(2007) Building on the European Culture Capital as impulse for cultural and creative development

Garcia, B. (2007) ‘Building on the European Culture Capital as impulse for cultural and creative development’,
Change through the Cultural Economy. Perspectives of a Sunrise Industry, The State Government of North Rhine-Westphalia, Essen, Germany (17 Sep 2007) [presentation]
Seventeen years on, Glasgow is still remembered for its achievements as 1990 European City of Culture. The city has been praised for its pioneering approach to culture-led regeneration but also criticised by what some see as an inherently unfair, elitist and instrumental approach to managing culture. References to Glasgow 1990 have resurfaced in the UK due to the nomination of Liverpool as 2008 European Capital of Culture.

In Liverpool, as well as other cities aspiring to or already nominated to the title, the emphasis is on economic regeneration but linked to the expectation that, with it, will come wider social and cultural regeneration. On this basis, this paper revisits what was achieved by Glasgow’s approach to community engagement in 1990 and assesses whether the experience of involving local creative groups has led to any sustainable legacy within the city’s creative economy.

The paper’s main claim is that localities must work towards diverse and inclusive social environments to secure high levels of local creativity and thus maximise distinctiveness, competitiveness and long-term sustainability for cultural initiatives.