On the 4th December 2019 I was in Brussels presenting at the European Parliament. It was a public hearing to the Culture and Education Committee on the legacies and challenges of the European Capital of Culture (ECoC) Programme.
I shared with MEPs the wealth of evidence that exists about what works (or not) for ECoCs and what leads (or not) to legacy, after 34 years in 60 host cities across 30 european countries.
My main message was that there is no formula for ‘success’ but there is much knowhow and much need for it to be properly documented, analysed and shared.
After almost a decade developing the Institute of Cultural Capital, I am revamping the Cities of Culture Research Observatory to focus precisely on that task: organising and making more easily accessible the wealth of documentary material and academic analysis available on cities of culture initiatives around the world (from ECoCs to Cultural Olympiads and national cities of culture).
In Brussels, I focused on referring to our comprehensive study for the European Parliament. This work offers an important overview of everything available on ECoCs up to the bidding phase for the two 2019 hosts, Plovdiv and Matera.