Progressively CIED moved towards new perceptions of cultural and economic potentials. Crucial was the shift towards the concept of ‘human resources’ and how culture can facilitate to gain access to very different kinds of ‘human resources’. This is crucial when it comes to resolving the questions of unemployment. Solutions require the successful integration of individuals into both meaningful and ongoing activities within society. That can be brought about only within the overall framework conditions of ‘Good Practice’.

Much depends, therefore, upon gaining access to such resources that are enhanced and enriched by new cultural infrastructures that can link local with global conditions. Part of that extends towards how the Information Society can be integrated into the local setting. Resources made available can only be made use of within a process best described as a successful cultural adaptation to these new living and working conditions affecting first of all communication and dissemination of information.

One example examined and discussed very much within CIED has been Cardiff’s business plan for restoration of Mount Stuart Square and the former Coal Exchange building. This concerns multi-media industry as much as new usage of former industrial sites and buildings. Crucial is in this case the lack of investments made by SME’s in learning to use wisely and progressively the resources made available by the Information Society.

Added to that complexity has to be the industrial policy of large media demanding production units such as modern television stations issued contracts to the audio-visual and multi-media industry in a certain way. The extension into culture requires a diversity of small and innovative companies and not the ongoing practise of privileging only the large companies under the assumption that only they can manage the business of high quantity and quality output.

If future European policy is to further and strengthen cultural diversity, then sophisticated cultural policies and programmes must be implemented in future. Only then such co-operation agreements will come about that can uphold the economy as Europe depends upon innovative networks to achieve the ‘knowledge economy’.


5. Setting - the local factor 

Learning to take the local factor into consideration is most crucial for understanding the basic orientation of CIED. For example, Vasilis Sgouris from Volos, Greece and, therefore, the new project leader after Vetschau (Germany) had departed, insisted always that the project should satisfy local needs. Thus while making efforts to find unique ways of restoring former industrial buildings, he believes that these interventions can be best prepared if they support the local people in their search for cultural identity, expressions thereof. To achieve outlets for that much needs to be done. It shapes also the approach to on how localised ideas must become before finding the acceptance of the inhabitants. This then is a demand placed upon any European project and defines in turn the substance of outcomes.

CIED differs, therefore, from the more engineer and technically driven projects, but also from such projects that wish to market merely culture through such products that satisfy terms of cultural tourism. The latter tend towards a mere functional use of culture, but without strengthening local identities and cultural innovation.

Departing from criticism of conventional planning (Sue Tilden) while relating to theories of cultural economies, CIED developed ‘cross cultural references’ and ‘common parameters’ as part of its methodology for testing the working hypothesis and for evaluation purposes of the five different Pilot Projects.

Some of the methodological assumptions are based on work done already prior to the start of the project. This includes research by Phil Cooke at CASS of Cardiff University. Among other things, he examined on a comparative basis the term of ‘culture of excellence’ to explain differences in competitiveness between various regions of Europe.

At the outset of the project a paper by Dr. Hatto Fischer on ‘cross cultural references’ stipulated how the comparative method known in studies of literature could be adapted to enable evaluation of the different Pilot Projects within CIED. As the project progressed, this made possible the bringing together of the five projects (see Volos Reader).

CIED’s concept of innovative planning was enriched also by contributions of various urban and regional planners such as Maurizio Carta, Uwe Ferber, Iris Reuther, Karin Hiort, Juergen Eckhardt, John Roche etc. Their ideas were taken up as the project progressed through its various stages of implementation. Jim Higgins as ‘cultural heritage officer’ added in a very fruitful manner to this ongoing reflection about possibilities at informal and formal levels. He was hired as a result of CIED by the City Corporation of Galway to oversee implementation of official plans in due respect of their impact upon cultural heritage of the city. This was a first step from informal to formal responsibilities.

All along the self-understanding of CIED has been that as a Pilot Project there was no need to challenge directly the legal and institutionalised planning process prior to having tested all methodological components in practice.


6. Cultural Impact Studies

As CIED started to come to terms with the need for ‘cultural innovation’, a new approach was taken towards ‘cultural impact studies’.

* At the general level, it became first of all crucial to link planning for development to the overall urban context, e.g. Master Plan. It was considered crucial that a dissemination practice of intentions by local authorities existed, CIED facilitated interactions of local authorities / planners and other experts with others at the overall European and national / regional level.

* All CIED partners except for Cardiff were in Objective 1 regions of the Structural Fund and, therefore, integral part of peripheral regions with all the disadvantages that go with them. Any effort made to upgrade economic performance had to take into consideration the impact of these and other policy measures. There are many more factors influencing these regions and not all policy measures are co-ordinated in such a way that social cohesion and economic development is an outcome that meets also world standards of innovation and competition.

* Then, in a second step, requirements for ‘inward investments’ and what possible impacts they pose for any local setting, were examined by means of survey studies looking into the needs and dispositions of potential users once such investments have been made. The advancement made within CIED on the basis of these surveys came about due to a mutual learning process with Cardiff taking here the lead. Palermo developed this even further to test and to establish the degree of ‘cultural consensus’ prevailing at the very local level. This lead in turn to more sensible investments made not at once, but as the users themselves matured in a bottom-up approach in terms of managerial and financial responsibilities.

* Thirdly, refinement of planning methodology through culture was considered to be a part of a social and political learning process involving citizens as much as governmental institutions, altering thereby the criterion of ‘sustainability’. In particular, Maurizio Carta and Dino Trapani in Palermo enriched the findings of CIED. Consequently sustainability was taken to mean activities across the board, so that even a progressive museum policy was examined in terms of institutional, political and cultural sustainability. Again Palermo proved to be a prime example for orientating the entire population anew towards ‘cultural heritage’ as a contemporary value.

* Fourthly, when it came to policy advise and decisions to be taken, it was clear that cultural projects have a difficult position insofar as possible impacts are more often indirect, than direct and therefore difficult to measure. J. Robinson from BirminghamCity elaborated at the International Seminar organised by CIED – Leipzig why politicians are often reluctant to accept arguments based on qualitative understanding of how things work. Yet citing examples of innovation and new investments in Birmingham, definite cultural strategies became clear. For example, Birmingham started out by rediscovering the rivers of the ancient city and making the multi-cultural population feel at home by getting a special meeting place. While all these projects were started, major investment was made in a cultural flagship, namely a multi-cultural festival hall. Crucial here is how to reverse negative images and make people start believing in their city again. A definite success story has been here Glasgow when CulturalCapitalCity under the direction of Bob Palmer, something he was to repeat when fulfilling likewise the same job for Brussels 2000.

* Fifthly, there is a case to be made that impact of any project upon, for instance, employment cannot be made until that project has been completed. Yet CIED advanced arguments in favour of creating jobs by securing political support for bottom-up success stories. For instance, the Mayor of Palermo, Mr. Orlando gave youngsters just out of jail the possibility not to restore, but to clean up an ancient building long neglected. In the course of their efforts, they started to qualify themselves as professionals capable of restoration works and thus avoided a relapse of juvenile delinquency. As a matter of fact, they gained in social recognition and could thus integrate themselves successfully into society at large. Thus CIED argues that the creation of jobs has to be linked to social recognition for different paths towards maturation and qualification. Taking all of this into consideration, CIED attempted to shift the focus upon anticipation and acknowledged in particular how Cardiff Bay Development Corporation advanced in developing the Cardiff Bay area by resorting to sensible counter-measures wherever a negative impact was to be expected.

As expressed in the Palermo Principles, CIED recommends that the European Commission promotes research into and development of Cultural Impact Studies, so as to attain a better understanding of Good Practice when it comes to implementing European Policies.


7. Culture and Investments - towards Good Practice and High Quality Development

Cardiff Bay Development Corporation imposed upon potential investors in the Bay area the need to take culture into consideration. Subsequently many investors declined to venture forth since culture overcomplicated in their minds the situation. Yet Cardiff Bay Development Corporation did not mind, for by using culture as prerequisite, they obtained a new selection criteria of desirable investments. The investors who then came forth all improved in quality of design while relating to the old, that is the already existing things. This made possible a progressive innovation towards a new use of the entire bay area.

The possibility of learning out of such practical experiences helped CIED to work out a comprehensive picture as to the framework conditions of ‘Good Practice’.

Already at the First CIED Conference held in Galway Phil Cooke gave a convincing practical definition of ‘Good Practise’, namely that when local authorities accept ‘inward investments’, that at least a minimum of ethical conditions are observed.

Good Practise’ relates, therefore, to following key factors:

a)      negotiation powers of local authorities with potential investors;

b)      local /regional authorities take culture seriously into consideration.

c)      decisions are no longer based on feasibility, but on cultural impact studies

d)     Cultural Impact Studies are anticipatory measures and can be used as basis for evaluation of projects in terms of cultural sustainability.

As orientation for future innovative Pilot Projects, CIED recommends that culture is to mean concrete descriptions of ‘constraints’ to make things become articulated in reference to a specific cultural identity. As guideline for future funding, it can stipulate what practical steps have to be taken into account when investments in specific projects are to be made in awareness of their ‘impact’. Already here the difference of a place having a conscious Cultural Policy to the one that does not is significant. It would alter the disposition of such a project within the Structural Fund. For if not the case, then still other measures would be needed to achieve a clear cohesion. Awareness of Cultural Policy and its implementation process at European level, Parliament included, is therefore needed to ensure that all ‘planning interventions’ are culturally sustainable and thereby of such capacity that they can contribute to the kind of development that respects Cultural Heritage and local Cultural Identities.


8. Cultural Consensus

To find out what planning measures are most appropriate in the given cultural context, CIED relies upon ‘cultural consensus’ as basis for all decisions. It is done with the purpose to enhance participation in planning and to advance ‘Good Practice’ in both the political and in the business approaches to economic development.

In order to establish this consensus, the methodology of CIED foresees the creation of a local Cultural Committee. It is meant to initiate a learning process at local level. As Galway demonstrated most effectively, such a local Cultural Committee works best in search of cultural consensus when comprised of different actors, formal and informal organisations included.

As made evident by Palermo, cultural consensus has to do in particular with what cultural identities the local actors wish to retain while facing changes in their environment. This relates in particular to building permissions and use of space, e.g. should it be allowed or not to construct buildings along the seaside or on a mountain slope everyone has identified with ever since a child as part of the place of belonging. In other words, cultural consensus derives its sources of energy from such cultural identity that is able to mediate between continuity and change. Adaptation to the future while staying in dialogue with the past is a prerequisite to live a continuous present. Identity building measures depend, therefore, upon what is offered within what temporal condition and on what basis, for a public, but nostalgic museum may not be able to compete with a modern, privately produced video about cultural heritage made available at every kiosk in the city. Once the state and its institutions have no longer the monopoly over these and other identity building measures, then that too affects the built-up of consensus as a measure for agreement between planning concepts and practical experiences as the city is reshaped by new social and economic factors.

Once this cultural consensus has been described as an understandable context for planning measures, the CIED methodology foresees that the local partners can proceed to test their working hypothesis in order to evaluate the ‘desirable’or ‘imagined’ project (new use of the old). Once this testing has been done and agreement found, then local authorities and activated formal and informal groups in the city can know what ought to govern the relationship between culture and economic development.

CIED recommends that within the ongoing European debate about modifications of ‘voting procedures’ in Council and the European Parliament the notion of ‘cultural consensus’ should be considered more thoroughly. Neither the ‘subsidiary’ principle nor simple majority can overcome the problem of imposition upon another culture, if so the case when European policy is applied ad hoc and top-down. The so-called decentralisation effort from European level to that of the member states is but a fake one. If the effort to reach consensus with all is abolished then neither the degree of freedom needed for cultural identities to ‘flourish’ (see Maastricht Treaty) within cultural diversities is guaranteed, nor there is given sufficient time and space to work out ‘leading concepts’ for the European Union as based on ‘cultural consensus’. CIED considers this to be a positive binding element, in particular if free of any coercion. Further debate along those lines is, therefore, highly recommended.


9. CIED methodology - degree of complexity and sophistication

It goes without saying, that CIED as European project co-financed by the European Commission had to go through many learning phases, in order to attain such degree of complexity, that its methodology could become a very precise ‘planning tool’ for local authorities. This was recognised most fully by the City of Palermo where culture and cultural strategies had been used already successfully to revive the old historical centre.

Complexity does not rule out a simple solution. Usually the latter is found once a phase of productive research into the problems has been completed. As Iris Reuther observed in the case of restoring an entire village, the approach to hidden and not so obvious meanings is decisive on how plans are shaped in the end. This applies especially in the case where almost the entire population had left the village. Only once she started to work as a planner with a filmmaker, they found access to that. They interviewed people and later showed to everybody the film in a barn (that is why the film was called the ‘Barn Film’), giving everyone a chance to see what the others had to say on how the village should be restored. This was working out planning guidelines along cultural considerations. Through the film the old residents and newcomers could locate themselves in such a context that allowed a common understanding of the meaning of place.

Over and again actors in the practical fields of urban and regional development emphasised that it is most difficult to obtain necessary support (organisational / financial / political), since usually the categories of public administration and political accountability exclude mutually supported and hence financed projects. Yet a youth centre wishing to re-use a former industrial plant can be funded by City Departments such as the one for Urban Renewal, Housing, Economics or Culture, etc.  So it does not make any sense if administrative exclusivity remains at the standpoint, that if the Department gives support for Urban Renewal, then the Department for Culture has nothing to do with it. As the European Commission is progressing at the level of the member states to get all actors together at one and the same table when discussing policy measures to combat unemployment, the same applies at local and regional level.

In other words, different actors need to be brought together for otherwise complex projects shall not have a chance of gaining the support they not only need, but deserve due to what they promise and shall live up to once financially supported. They can fulfil the expectations, if given a concrete basis of collaboration with the authorities and given time to work out solutions in a responsible manner.

Repeatedly CIED became thus an argumentative tool to facilitate negotiations between different actors in order to move things in that direction of development sustained by people working together, mutually reinforcing each other for the benefit of both the locality and the overall development prospects of the city and region. It meant opening up doors for those who had asked in vain to be heard.

At the same time, CIED reinforced through its methodology something Ciaran Hayes from Galway Corporation said when preparing for the first CIED conference, namely only when it is possible to give ‘attention to details’, and then there shall be ‘success. Due to this methodological approach taken, Socrates Kabouropoulos at the National Book Centre of Greece calls CIED a ‘very sophisticated project’.

Subsequently CIED recommends learning to use ‘culture’ for developing guidelines for planning. Out of the art of creating consensus at local level other possibilities for planning interventions can be developed. The degree to which that becomes the practice depends upon a good co-ordination between leading experts and local / regional authorities. Success comes with a methodology able to take care of details and to guide implementation of policy towards real needs of people. Substantial reason has to be given once such projects qualify the actors involved, while the overall impact can be assessed from both inside and outside the project itself. As ‘precise planning tool’ it means culture in every aspect can be taken into consideration.


10. History and theoretical - artistic background

Part of the reasons for the approach taken by CIED can be found in the steps leading up to making finally this successful proposal. Both the Fifth Seminar on “Cultural Actions for Europe” held in Athens 1994 and the subsequent conference on the “Myth of the City” held in Crete 1995 were stepping stones towards this attempt to bring about prospective fruitful relationships between culture and economy.

Equally references could be made to ongoing discussions within the Aegean Seminars taking place every second or third year and which some CIED members such as Vasilis Sgouris, Phil Cooke and Hatto Fischer have attended since 1985. As a matter of fact, the city of Volos joined CIED after Vasilis Sgouris and Hatto Fischer discussed the project following the Aegean seminar held on the island of Milos 1996. Significantly the seminar dealt for the first time at that time with the topic: ‘cultural turn in the criticism of the market’. 

Crucial for understanding the theoretical contents of the Aegean Seminars is how economists, geographers, architects and planners working both as free consultants, but also within various university and governmental settings, re-address the crucial spatial dimension. This goes with a criticism of market forces and what governmental policies have been applied over time. Already at one of the earliest Aegean seminars, namely the Lesvos one of 1985, there was extended Adam Smith’s Division of Labour to the interrelationships between cities and their regions. It means looking at how the linkage between the ‘logic of organising work’ and ‘use of space’ has been re-shaped over time as cities expanded and re-organised use of space.

These theoretical studies and discussions are relevant to CIED because they relate to the period especially after the industrial society collapsed. Since then every local and regional economy must revive itself on a different premise. As recent developments indicate, there has to be included the cultural sector and the cultural economy.

CIED recommends that all these materials are made available in a common database, so as to ensure a ‘continuity of theoretical work’ accompanying Good Practice. Modern Communication Technology allows for such ‘dissemination activities’ that emerge out of a common archive. Digital libraries are already in place, but for overall planning concepts linked to culture and cultural policy, this is still in need of being implemented. Only once this is available, can all arguments and reports that are put forth in this respect by Council, Parliament and Commission be substantiated. Equally it is recommended that linkages should be developed to other Pilot Projects that have contributed likewise to concepts of Good Practice in the field of culture and economic development.


11. Organisational principles of CIED

Subsequently CIED has been organised and shaped according to both artistic and scientific principles. While the first deals with constraints in order to become creative, the second is much more linked to the kind of methodological discussions Popper and Adorno envisioned for the Social Sciences in their Positivism-Debate.

When referring to how artists are organised, the painter Roger Servais explains what is most crucial for realising a successful workshop, namely the setting of constraints. This can be done by leaving to artists all the freedom of expression, but to give them one constraint, namely, for example, to use only paper and nothing else, that is not stone, metal, wood etc. Translated into the context of CIED, co-ordination communicated to all partners, that it should be clear from the outset that the project strives to fulfil concrete needs within real constraints. It is one of the five objectives.

Indeed more problems are created if artificial needs are pursued. The avoidance thereof finds within CIED its expression in extending the work by the cultural committee to user groups looking into how a specific former industrial building could be re-used. As demonstrated by Cardiff, Palermo and to some extent also by Volos, importance was attached to finding out not only the needs of those who would use the building for specific purposes, but above all how the project could satisfy local needs of the population living in the proximity to the planned intervention.

Out of such reflections evolved the concept of cultural sustainability to ensure that needs of the local population would be met by the project insofar as they could uphold it in their daily lives. To sustain something like a museum in a former industrial plant means specific needs are met within an expanding historical dimension, the memories of the place here crucial for understanding the cultural impact such a project may have upon the local population and not only. For Iris Reuther, planner from Leipzig pointed out that with such development projects the reference points as to where one wishes to take any visitor change. Industrial heritage becomes crucial for this shift in focus and interest.

In that sense, ‘cultural innovation’ means refining the project’s proposal until these local needs are met. Thus any strive towards job creation has to include the local population and not depend merely on experts from outside. This then should determine the new character of a former industrial building / site being re-used in a different way than that of the past. The example of Cantieri della Zisa in Palermo reflects how that can work, e.g. the ticket policy meant that for every visitor who brings someone from the neighbourhood, one person can enter free of charge.

CIED’s orientation towards ‘reality’ means innovation is directed towards the locality, while the bottom-up approach has a real chance to become successful by all economic and cultural criteria. This requires, however, political sensitivity rather than top-down interventions.


12. Scientific background

The scientific methodology applied by CIED has a philosophical background that includes references to Kuhn’s ‘Structure of Scientific Revolutions’ and attaches some importance to the sensible questioning of Lakatos about Popper’s position. The latter understands science as being reducible to an inter-subjective logic ensuring a methodology that allows the testing of a working hypothesis on the basis of the falsification principle. Translated into the context of CIED, validation in the form of cultural consensus coming into existence in support of the project was taken as one major criterion. In other words, if local authorities envision a certain relationship between culture and economic development, then they must allow this working hypothesis to be tested in reality. It means initiating a learning process between what the local authorities wish to do and what the local population desires really.

In Europe, there is unfortunately a tradition of thought that lacks any sound empirical basis and hence forgets reality by being entrapped in some kind of self generated and self defined concept. Since Hegel this has been the plight of speculative idealism because it ends up usually in disappointment since reality was meant to conform solely to the concept rather than being an independent existence of such a concept.

CIED recommends a realistic approach to future developments through key projects. Two aspects interrelate when following up scientific endeavours in a modern context:

First of all, the pitfalls of image making processes are to be avoided by local authorities. Local authorities should not try to compete at that level. There is a tendency towards new myths and symbolic presentation instead of facing reality. At all costs that should be avoided since modern myth making carries with it the risk of being out of date and merely distorting perception of the present. Instead conscious cultural policy should further actions towards gathering energies for doing things. This can be done best by relocating artistic endeavours in the midst of all activities of local society and by letting culture become authentic. As Michael D. Higgins posed the key question, but what kind of city does everyone want if not just one for consumers while excluding all other kinds of people who do not fit into that kind of society. Cultural work means, therefore, in letting people become freer to work out alternatives and substantial concepts for living, working, playing and doing things.

Secondly, these efforts have to be embedded in a scientific approach towards testing the working hypothesis. Only validated knowledge can be a basis for both innovation and such policy that furthers sustainable economic development. For the latter scientific models of measurement are needed but also the ability to work at local level with cultural indicators.

CIED stands for a validation process of the imagined relationship between culture and economic development to be learned about by going through a certain procedure from testing by the local cultural committees to giving advise to the authorities. The testing of the working hypothesis was subsequently a prime prerequisite for all partners to start off with when the implementation of CIED started in January 1998. Meeting quantitative standards in terms of employment was another aspect worthwhile striving to fulfil. Growth in local partnership is still another indicator of having found a fruitful dynamic between experts and local / regional authorities.


13. Pitfalls of modernity: corruption of the mind

In the modern context, theory as a way to perceive things is being increasingly denied and replaced by image making machinery’s that manage to convert even the most grotesque mistakes into success. With it goes a ‘corruption of the mind’ until it is impossible to tell the difference between what is demanded out of the abstract need for ‘success’ in this type of society and what can be achieved in this kind of reality with the people being left in conditions as they are?

For instance, the ‘cultural crisis’ of unemployment is repeatedly overlooked, but a person who does not see any value in him- or herself will have a difficult stand when there is need to mediate between own abilities and what is demanded at the job. Without this self-esteem any person is subject to abuse especially when working within hierarchical structures in which everyone keeps silent although gross violations in terms of human rights at work are committed every day. That has consequences for everybody.

In particular, what should experts do when they become engaged in joint ventures with local / regional authorities? Should they tell the authorities the reality or must they be also so convincing that a solution can be found, that is a crucial question to be answered when giving advise. How empirical can the approach be before self-convincing arguments fail to produce the desired effect and instead lead on to the next election defeat because the other signs of discontent in the population were not really heeded? Especially EU funding can turn out to be short term illusion of success while in the long run the lack of sustainability speaks quite another language.

If there is too much rationalisation going on, e.g. no true opening up of the decision making process to the local cultural committee, but managing the project only from within the single institution, i.e. development agency, then due to lack of participation no working hypothesis can be tested. It is all too natural then that the project shall fail to achieve as culturally motivated outcome a learning process.

Of course, experts and in general the public have a difficult time because the art of working with political authorities is not easy. There is a need of local authorities and their politicians to be protected against absolute failures nor do they wish to be exposed to any kind of criticism. They need to keep face no matter the circumstances and do not wish to be exposed by some unpleasant revelations the experts may have discovered in due process. That is why the European Commission is right in asking specifically in the Interim and Final Report about this relationship. It governs very much an Article 10 project.

CIED ended up in due course working with very different types of local authorities and subsequently constellations of local partnerships comprised of formal and informal organizations. While Cardiff and Galway had two different kinds of managerial bodies as local authorities, Leipzig differentiated its linkage between European project and the City of Leipzig by involving a semi public organisation on whose board the City itself was represented, but with no institutional necessity to consult or to work with the officials of the city. Consequently Leipzig as such failed to realise a cultural committee or user group as compared to the other partners and often they were the cause of much irritation since the other partners did not really understand this top-down approach to things. Volos had in DEMEKAV the Municipal Enterprise involved as in Palermo both the municipal government and other organizations came together to implement the CIED project at local level. As the project progressed more members joined the Palermo project. There was clear evidence that the political side gave the fullest possible support to the project and hence made it into quite another success story.

Naturally political authorities are prone to make themselves belief that they are infallible. What makes it one-sided is that they wish to be measured only in terms of success, that is in such terms as it enhances their self-confidence. As CIED’s methodology unfolded, attention had to be given, therefore, to this fact that political support was needed but also the acknowledgement of reality free of any political expectation or even direct influence.

Since empirical reality touches upon many things, including Sartre’s ideas about the imagination, it became crucial for the CIED project to hear Norman Pyres’ encouragement that the partners seek as much outcomes in terms of a learning process as concrete outcomes.

In brief, there can be no progress made if the experts are not willing to challenge bad practice at local level and if a project fails to communicate the demands of the European Commission to create jobs and to bring about the European dimension. There is wisdom in the methodological approach to accountability without which rationalization and even worse corruption of the mind would but produce illusionary outcomes. That would not contribute to the sustainability of the project itself.


14. Measures of time

To be successful, every project has to take into consideration the specific time context in which it is to be implemented. For CIED, it is self-evident that at a time when the Industrial Society is fading into history, that the contours of new survival strategies are anything but clear. Subsequently there are needed new measures of time, but also a definition of the tasks ahead, in order that local authorities can respond to and guide economic development. Since all localities have come under the increasing pressure of globalisation, their problem is how to face not only complexities of their own making, but how to negotiate with quite forceful forces of inward investments that can transform any locality beyond all recognition. This is where ‘Good Practice’ comes in as a rule that investments must take into consideration local cultures.

In view of local authorities being most often over-demanded by the impact of the new economy, CIED tries to pose the question of culture anew when it comes to shaping future development strategies. There prevails a paradox. As shown by the LOGOS EU project, despite technology claiming some kind of universality and equality, there continue to prevail throughout Europe cultural inequalities. These differences have been explained by the LOGOS project. They are due to cultural differences existing in Europe in how use is made of resources made available by the Information Society.

Hence future cultural contribution to both European integration and further economic development requires more than just better training and higher qualifications aside from greater mobility of employees and increased competitiveness of Europe in the world. As other Article 10 projects demonstrate as well, economic development needs to be based much more on the cultural adaptation of the local market to regional, national and international conditions. Out of it results a different understanding of innovative networks based on commonly shared cultural values.

The innovative capacity of culture is to give trust to what people can do, in order to evolve out of the past by shaping more clearly their future. For that they need true measures of time. Maturation around clearly defined objectives takes time. Here the European Commission shows much patience and wisdom in letting projects work out their internal difficulties and mistakes. That gives to the partners the possibility to become self-responsible and to be present in the project.

Extra value and motivation is attained when all partners have a sense of making history when developing further the core ideas of the project. As enrichment possibility of all actors making valuable experiences through such complex and sophisticated validation process, the opportunities given by the European Commission are indeed worthwhile to consider as new measures of time.


15. Innovative networks - new work forms

The thesis of Phil Cooke, Cardiff about ‘innovative networks’ as prerequisite for entry into economic benefits based on redistribution of work is crucial for further understanding use of culture as an evolving strategy on how to work together. With it goes exchange of information, but on the basis of common cultural values that allows communication with understanding each other’s needs and potentialities to give. One of the most crucial cultural values is honesty. If it governs the giving of information, then the overall outcome shall be ‘excellence of work’. That then says a lot about the new work forms required to stay both competitive and co-operative.

Innovative networks are based on a much greater ability to share information and to continue learning from others than previous forms of ‘exchange of knowledge’ made possible, for example, in the past between industry, universities and special research entities. But they face also the risk that some group or organisation jumps out of the co-operative spirit for the sake of short-term profit taking. Hence it is crucial according to Phil Cooke that short-term commitments are transformed into long-term ones. This constituted then the main work of the Cardiff User Group at the end of the CIED project.

Subsequently CIED perceives flows of information very much as flows of energies that allow people to do things with a vision for their future while remaining in dialogue with the past. As the urban planner Iris Reuther would state, most significant is securing a continuity of identity amidst all of these changes.


16. The negative Industrial Heritage and Energy Policy

Clearly a significant change in the urban but also regional landscape has been the decline of industrial production. In Leipzig 90% of all industry closed after the opening of the Berlin Wall 1989.

Industrial heritage, including its archaeological facets, reveals a new version of culture not based on any kind of anthropological reductionism of man. Indeed the industrial age left quite a different imprint upon man and nature as described best by conflicts between nature and man-made forces or technology. That is reflected in the writings of Rousseau and Kant. Theyhad envisioned or even imagined man as being unable to learn to be practical in society and, therefore, mankind needed the ‘categorical imperative’ to be disciplined into the kind of productive world as conceived by Adam Smith.

However, as events showed since First World War and then with the dropping of the Atom Bomb at the end of Second World War, mankind did not anticipate what would be possible as a result of the release of so much energy. The destructive forces of technology and with it industrialisation can be seen everywhere today with regards to both the environment and under what alienation mankind suffers. Especially urban squalor and impossible living conditions reveal the hideous side of such economic development that does not regard sustainability to be an important issue. These issues are connected to use of nuclear energy, but extend over and beyond that to how mankind has been exploiting all natural and human resources.

Hence since Second World War, there is an urgent but not as of yet fulfilled demand, namely to control the release of energy. It ought to happen in such a way that it does not do any further harm to mankind and the environment. Unfortunately nuclear energy has taxed more than the present also future generations with some deeply harmful, equally unresolved problems of nuclear wastage. Chernobyl is here a prime example of how absurd the situation has become for mankind, the numerous nuclear submarines just an extension thereof.

Clearly man’s dealing with energy sources and technical means to produce even more energy should be linked to a new set of constraints. More than mere visions and political actions in favour of crude business practices, there is a need for such governance that strengthens both cultural identity and cultural consensus. Both can be regarded as prerequisites for a continuity of ‘good practice’ based on common shared values and a strong sense of responsibility making possible social cohesion and avoidance of wastage of resources. At local level it will help also to resolve such urgent issues as to where a sewage treatment plant can be constructed rather than letting everything just flow into the river or sea.

Responsibility begins by not displacing the problem, but in acknowledging that these are common problems.


17. Types of Investment

Within such a modern context, any European project must be able to relate to the pertinent questions of industrial heritage when it comes to differentiate between types of investments. As the case of all urban planning decisions, the approach taken to needed investments for further economic development affects naturally decisions as to whether or not a former industrial plant is torn down or else the money can be used to help reshape this former space for new uses. The outcome depends upon how new ‘planning interventions’ evolve out of a system no longer based on a ‘checks and balance’, but on ‘cultural sustainability’.

Within the current European setting, all this is linked on how institutions manage to obtain EU co-funding and how the projects are implemented. That can be considered as incentive for further investments. However, as a result of a substantial amount of unspecific distribution of EU funds regional inequalities continue to prevail. This is mainly due to interests of Member States prevailing over a direct linkage between the European Commission and the local level. Here the Article 10 projects constituted a positive exception, giving thereby numerous new actors to qualify themselves through European projects in terms of cultural and project management. So generally speaking, most of the Structural Fund related efforts have not matured as of yet into an overall pillar of the European Union.

There continues to prevail throughout the European Union a fierce competition for inward investments, something that cultural policy could offset. Findings show, however, that even in countries like Finland the structural fund provision for culture does not alleviate this problem.

In the end, modern management methods, lobbies and vested interests favour a policy of exclusion. MEPs of the European Parliament call this a re-nationalisation of EU policy. Member States and in some cases their powerful regions do that, in order to have a monopoly on EU funds.

It would be crucial to continue the direct linkage between the European Commission and local actors, in order to allow for a further qualification. Also as is the case especially in Germany, more people ought to be motivated to become involved in European projects. Although many have the notion of these projects being based on the ideas of networking as the spine of European integration, they lack the experience and hence the most important socialisation. Subsequently the cultural gap between those able to work at the European level and that is within international co-operative forms and those not having anything to do with the European level, as in many areas in Great Britain, is enormous. It is difficult to imagine on how that gap can be bridged by other than cultural actions aiming to integrate people into the European Union’s understanding of methodology and accountability.

Because of the overdrive towards mere management, these scarce EU funds are not distributed evenly nor down to the local level, but rather used to give power to key institutions, conscious efforts to determine the development pattern locally have little chances to materialise themselves. Consequently the local authorities risk loosing the kind of economic development needed to retain ‘identity of place’. By giving in too much to the demands of new investors, that is by not placing key constraints as ethical minimum for any negotiation, they loose out in terms of both a supportive consensus within the local population and in negotiations with the national levels of governance. The latter holds the key to interpreting EU programmes and deprives thereby the local level of valuable international experiences.

It was clear to CIED that many constraints have to be articulated prior to finding a convincing path towards sustainable solution. That depends on the interpretation given to what investments are needed for the future. As Leipzig demonstrates, this has to include overcoming the very monstrosity of huge industrial buildings while not giving in to a general tendency to simply tear things down. Just as in the case of archaeological sites, former industrial buildings need to be preserved because they entail besides a historical memory of man’s activities a vast architectural history. Such a value went largely unnoticed as a long the chimneys’ were still smoking and more than 5000 people streamed daily through the main gate either on foot or on bicycles. Today that impact upon society has vanished, but not so the image of the coercive powers of industry to employ so many people.

As a recommendation CIED would propose an evaluative scheme of different types of investments starting with culturally motivated ones to merely business orientated ventures. Within Europe governed by different spatial planning concepts, the linkages between Cardiff in Wales and Volos in Greece could not be more apparent than what happens with pension funds in the UK. They are not allowed to be used for construction in the UK, but certainly in Greece. Much of the hidden dimensions of ill conceived planning and violations of building regulations – the famous illegal settlements or constructions in Greece – can be attributed to lack of social and political coherence in development strategies right across Europe. The pretension of being economically orientated without seeing the consequences of the land being fragmented worse than what takes place in cities with their uncontrolled sub-urbanisation processes leaves at the very least the bitter taste of double standards.

CIED would like to see a moratorium on investments made in Europe in order to halt further destruction of cultural landscapes. The absolute building stop on the outskirts of Palermo by Mayor Orlando is such an example. He saw that as a prerequisite to save the historical centre from further neglect and deterioration. There are types of investments neither needed nor real contributors to sustainable development. They ought to be identified and per regulation to be made impossible. The positive constraint of culture is just that: the promotion of Good Practice


18. CIED's Self-Understanding

Given this perception on how to link culture with economic development, CIED confronted four basic needs when co-ordination and the partners started to communicate with one another about to the project’s self-understanding. It was understood right from the beginning that:


CIED wishes to relate to theory and practice, in order to comprehend modern culture in the making. This process has to be seen in connection with the newly emerging economy leaving behind the industrial society. As phenomenon it is connected with the question, but how do people wish and end up living together with others? The partners of CIED found it most helpful that the project allowed them to discover another language of praxis.


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