New edition of the Cultural and Creative Cities Monitor 2019

The European Commission released the second edition of its Cultural and Creative Cities Monitor, a tool designed to benchmark and boost the creative and cultural potential of European cities, which is vital to driving economic growth and social cohesion. After the success of the first edition in 2017, the 2019 release presents an updated portrait of Europe's cultural and creative richness in an extended sample of 190 cities in 30 countries, including Norway and Switzerland.

The Monitor was created by the Joint Research Centre, the Commission's science and knowledge service, and is accompanied by a revamped online tool which enables cities to add their own data for more in-depth coverage and benchmarking.

Key findings of the second edition include:

- Paris (France), Copenhagen (Denmark), Florence (Italy) and Lund (Sweden) rank top in their respective population groups, with Lund being a ‘new entry' among the top cities compared to the 2017 edition.

- Jobs in the cultural and creative sectors have been growing particularly in cities in the North and East of Europe, with an average yearly increase of around 12% in Budapest (Hungary), Tallinn (Estonia), Vilnius (Lithuania), Krakow and Wroclaw (Poland) and Tartu (Estonia).

- Macro-regional performance shows that Northern Europe does best. Western Europe leads on ‘Cultural Vibrancy', very closely followed by both Northern and Southern Europe. Western Europe is also the top performer on ‘Creative Economy', with northern Europe coming close behind. The best job creation dynamics are found, on average, in Northern and Eastern European cities.

- In the analysed city-sample, cultural venues are generally a 30-minute walk away (or just 5 minutes by bicycle) from where European citizens live and are highly accessible by public transportation.

- Future EU Cohesion Policy funds could further support socio-economic convergence and territorial cohesion by focusing on creative jobs and innovation, transport connections and governance – the areas where the biggest gaps remain.

- Leading cultural and creative cities are more prosperous: there is a positive and significant association between the Cultural and Creative Cities Index scores and the cities' income levels.

The first edition of the Cultural and Creative Cities Monitor has inspired local governments across Europe. For instance, Madrid (Spain) used evidence included in the Monitor to understand which cultural and creative assets, such as monuments, museums, cinemas, theatres and art galleries, the Spanish capital should focus its branding strategy on to improve its international ranking. As a result, Madrid published a new leaflet “Madrid - Facts and Figures 2018” promoting the city's rich cultural venues. The Monitor also helped Győr (Hungary) analyse future investment needs and provided evidence to support the city's decision to adopt a 2019-2028 cultural and creative economy strategy which identifies key measures to be implemented such as the creation of creative spaces for artists and a design incubation centre. Umeå (Sweden) used the tool to raise awareness among local stakeholders of the role cultural investments have to play in fostering sustainable growth.

For more information visit Cultural and Creative Cities Monitor website (including full report, online interactive tool, factsheets and infographics).

Reposted from the European Commission website.

Photo by Chris Barbalis, Unsplash.