Investment in culture is broadly recognised as a key element in urban and regional development strategies. The presence and quality of cultural activities is a major factor of attractiveness of a city and a measure of quality of life.

The Culture for cities and regions project aims to examine existing practices of culture as a key element in local and regional development strategies.
Three main dimensions are explored:


  • 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


Following an open call to all interested cities and regions we have identified 71 practices from all over Europe and gathered them in this catalogue. Its purpose is to foster the exchange of information and promote peer-to-peer learning. We also want to help local and regional authorities to understand and make more of the positive impacts which investments in culture can have on economic development, social cohesion and urban regeneration.

Although we have classified the practices in three main categories, most of them overlap across different dimensions. The practices cover different types of local and regional authorities: regions, large or capital cities, small and medium-sized cities (under 350.000 inhabitants). This includes very low-population density regions, very small cities and initiatives connecting rural areas. European Capitals are also well represented in this catalogue.

Successful initiatives such as those outlined in this catalogue are being developed all over Europe and are making European cities and regions more successful, attractive and culturally vibrant.

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