Culture districts in Europe
European Union National Cultural Institutes (EUNIC) and the EUNIC affiliates in Washington, DC (located there because of those countries having embassies in the National Capital) are involved in a project in Baltimore this year, working with the Baltimore Office of Promotion and the Arts, a city agency, along with the Maryland Institute of Contemporary Arts, Bromo Tower Arts & Entertainment District, Highlandtown Arts & Entertainment District, and the Station North Arts & Entertainment District.
The program, "Europe in Baltimore | Transit: Creative Placemaking | Getting to Know Europe," looks at Baltimore's arts districts, how they operate, and what can be learned, while in turn sharing information about culture districts that operate in countries across Europe.
I am doing some writing for the project on culture-based revitalization efforts that operate at either the Pan-European, national, or city-district scales, and will be writing about 8 cities:
• Hamburg, Germany
• Vienna, Austria
• Temple Bar, Dublin, Ireland
• Helsinki, Finland
• Marseille, France
• Bilbao, Spain
• Manchester, UK
• Athens, Greece
The first entry, which provides an overall framework for studying and comparing these efforts, is here:
• European best practice urban revitalization initiatives at the cross-national, national, and regional levels
So as a result, I am going back and reading more about the topic of culture districts. In my paper from 2009, "Arts, culture districts and revitalization," which was the basis of a presentation at the conference for the Literary Managers and Dramaturgs of the Americas, I relied a lot on a paper by John Montgomery.
The New Wealth of Cities: City Dynamics and the Fifth Way, and I have to say it is magisterial, perhaps the most complete book on the topic of the creative economy and the centrality of cities in the process.
Of course, the project provides me with the impetus to read Cultural Quarters: Principles and Practice, which has been in my "to read" stack for awhile.
And I have come across research I wasn't familiar with, especially the work of economics professors from Italy (working separately), Walter Santagata--who sadly, died in the last few weeks (see "In Memoriam: Professor Walter Santagata," UNESCO World Heritage) and Luciana Lazzeretti (she also writes about tourism), which means I aim to acquire and read some of their work too.
-- Creative Cities, Cultural Clusters and Local Economic Development, Edited by Philip Cooke and Luciana Lazzeretti
-- Creativity and the Production of Culture, Walter Santagata, translated by Susan Finnel
--Tourism Local Systems and Networking, Edited by Luciana Lazzeretti and Clara S. Petrillo
Plus Prof. Lazzeretti has an interesting paper about "Cities of Art" as culture districts, which is an interesting way to consider cities like Rome, Florence, Venice, and Athens.