2. Analysis of the particular conditions (social, economic, cultural, political) in which such plans have been developed
In midst of this discussion there come contradictory developments: while the cultural economy has gained in significance as of late, the world wide economic crisis leaves more often culture aside when politicians scramble to safeguard jobs by introducing measures aiming to uphold confidence and trust in the banking system and therefore in the money used as decision carrier in all transactions. This then touches not only at the value chain and what is considered to be the market compared to where the state should intervene by imposing regulations, but questions according to which ‘rationality’ i.e. presupposed assumptions about dialogues in open or public spaces, debates take place in order to arrive at ‘sound’ decisions to safeguard the way people wish to work, live and communicate together.
Culture covers the yearning of people for a true and authentic life and thus includes dreams as much as stories about 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.”
Consequently culture results out of not being indifferent to the pains and fears of others. Through it empathy is developed which make dialogues possible, even if this assumption developed over centuries within the Western World are doubted by now as not holding world wide. The dialogue between cultures is doubted in the face of Muslims not agreeing with Christians and vice versa. It seems as if the mass protest in the Islamic world against the Danish cartoons points only in the direction of still further, because hardened misunderstandings with the one side feeling insulted in their religious feelings while the other defends the freedom of expression as a basic human right. Mediation between these two sides are possible, but only if the time is taken to take into consideration the views of the other side.
Louis Baeck, the economic historian, believes the Western world is at risk not to practice this as almost all references made in debates about culture and world affairs can be traced back to the specific West, namely the United States of America. This prevents, so Louis Baeck, western scholars and especially economists to comprehend the Islamic view of globalization. 
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
Urban renewal in Brazil
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 Cultural planning strategies: the art of bringing together four different structural features of any city: economy, society, politics and creative people
– 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 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.
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: a city seeks a specific qualification approach - Linz – Cultural development Plan – seeks cooperation between local, regional and federal level
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.”
- by comparison the cultural dimension = region is doubtful if articulated at that level unless you take Germany with its federal system and culturally well defined regions
- cultural planning and economic strategies are brought together
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: Linking up centre with peripheries through 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
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.
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.
- in philosophy problems of perception have been discussed by Merleau-Ponty while phenomenology deals more with ‘illusions of perception’
- art history leaves room for many kinds of perceptions (‘Story of Art’ / Michel Foucault’s “Les mots et les choses” – Hoffraeulein)
- perception of needs translated into social actions reveals a complexity of its own since different time horizons are involved to explain the time it takes for these needs to be articulated, that is they reflect already in their articulation the conditions under which they can be fulfilled. As this sets certain value premises cultural planning has to be able to make an analysis of these needs in terms of resources required for their fulfilment while at the same time the very articulation indicates an interesting viewpoint on how cultural planning can and gets started. A measure of culture is then the time scale and quality of response to these needs. It tells a story if they can be satisfied / fulfilled / responded to for here society enters also the contemplation as to what is possible. It means involving as much ‘memories of the future’ as bringing up past experiences to resolve some of the more difficult questions as to why these needs cannot be fulfilled here and now.
To this can be added:
- material needs e.g. for shelter
- food within certain forms of preparation (Levy Strauss)
- need to know what is going on (from stories to news to science)
- ‘people who need people are the luckiest of all people’: need as social integration
- Needs as form of sublimation before realized in art work (S. Freud)
- Hierarchy of needs (ethics and decisions) – to what is given priority to – with linkage to urban agenda as expression of how priorities are set but also what are different time sequences when describing a city’s development
- Mediation in society between type of economy and demand for just distribution e.g. need for social justice as value orientation (or what happens once people have to wait a life time or beyond for unfair distribution problems can be resolved – the generation question and what would be sustainable development out of such perspective)
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:
- Economic structure characterised by structural problems such as a percentage of traditional activities (e.g., craft industry) and absence of new dynamic activities (e.g., services to companies), parallel to the very reduced size of the companies (which are "companies" made up of only one self-employed person). The cultural needs of a specific traditional sector have been how to modernise without loosing continuity of identity. The small scale can become an advantage once innovation and key investments allows craft industry to take on a new quality of work. As to the absence of service to other companies often location decisions by companies and therefore new investments is linked to such practical needs for the employees of these companies e.g. cultural facilities linked to good schools and high standard of literacy. Self employed artists have to be given orientation and services so as to develop a new scope of activities by which they can attract new buyers and thereby create a local art market.
- High official unemployment, both in relative and absolute terms, and higher semi-official unemployment. The latter characteristic is in relation to the high percentage of informal economic activities. When looking at those who make up the cultural sector / creative industry, there are by now many different levels of employment, self employment perhaps the most common form as it indicates desire for freedom but also weakness on the part of the individual when it comes to mediate between self assertion and demands of any employer on how his or her time is spend when working for a specific organisation. Many are unemployed, if perceived in strict economic terms and measured in terms of income received over a period of time, but then on the other hand many of these individuals perceive themselves as not willing to adopt to the needs and constraints of any given organisation existing in society. Their uncompromising stand or difficulty to integrate themselves is counterweighted by enormous motivation and willingness to work even as a volunteer. Often an artist when creating a show or making an exhibition will create many jobs or earning opportunities for others e.g. designer of invitation card, printer of the card so that expenditures are made almost as if these fixed costs can be covered by either the private gallery or public authority sponsoring the exhibition but no direct income is earned by the artist. It is expected that this happens by the ability to sell his or her paintings. Whether or not such an artist decides to sell only through a gallery or else when at home in his atelier, that depends on the level of professional recognition but also on the degree of cooperation possible between this artist and cultural institutions. Due to a general lack of cultural cooperation most of the cultural activities end up being realized in ways that remain informal and therefore are hardly noticed by society. There is even resistance against over commercialization. The need of the artist is to stay authentic and creative and that is not a given at all times. Hence the artist enters a decision making process with no foregone conclusions as to who will benefit from deepening the cultural cooperation. Another term for cultural cooperation is working together with others (e.g. Van Gogh dreamt about ‘atelier of the South’ in the realization that there are subjects worthy to be painted but no single individual has the energy or capacity to fulfil the demands of that specific subject matter.)
- Very problematic population pyramid, where the highest age brackets dominate. It can be said those tending to work in the cultural sector are by average much younger than the average working population. This is because younger people are willing to take more risks and to enter a life which is not preconditioned by definite work forms. The freedom gives strength if it can be dealt with as another way of interacting with other people. Age differences play a role when thinking about health insurance and pensions especially for those approaching a higher age group and therefore becoming more fragile. The question is, however, whether or not the cultural sector reflects the overall age pyramid of Western Societies with a high proportion of aged persons still working at a high age rather than retire. One demographic observation has to be added: the tendency for women to pursue their careers rather than marry and have children. Again the question is how this affects more than average those working in the cultural sector.
- Low training level and high proportion of illiterates. While usual analysis departs from almost classical definitions of poverty, reasons thereof, immediately it can be noticed that people working in the cultural sector are highly trained, most often in varied and different disciplines and of high literacy level. Still, the low paid, and even below existence living part of the population intermingle often with artists who stay outside mainstream, and thereby end up living in the same areas as the impoverished. The main difference is that these move in and out without being inhibited by either background or chances offered to people by society. Artists simply created their own chances even while exhibiting at Guggenheim or at Tate Modern.
- Acute phenomena of inequalities between men and women: (a) the economic activities give only a reduced number of opportunities to women, in particular as a result of n and to the predominance of small enterprises of employed persons; (b) the absence of support infrastructure such the children's nursery schools and the large number of old people force women to remain to the hearth and to ensure "unremunerated" services, and reduce of as much their possibilities of taking part in labour market. Again the same cannot be said about the cultural sector even though a male domination of the arts and culture was known to be the case of the past. Whether this trend continues to manifest itself, is uncertain. Definite is that the myth of men being creative while women bring babies to the world as their creativity has been if not entire destroyed, at least been questioned by many successful women artists. They have also begun to bridge artistic fields and teaching professions more successfully than many of their male colleagues. Presumably it has to do with another approach to institutions. Here Carol Becker former dean of the Chicago Art Institute gives insights on how it happened that she assumed such a high and responsible position while taking this activity to mean integrating the institute in the city of Chicago. As such creativity means using the imagination subversively. As student of Herbert Marcuse she has applied the principles of aesthetics in a most successful way and would only remark that her job does not allow enough time for research, at least not as much as she would like. By this it can be said human development is linked to accessibility of resources but also what momentum can be created out of human and institutional relationships by which shaping policy and making crucial decisions seems to be an added component when it comes to upgrade the creative sector. The latter had been lacking management and organisational skills while artists complain still bitter that it is not so much the fight for recognition – meaning exhibitions, customers of art works, prizes, invitations to Biennales etc. – but the very absence of mediation when in conflict with society. Here artists yearn for a more protective role being played by public institutions as the question of artistic freedom of expression differs from the freedom to express one’s opinion (Martin Jay). Now related to point a) the cultural sector is most active and innovative when there are many small units (artistic enterprises) and this can give many opportunities to women to attain an equal status with men, consequently small enterprises is not here a draw back but a definite advantage. It should be taken into consideration as to what any cultural planning strategy wishes to encourage e.g. artistic activities on the basis of workshops the size of normal shops but with additional infrastructural advantages. This then goes to point b): the need for cultural infrastructures should not be reduced merely to having Kindergartens or care centres for the elderly since the integration of all ages in an active sector means the cultural sector can make that more easily possible than the stringent work organisations of economic enterprises (industry, banks, even cultural institutions). Here something can be learned from the Mediterranean cultures which do not believe in segregating the elderly out of the active work force and then make them redundant by pushing them into homes for the aged. In Greece, grandmothers act much more as baby sitters for the grandchildren than perhaps elsewhere the case in Northern countries. Also by living more closely together, the inhumane effect of being isolated in the home for the aged – how many old people just sit beside the window and look out into the park – is never experienced nor structurally supported. The question is again what defines the labour market and can any cultural planning strategy break up such clear distinctions as being employed, hence a part of the active labour force, and what is in terms of the arts work but not usually recognized as such e.g. making sketches or just gathering ideas before putting that on canvas, into a film, or to write as a novel. The traditional labour market has always used the definition of being active and receiving pay for such activities.
- Concentration of numerous immigrants and of Gypsies (socially integrated). It is said that in those areas where low income families reside a different kind of networking takes place. The street becomes an extended space. Maria Papadimitriou as artist has worked together with Gypsies and created as a result the muse museum to show how Gypsies make use of space in a very different manner. Of interest is that they are so innovative that urban planners are astonished when they realize that Gypsies realise already things they have only dreamt about until now. Like the labour market, so city spaces are redefined by what takes place in the streets and how the entire life of a city becomes an expression of what kind of life is sustained. In the historical city of Palermo, for instance, living quarters have been converted into transit places since people coming from Africa tend to move on to Northern countries like the United Kingdom. This is why such a place has a vulnerable concentration with networking between migrants and relatives elsewhere is a stronger binding force than what would be the immediacy of a local population to a place called home. Cultural planning strategies must adapt to such circumstances in order to come up with realistic proposals on how to stabilize the population change-over since no place shall remain stable if there is no consistency in local orientations. Most often experts argue like in Marseilles and other places of big minority groups with now dominant Muslim populations that they need their own communities based on their religion and culture. Yet this drive towards distinctiveness has not let these people to integrate into another kind of society in the making, even if the muteness of social and educational institutions of Western Societies have not really allowed for such cultural development as to go beyond typical identity patterns. That is why these places are often interwoven with specific cultural patterns contrasted to certain fashions and cultural movements e.g. Rappers, Hip hop artists included. The reading of the times in a cultural way is to perceive this search for self understanding has often no other identification than staying the same as to what may be a typical identity. This can be explained by the simple fact the more uncertainty in identity the stronger the need to use symbols, dresses, forms of expression to delineate the self from others and at the same time this self takes up a cohesive whole by assuming that only a certain collectivity will stand in spirit and materially for this acclaimed identity.
- The area also presents problems from the point of view of the environmental conditions with a cultural need being to upgrade the area even if only to a minimum standard in comparison to other areas of planning interventions: it is a mistake to speak only about environmental conditions when in fact is meant as well cultural heritage and quality of life as cultural value. This includes the way land is treated and what would be a natural affinity to the ancestors who lived there. But since Europe has been colonised in many ways through the times, Venetian fortresses around the Mediterranean but a reminder when Venice was a city state and dominated besides other city states, the contradictions to the present could not be greater with over commercialization creating migration streams in one while the tourist streams tend in the other direction. The analysis has to be, therefore, more subtle and make evident on how from several points of view the cultural conditions are to be perceived in terms as to what problems a city has to deal with. For instance, in times of high unemployment and discrepancies in incomes, it becomes nearly impossible for municipal councils to justify expenditure for expensive restorations when there is missing housing, schools, hospitals, and all the basic infrastructures, including sewage, road system, electricity etc. However, a cultural analysis has show that the breaking away of economic development has created huge problems. A cultural planning strategy must, therefore, be introduced into political deliberations as answer to the need to remain more attentive to the social and cultural context. It means a more comprehensive planning methodology has to be adopted, including cultural impact studies as part of mandatory measures and not just environmental impact assessments and/or feasibility studies. Here it is to show what advantages a cultural planning strategy entails for a Municipal Council and for the city’s development.
- Traditional adjustment of the roadway system which goes back to the Ottoman period and is not appropriate absolutely for the needs of the movement. This is a good example of cultural heritage, cultural consensus and new developments converging when a matter of deciding whether or not these old road systems obstruct the need for a modern transport system or if these should be preserved in a way that the city finds a new mediation between the old and the new? Palermo in the CIED project decided not to get rid of the old Arabic sewage system in the old town or historic centre; as a matter of fact experts came to the conclusion that this sewage system can still function properly if essential repairs are made but without replacing the entire system with new pipes. The example gives rise on how things of the past are appraised out of the perspective of need for movement. Making visible evidence of the past can be used by the city as integrated component for articulation of own identity.
- Property park presenting problems of two natures: old buildings deteriorated by lack of conservation measures, and new buildings of very bad quality (illegal and/or at low prices and improvised). Any analysis must identify derelict areas and to what extent re-use can upgrade the area with obvious impact in cultural and socio-economic terms. The analysis must clarify how property and use thereof can be made compatible with the general law outlining land use, and therefore building permissions. Moreover, any analysis as to vulnerability of buildings in terms of cultural heritage asset or not would involve GIS maps and analysis of building quality with regards to seismic related activities. But this does not include as of yet how different grades of quality can be established as measuring tool in order to develop a scale of aesthetics departing from cultural heritage buildings to high quality constructions with many in-between solutions offering a view on how various developments swept a city. A special aspect to be considered are illegal land uses and buildings with hideous or other negative ramifications manifested as this represents the city’s blind eye to such kind of development. A cultural plan must take this into consideration since sometimes developments burst into the open or everything converges all at once on a certain area. While the city has to provide not merely infrastructural elements (electricity, sewage, accessibility) another is the upgrading of social services to include cultural ones. Coming back to the example given above, property and buildings are sub-divided into two categories: something neglected due to no conservation measures in place and bad development out of lack of building constraints. The latter can be taken further to mean cultural constraints e.g. Pelion and traditional village character has to be preserved by every new building, including use of materials i.e. stone.
- Very bad conditions of housing (taking into consideration indicators such as the useful surface area of dwelling per capita). Again two different kinds of categories can be applied for a cultural analysis: interior of a house and exterior, including surrounding area. What cultural needs can a house fulfil and what would be still further indicators, if this is taken into consideration? Library, but also what has become a new field of activity for museum experts on preservation, namely what cultural items (books, carpets, furniture etc.) deteriorate due to lack of proper climate in the house. There has to be added aside from the tangible the intangible cultural heritage e.g. who lived in that house. ‘Useful surface area of dwelling per capita’ as criterion can be looked from the angle of culture: what is needed per capita and what are cultural areas once this has been clarified? For children places for growing up cannot be reduced to just parks, kindergartens, sport fields etc. since the entire environment presents a challenge in what children have to get to know in order to know later how to move in a society they are growing up in. The lack of culture has primarily an impact upon mobility and whether or not people stay at the place after having gone through school or else seek opportunities elsewhere. Deteriorated places with strong signs of neglect can attract at times artists but they will motivate also those who wish another environment, more stimulating, to move out. Useable cultural areas can also be defined as to what is accessible to people for articulation possibilities. Interesting places are by definition diverse and have a strong identity. On the other side of the scale lack of social and cultural cohesion will have economic ramification.
- Problems of waste water evacuation and of cleanliness, and deterioration of image of public space. Cleanliness is a general cultural phenomenon the moment litter lies around, broken down cars lining the sidewalk etc. so that a general attitude of not caring prevails. Deterioration of public spaces indicates that the city is no longer attentive or active in all municipal areas. Cultural planning strategies would have to include, therefore, especially those places in need of being upgraded. In Brussels some of the worst affected areas by neglect were utilized by a photographer who blew up photos the size of billboards and mounted them around the square at three different levels: street level to show who lives in the surroundings; first or second floor level, what companies still work in the area e.g. optician firm to indicate working possibilities in contrast to the resigned mood on the square such as ‘I have no chance to get a job in this society’; and third level, a bird view to show where to locate the square in terms of the entire city. The same photographer had also followed the destruction of the city insofar as he made a series of photos from old buildings where the prostitutes used to live being torn down to make way for the new buildings of the European Commission.
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 as culture has an impact over and beyond the administrative borders of the 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, forces with an impact upon the local setting and how the outside world views the city. This is especially the case if these forces translate themselves through cultural initiatives, NGOs and institutions into a different setting in which very different needs are articulated. If over time this discrepancy alone in the perception of reality grows, then both the local administration and the various policy making institutions have to prepare themselves to come to terms with these growing needs translated sooner or later into demands, if governance of the entire territory is to be upheld.
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.
Integration and connectivity
For purpose of further analysis it should be clarified what cultural planning should demonstrate if it is to 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 also identify the cultural resources in need of being developed through special promotion, marketing and receptivity (documentation as part of efforts to create a living archive which traces the creative paths of individual artists and makes in turn that accessible to children so that they can follow and understand how an artist alters a painting as this will be a key to understand his future paintings by knowing key time junctures when new influences made an impact upon his or her artistic expression).
At a formal and institutional level there will have to be demonstrated the following:
• the integration of cultural planning into a council’s management planning processes;
• the integration of cultural planning and policy into a council’s other planning processes with links to other policies and plans of the council which make clear where and how the cultural plan informs those other policies and plans and where those other policies and plans inform and influence the local cultural plan;
• consideration of the impact where the actual patterns of life of the community do not conform to the administrative boundary of the local council;
• consideration of the impact that external, regional or sub-regional cultural facilities have on the locality and the wider impact of such facilities situated within a local government boundary;
• the development of partnerships with other councils, community organisations and agencies in the development and implementation of the cultural plan; and
• consideration of how a local cultural strategy can contribute to national and state cultural objectives.” 
 In reference to - NSW Guidelines to Cultural Planning
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.
- 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
- Zaragoza, Spain
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.
LinksDossier: Urban Transport
LinksDossier: Sustainable Development: EU Strategy
Analysis: The future of the world is urban
Other related news:
- EU 'not listening' to cities, says Commission
- EU audit shows big disparities in quality of city life
- 'Green jobs' on the increase
- UN conference agrees action on biodiversity loss
- MEP Beaupuy: EU efforts to limit urban sprawl 'non-existent'
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
- German Presidency (press release): Informal EU Council of Ministers for Urban Development and Territorial Cohesion adopts “Leipzig Charter” [FR] [DE] (24 May 2007)
- German Presidency (memo): The renaissance of cities [DE] (24 May 2007)
- German Presidency: Leipzig Charter on sustainable European cities (draft) (2 May 2007)
- German Presidency: Informal Ministerial Meeting on Urban Development and Territorial Cohesion
- Commission (press release): Europe's cities on front line of jobs and growth drive, Hübner tells ministers in Leipzig [FR] [DE] (24 May 2007)
- Commission (press release): What can the EU do for your city? Find the answers in the European Commission's new guide [FR] [DE] (24 May 2007)
- Commission (speech): Danuta Hübner: "Keeping cities in good shape" (24 May 2007)
- Commission (speech): Danuta Hübner: "First assessment on the urban dimension in the National Strategies and the Operational Programmes (2007 – 2013)" (24 May 2007)
- Eurocities: EUROCITIES expects positive results from dialogue with European Ministers (23 May 2007)
- European Commission Daily Press Release Provision of deficit and debt data for 2007 - second notification Euro area and EU27 government deficit at 0.6% and 0.9% of GDP
- European Environment Agency (EEA) EU-15 on target for Kyoto, despite mixed performances
- ACE Beverage Carton Industry Supports Commission Proposal to Fight Illegal Logging
- COPA-COGECA European forestry owners say “choose sustainable timber to tackle climate change”
- EHA The EHA salutes the EU Joint Undertaking for Fuel Cells and Hydrogen as an instrument to accelerate the market uptake of clean
- 6 November 2008
Road to Copenhagen Conference: ‘Last Stop for Climate Action before Poznan Conference’
- 15 - 17 November 2008
EU Development Days
- 19 - 20 November 2008
Sustainable Manufacturing Summit Europe - Towards Sustainable Consumption and Production in European Manufacturing
- 25 - 27 November 2008
Energy Intensive Industries and Climate Change
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