From 29 March to 1 April 2017, the EUROCITIES culture forum in Tallinn brought together EUROCITIES representatives from cities across Europe to discuss urban cultural policy, the cultural challenges cities face and innovative ways that cities from across the continent find to overcome them. These practical recommendations are a result of the many discussions and presentations in Tallinn, which brought together the knowledge and experience of our member cities.
The theme was innovative models for cultural governance and partnerships in cities – using new governance structures and developing new and better partnerships to create urban cultural administrations which are fit for the future. Our main take-aways include:
1. Developing innovative forms of governance and partnerships requires open mindsets.
2. Citizens are experts: team up with them!
3. Never compromise on the artistic quality of projects selected by citizens and co-financed by cities.
4. Inclusion is a major challenge in participatory governance.
5. Use data to improve policy making.
The meeting also involved various ‘policy transfer sessions’ led by member cities themselves, who presented and discussed some of the innovative partnership and governance models that European cities have already been experimenting with. The first policy transfer session focused on building better partnerships, with examples from Espoo (Finland) on how the citizen is their key partner at the city library, and Zaragoza (Spain) who presented their new cultural board. The second policy transfer session discussed creative industries and creative quarters, with discussion based around a work-in-progress creative quarter case study from Munich (Germany). In a third policy transfer session, Tampere (Finland) and Antwerp (Belgium) headed up our discussion on innovative funding for culture in cities. Tampere has been using crowdfunding to help finance the Finnish Museum of Games, and Antwerp has developed a citizens’ budget, putting city residents at the heart of the decision process.
For full and detailed findings from the forum as a whole, as well as from the policy transfer sessions, please read the PDF document below.