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15 · 08 · 2019

Urb Cultural Planning Conference in Kiel 2019

The Interreg Baltic Sea Region Project UrbCulturalPlanning held its first major  event of the year on the 4th-6th of July in Kiel, Germany. The conference “Urban Transformation through Art and Culture” brought together around 170 participants from Germany, Poland, Finland, Latvia, Lithuania, Denmark, Sweden, Russia, Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Romania, Italy, Brazil and the UK. The conference was designed to bring together urbanists, city planners, artists, researchers and academics, students, community organizers, politicians and activists to explore key aspects of taking an art and cultural perspective in urban strategies and practice.


The Kiel conference was a melting pot of artists, activists, politicians and decisionmakers, discussing how to improve and transform the quality of life. We discussed and found ways of moving forward, making the Baltic Sea Region a better place. I think it is amazing that the EU via the EU Interreg programme and all the main partners and stakeholders are pushing for this change to happen.

Simon Drewsen Holmberg, Project Manager  of UrbCulturalPlanning and Director of Danish Cultural Institute in Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania.


The aim of this conference was to examine new prototypes for models of integrated urban strategies and people and place based approaches to dealing with the social, cultural and environmental challenges cities are facing. The main objective of this approach was to discuss the potential for art and culture to act as a tool for creative communities.


Creating communities

The three-day conference in Kiel consisted of speeches, workshops and panel discussion and urban walks. Throughout the three days acknowledged specialists and experts presented their opinions, valuable insights and ideas on some of the most touching issues of cultural planning. Eight cases of Art and culture driven Social Innovation from neighbourhoods in the Baltic Sea Region were presented and discussed.

By use of the workshops and panel discussions participants were engaged in different aspects of cultural planning. The workshop focused on the shift from local activist groups to actual change in policy. The focus was on how to enable the creation of communities and the role of local neighbourhoods. How to engage citizens? How urban resilience can be strengthened in a time of multiple crises?


Cultural activators for a vision of a sustainable city

The workshop addressed the roles of artists and creative workers in the evolution of globalized cities, assessing how an “artistic mode of knowing” can contribute to a transition from creative cities to sustainable creative cities. The main focus was to promote the role for artists as agents for creative communities.


The Interreg Baltic Sea Region project UrbCulturalPlanning was launched in Riga in the beginning of February 2019 with the Danish Cultural Institute as the Lead Partner welcoming the project partners. This project will over the next 2 years develop sustainable urban planning practices in the Baltic Sea Region. The main objective of the project “Cultural Planning as a method for urban social innovation” is to advance the capacity of public authorities in the Baltic Sea Region as well as local NGOs and associations to collaborate on citizen driven cultural planning.