Culture for Cities and Regions

Funding programme:
Creative Europe
Lead partner:
Overall value:
€1 million

The project

The project aimed to take stock of existing cultural management practices in cities and regions all over Europe, to exchange and promote transfer of knowledge, to better understand successful cases of cultural investment and to go into the details of policy planning and implementation.

Our role

KEA was the scientific coordinator of the project, managing the methodology of the study visits and coaching sessions. We coordinated 15 thematic study visits in 10 regions and contributed to the drafting of 70 case studies across Europe. KEA was also responsible for the communication activities.

An exchange of knowledge between cities and regions

This EUR 1 million project funded under the Creative Europe programme and led by Eurocities aimed to examine existing practices of culture as a key element in local and regional development strategies. During three years, the project enabled the exchange and transfer of knowledge between cities and regions, to better understand successful examples of cultural investment, and to go into the details of policy planning and implementation.

Three main dimensions were explored throughout this project:

  • Culture and the creative industries for local economic development and urban regeneration
  • Cultural heritage as a driver for economic growth and social inclusion
  • Culture for social inclusion, social innovation and intercultural dialogue


Outcomes of the project

During this three-year project, together with our partners Eurocities, ERRIN (networks representing respectively over 130 cities and more than 90 regions in Europe) and with associated experts:

  • We produced a catalogue of more than 70 case studies
  • We facilitated the exchange of experiences between local authorities through 15 thematic study visits
  • We supported policy development through tailored coaching services for 10 cities/regions
  • We produced a final report on the project

In total, around 650 direct contributions were sent over by cities and regions from all over Europe. More than 200 cities and regions were involved in the initial phases.

Infographics of the outcomes of the European project Culture for Cities and Regions


Recommendations for a successful cultural investment in cities

While investment in culture is perceived as inherently risky, Culture for Cities and Regions debunked that myth, building ample evidence that investing in culture pays off. To make cultural investment work in cities, we put forward the following recommendations:

  • Set out a bold vision for culture in your city
  • Understand your cultural resources
  • Value your cultural workers
  • Think in terms of innovation (R&D&I) for culture
  • Help cultural workers to get organised locally
  • Encourage accidental encounters for innovation in the CCS
  • Identify ‘linking pins’ or ‘creative mediators’
  • Monitor and evaluate: document impacts of culture on the wider society and economy


The project led to a new EU-funded initiative: Cultural Heritage in Action! that started in 2020 and of which KEA is proud to be a partner.

Learn more and watch the project video!


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