Cities of Culture, 30 years on…

ICC Director Highlights

Session 1: From ECoCs and UKCC.  PIC

•       Is the ECoC a strong or a weak brand?  How competitive should it be?

•       We discussed the value of allowing as many cities as possible to have their turn (across Europe, nationwide…) as opposed to the highly competitive model of other world events, such as the Olympic Games or the World Cup.

•       The ongoing question is: should a city or capital of culture title be understood as a prize or as an scholarship?


Session 2: Revisiting Liverpool’s cultural renaissance history over the last 30 years

•       The importance of valuing and reconnecting with your heritage

•       Liverpool’s success did not emerge out of a vacuum – this is the most fundamental point of departure for any city in order : understand who you are. Dare engage in that conversation


•       3: The risks of success

•       Cities of culture need ‘courage’ – don’t be afraid of being ridiculed

•       Even if from an external point of view it feels like you are overachieving, a city will never feel they are ‘successful enough’ – how do you leave room so that others can grow as well as you?


•        4: Bigger is not always better  … although ‘big’ things can achieve much

•       We achieve things at scale when we do them in partnership


•       5. What do post-industrial northern cities have in common?

•       Important how that point emerged in the last session again – as part of the connected city narrative –

•       We can have next a conference about global souths


•       6. Cities on the edge

•       The EcoC programme, long from being exhausted is instead now more important than ever to the future of Europe

•       it is no longer just about offering a local / urban regeneration platform, it is about offering a platform to explore and share European values at a time of deep crisis in the European narrative

•       I would add same applies to UKCC within a nat

•       7: Connected cities –





WHAT IS HAPPENING NEXT: publication of Impacts 18 research findings


•       We are

•       Our detailed technical reports being published by March 2019

•       We wanted to offer you this space for reflection but are also building on this phenomenal experiment, to take perspective on the mountains of data amassed, and ensure that we present the Liverpool story in the right context


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