Culture as Catalyst for Cities` Development

On the 16 October the UBC Cultural Cities Commission has held an annual meeting in Kaunas Artists’ House, the event was organised in a context of the XV UBC General Conference. During the meeting, the current activities of member cities were presented, as well as the recent and future collaborations revealed.
The UBC member since 1991, Gdansk city, has delivered a presentation ‘Culture as Catalyst for Cities` Development’, focusing on the challenges that at the same time are the stimulants for the cities’ transformation. The vibrant scene of Poland's principal seaport was overviewed by Agnieszka Tokarska-Więcek, the manager at the Gdansk City Hall.

In the second part of the event the potential partner Northern Dimension Policy on Culture (NDPC) has presented the position, reasoning and long-term goals of the organisation. Dace Resele, head of Secretariat of NDPC, has announced the open call for partners willing to work together on the project development, cross-sectoral cooperation, innovation in the CCI sector.
The second part of the meeting was dedicated to opening a practical discussion on the methods of cultural planning together with the recent UBC CCC partner ‘UrbCulturalPlanning’ project and its’ key speakers from Lithuania (VGTU Faculty of Creative Industries), Latvia (Danish Culture Institute in Riga, Komēta Festival, Free Riga) and Poland (Baltic Sea Cultural Centre).

Cultural planning, as a place-based approach, is instrumental in unfolding local creative resources and strengthening communities. By addressing social, urban, and ecological challenges, cultural initiatives, co-developed by the residents, artists and municipalities, there is a possibility to create better neighbourhoods for living.

This approach needs innovative thinking, active involvement of the residents and cooperation between the stakeholders, for example municipalities (Municipality of Riga). The session was summarized by an interactive workshop by mapping cultural resources in different cities represented by the participants of the conference from all over the Baltic Sea region.

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