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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’.
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Chapter 6: The public’s view: analysis of the narratives in the local press

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.

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