You are looking at 1 - 10 of 11 items

  • Author or Editor: Maria Kapsali x
Clear All Modify Search
You do not have access to this content

Urban Strategies for Culture-Driven Growth

Co-creating a European Capital of Culture

Nils Wåhlin, Maria Kapsali, Malin H. Näsholm and Tomas Blomquist

Over the past three decades, the European Capital of Culture has grown into one of the most ambitious cultural programs in the world. Through the promotion of cultural diversity across the continent, the program fosters mutual understanding and intercultural dialogue among citizens, thereby increasing their sense of belonging to a community. This insightful book outlines potential avenues through which culture and creativity can raise the imaginative capability of citizens and harness opportunities tied to what the book calls ‘culture-driven growth’.
This content is available to you

Nils Wåhlin, Maria Kapsali, Malin H. Näsholm and Tomas Blomquist

This chapter introduces the theme of the book by situating the narrative in an urban context. Through the lens of a ‘cultural turn’ perspective, potential city development avenues for the way ahead are discussed. High expectations are being made in relation to contemporary cities concerning how creativity can raise the imaginative capability among citizens and harness opportunities tied to what we in this book call ‘culture-driven growth’. The underlying assumption is that ordinary people can make the extraordinary happen if given the chance. Urban strategies, nowadays, are beginning to take on this challenge using increasingly sophisticated means by bringing forward ways of organizing that stimulates the sought-after values. In the international context is the European Capital of Culture initiative by the European Union a significant example of such strivings. In this chapter, we outline the characteristics of this large initiative and how these conditions became translated in one of the recent ECoCs – the City of Umeå in Sweden. This case is the centerpiece of our book and having been assessed by the European Union, it has now been forwarded by them as a role model for cities in the future that aspire to the title of European Capital of Culture. According to recent developments of ECoCs, the Umeå strategy of ‘co-creation’ based on the reciprocal dependency between the citizens and the city was formulated in a timely manner and attracted a lot of attention. This provided a good platform for our research project, which this book is based upon, through which we have investigated the pros and cons of such a strategy. The chapter concludes with an explanation of the analytic approach we pursued when conducting our study and how this is dealt with in the different chapters of the book.
You do not have access to this content

Nils Wåhlin, Maria Kapsali, Malin H. Näsholm and Tomas Blomquist

We illustrate the planning process during which program planning was done in parallel and at points in collaboration with the urban design development. A stakeholder and time-phase mapping was used because our main focus was to analyse the decision-making on the goals, objectives and main activities of the program and how they were captured in a very prolonged process of negotiation between the stakeholders. We apply the ‘strategy-as-practice’ perspective through a narrative lens where we analysed the process upon which the program was formulated when in certain times the city’s strategic ideas were translated into a master plan. In every phase we looked at a point of translation. The point of translation is a key passage where multiple perspectives and tensions shift the narrative plot and the values and aims in the narratives. Our analysis of these three translation points demonstrates how people involved perceived the initiative and the role of culture as a development choice.
You do not have access to this content

Nils Wåhlin, Maria Kapsali, Malin H. Näsholm and Tomas Blomquist

Our intent in this chapter was not to analyse Umeå’s urban design as a whole but to understand the effects of the cultural program on Umeå’s urban design and how they combined together to fulfil the city development plan. This chapter illustrates how the urban design planning was resumed by and became part of the Umeå ECoC program. We first provided a brief historical account of how the Umeå urban design developed until the appearance of the ECoC program, and its development after the Umeå ECoC program. Then we discuss the most important factors for the implementation of the urban design plan: the architectural vision, the projections about the living experience in the public spaces, and schemata about the local culture.
You do not have access to this content

Nils Wåhlin, Maria Kapsali, Malin H. Näsholm and Tomas Blomquist

This chapter explores the implementation of the ECoC program, but in a different way than the conventional program-portfolio management. In the Umeå ECoC program most of the projects originated from local community activities, they emerged in response to the program calls and they fulfilled a set of goals designed during planning. Our approach was to look how the local activities clustered around narrative themes that formed the whole program. These ‘thematic configurations’ of local activity are the action nets, and each one of them translates and carries a part of the program story that converge into a larger master-story. In order to find the action nets we look into the narratives and find common patterns of criteria using Qualitative Comparative Analysis (QCA).
You do not have access to this content

Nils Wåhlin, Maria Kapsali, Malin H. Näsholm and Tomas Blomquist

This chapter outlines the perceptions from the project co-creators, about how the implementation of both the urban design and the ECoC program ran in parallel, or in some cases ran together. The urban plan and the program together made connections between people’s action and public space. In the Umeå case the design of space and the ECoC program together created nets that combined both. We used narrative repetition and dualities to analyse the course of organizing action and to examine the most influential stories.
You do not have access to this content

Nils Wåhlin, Maria Kapsali, Malin H. Näsholm and Tomas Blomquist

The purpose of this chapter is to explore how becoming an ECoC is viewed by the local community. We use media-text analysis and compile the dominant narratives into themes in the coverage in one of the local newspapers, and from them we identify the story plots and key themes recurring and construct the main story-themes to understand stakeholder expectations and their perceptions, motives and discourse that follows. Events are narrated in different ways and communicating narratives is a way to make sense of the past and present and envision the future. A summary is made to how the narrative developed in the years leading up to the implementation.
You do not have access to this content

Nils Wåhlin, Maria Kapsali, Malin H. Näsholm and Tomas Blomquist

In this chapter we use marketing projects to describe the milieu-network who support the program. The social networks and the broader communications strategy were used not only to promote the local artistic activity but also to attract attention and participation outside the boundaries of the local community. We used social network analysis (SNA) to analyse the qualitative and interpretive side of networks and combine it with short story vignettes to show the nature of the relationships: whether relationships were formal/informal and/or hierarchical/flat. Relational analysis helps to understand the set of rules holding together the action net.
You do not have access to this content

Nils Wåhlin, Maria Kapsali, Malin H. Näsholm and Tomas Blomquist

In the final chapters of the book we collate all the previous work together to show the whole picture. What do we learn when we compare the case of Umeå with other ECoCs? We take a look at the four critical themes in co-creation mega-program organization. In the previous chapters we discussed the planning and implementation of the program in depth from the perspective of strategy-as-practice. We made many observations and developed the concepts of action nets and narrative infrastructure and how they link to illuminate how Umeå 2014 was planned and implemented by steering action at the community level. In Chapter 8 we summarize the main conclusions and compare them with observations from counterpart ECoCs. This will allow us to pinpoint the effectiveness and efficiency of the Umeå program, identify general trends in ECoC program management and to make informed predictions about ECoCs’ legacy and impact for the future of cultural mega-program management.
You do not have access to this content

Nils Wåhlin, Maria Kapsali, Malin H. Näsholm and Tomas Blomquist

This book has been about co-creation, as a strategy practiced for the ECoC program 2014. The purpose of this chapter is, first, to build a conceptual framework based on the empirical observations from the Umeå case study. Second, we offer the beginning of a best-practice framework for co-creation practice in cultural mega programs according to the observations in the case study. We argue that the practice and theory of co-creation in cultural mega-programs is a field that has not yet attracted as much attention as it deserves and that the shortage of academic and best-practice frameworks is holding back the development of this field. During the following short discussion we map the concepts we have observed throughout the chapters and suggest ways to investigate these relationships. Then we construct a best-practice conceptual framework for future practice.