Forum for Creative Regions and Cities

Committee of the Regions, a political assembly giving local and regional authorities within EU a voice within the EU structure, arranged a two-day meeting in Brussels on 20 – 21 of April. More than four hundred participants gathered, together with a hundred invited ”young talents” from many parts of Europe, to discuss what makes regions and cities creative, what would make Europe more creative and together with practical examples both in panels and study visits around Brussels.

The first panel discussion addressed the question ”What makes regions and cities creative?”. A crucial question for EU-Commission if the aim of the year of creativity and innovation is supposed to give results in more innovation and affect economy in a positive way. Many things were put forward, both by the panel, and also by the many young entrepreneurs, cultural practitioners and students in the audience. Why doesn’t education in Europe have more ideas about how to foster creativity? How come the visionary eyes of the young child is gone in the eyes of grown-ups? What happens going through the educational system? Many Art Educations are quite conservative, how could these change? How can Artists and politicians work more together? Are there educational tools to be used? Where do you turn to if you have ideas of something to start?

On the question ”If you get to choose, what is the priority action at EU level?” the answer was unison: Get rid of the blocks in EU, make access to EU money less bureaucratic!

A crucial question if the hopes of creative economy is to come true. There is also a close link between the year of intercultural dialogue in EU last year, and the year of creativity and innovation. If new creative ideas are to happen, the wide variety of competence, skills, cultural and ethnic backgrounds need to be addressed and taken care of in a different way than is done today. There are hopes that the creative field will be the new savior in the financial crisis. Perhaps it will be. But only if you do a correct analysis of the field, understand how running organisations, Artistic practice, projects work, using the competence in the field to find the right incentives to catalyze the potential – there are of course an enormous potential. If you don’t, and get stuck in policies and the overestimated perception of what creativity and innovation is, it will be more difficult. There is a balancing act that needs to be performed.

Artist Jörgen Svensson represented Region Västra Götaland with the project Art and Politics and the project Community Art Lab formed together with Nätverkstan, a project based on using creative processes as a tool for city development. Interesting projecs were for instant FIRST innovation Park in Brno, Czech Republic, and the housing project led by Territorial and Urban Development of Castilla-La Mancha in Spain, led together with Mia Hägg, an archtiect in Paris running Habiter Autrement. Urbact, European Programme for Urban Sustainability, just launched a report that can be found on the website.

The Community Art Lab project will soon be posted on this website. Other posts connected to this are for instand Robert McNulty from America for the Arts, on Migration and Entrepreneurs, the seminar in Barcelona in January on the same topic, and examples from India. A programme of the seminar can be downloaded here CreativeCitiesRegions16-04-09. Encatc had a smaller seminar in the afternoon of the 21st of April to continue the discussion, with interesting inputs from Pascale Bonniel Charier of experiences from Grand Lyon and Donato Guiliani from Region Nord Pas de Calais. Download the programme for the Encatc seminar here seminar_encatc090421.

12 Responses to “Forum for Creative Regions and Cities”

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