awards 2018 - Edinburgh

EUROCITIES 2018 Edinburgh – ‘Creative Competitive Cities'.

The EUROCITIES awards recognise outstanding achievement by EUROCITIES members in the delivery of local activities or practices, which improve the quality of life for citizens and will be judged in the context of the theme of the annual conference. Entries are judged by an independent jury of five members: city expert, academia, EU institutions, media and NGO. Jury members change every year.

The EUROCITIES awards 2018 will showcase projects and actions undertaken by our members to foster ‘Creative Competitive Cities’. Culture and creativity are drivers for both European competitiveness and inclusion, and seen together with our Cities4Europe campaign, they enrich the quality of life of our citizens by ensuring their inclusion and prosperity. We are looking for entries in three categories: cooperation, innovation and participation. 


• Cooperation: How cities create effective partnerships between city departments, stakeholders, private partners and other cities to harness creative talent and assets to generate cultural and creative opportunities for citizens. We are looking for projects that, for example, activate cooperation in the use of public spaces, or around creative events to support access to culture and skills development.

• Innovation: How cities use innovation across creative sectors and cultural heritage to give their city a competitive edge. We are looking for projects that, for example, encourage creative sector start-ups and an ‘entrepreneurial spirit’, or promote social innovation and inclusion through culture.

• Participation: How cities successfully engage citizens in shaping urban policy/city life or directly in the decision-making process through creative or cultural projects. We are looking for projects that, for example, promote social inclusion or educational opportunities or initiatives that engage young people or marginalised communities

Shortlisted projects 2018


Leeds: Leeds2023

When the UK voted to leave the EU, Leeds transformed what had been its bid for European Capital of Culture 2023 into a five-year cultural investment programme culminating in a year-long arts festival. Leeds2023 harnesses both the massive city-wide cooperation and overarching ambition behind the bid - to transform Leeds' cultural landscape and the city's economy using culture and creativity. The city is continuing to take the inclusive community and partnership approach that characterised its bid as it sets about this task by, among many other activities, co-creating cultural proposals with people in the most deprived areas and deepening European and international connections. This latter goal has led to one of the city's most popular new cultural events: the Tour De Yorkshire cycling race. 

Valladolid: CreArt - Network of Cities for Artistic Creation 

The CreArt network of 12 medium-sized European cities gives emerging creators and curators the exchange, exhibition and training opportunities vital for strong local creative industries. Normally excluded from mainstream international contemporary art exhibitions, the partner cities can also offer citizens a whole new visual art experience. With the participation of creatives, educationalists, cultural policymakers and citizens of all ages, CreArt organises activities ranging from residence programmes and public art displays to conferences and creativity workshops for personal development. The project has ensured its lasting legacy by creating the annual European Day of Artistic Creativity and committing to form an association at the end of its term guaranteeing the future of the network. 

Vilnius: Vilnius Tech Park

Vilnius has activated a new cultural heritage by transforming abandoned historic buildings into a technology park that's become the core of the Lithuanian start-up ecosystem. Connecting technology, culture and the creative industries, the 9000 square metre space has 725 work places for entrepreneurs, programmes for start-up collaborations and open office days where anyone can learn about technologies being developed in the city. It is also helping to put Vilnius on the international start-up map, acting as a magnet for foreign talent and tech companies. More than this, it is a community asset, encouraging residents to connect with their local heritage, providing children's coding camps and stimulating innovations such as community gardens and even a robot tourist guide. 



Dusseldorf: KomKuk - enabling creativity through creative enablement' 

KomKuk, a new competence centre for cultural and creative industries (CCI) within the city's Office for Economic Development, acts as a support and ambassador for creative enterprise. As well as guiding creatives through the administrative jungle, KomKuk has developed a range of services such as mentoring and launched activities including a start-up week, conferences and urban art projects. Through its pioneering proactive, open-door approach to connecting creators, clients, innovators, industries and citizens, KomKuk has become more of a movement than an administrative agency. It has simultaneously unlocked the city's real estate potential through interim use of public and private spaces of all sizes for studios, co-working, cafes, events and exhibitions. 

Ljubljana: 'RogLab - creative hub'

With most of its manufacturing facilities closed down, Ljubljana established RogLab as a mini model of its plans to revitalise the city's industrial heritage concentrating on design, architecture and the visual arts. Based in an old industrial container, RogLab connects and supports small entrepreneurs, individual creators, companies, NGOs and education, cultural  and research institutes. Its local partners - over 34 so far - share mechanical equipment, production space, experiences, skills and know-how to develop innovations and artworks and contribute to the programmes of local museums and schools. Projects with international partners include co-creating prototypes addressing urban challenges and developing a mobile fabrication laboratory that extends RogLab's reach into remote parts of the country. 

Strasbourg: TANGO&SCAN for leaders of creative and digital projects

The Tango&Scan open call was set up to stimulate cross-sector collaboration and open new channels of production for innovative goods and services. It offers financial and business support to winning ideas proposed by digital or creative companies with a small business partner from a different industry. Since 2012, 140 projects have been put forward in fields from furniture design and serious games to virtual reality for sectors such as healthcare, transport and tourism. Managed by NGO CREACCRO, which raises awareness of the initiative and connects partners, the call has resulted in significant new technical and scientific expertise in two out of three cases, generated revenues of €2,035 million and been extended to three more cities. 



Brighton & Hove: Our Future City

Seeing the future of the city as inextricably linked to the creativity of its children and young people, Brighton & Hove designed a programme that is putting them in a better position to drive change, create value and find solutions. Its 10-year Our Future City programme, which was shaped by youngsters alongside professionals from health, social services, businesses, creative industries, education and culture, has two objectives. To develop creative thinking skills and behaviours to support learning and employability and to enable sociable ways to wellbeing through arts, culture and digital experience. Largely delivered through schools, and targeted primarily at the most vulnerable, activities are reaching 3,500 five to 19-year olds and many more indirectly, including families and friends. 

Frankfurt am Main:  Silver Screen - European Film Festival for Generations

At a time when ageing is often perceived and experienced in terms of limitations, restrictions and loneliness, Frankfurt's unique film festival aims to rewrite the script - for the benefit of all generations. The festival shows films from across Europe portraying inspiring new images of active and healthy ageing, inviting all ages to come to together to watch, discuss and get to know and learn from each other. So successful is the project that it is has spread to 70 cities and villages where venues and screenings are organised by individuals, seniors film clubs, churches, neighbourhood groups, inter-generational housing projects, carers' organisations, schools and NGOs. The concept is now spreading internationally thanks to special Silver Screen workshops held in Frankfurt. 

Oulu: The CHAOS Challenge

How to make Oulu a nicer place for 15-29 year olds was the question asked by the city's third annual CHAOS Challenge. This contest, which acts as a progressive procurement tool, calls for citizens to come up with ideas they could implement with a local NGO and funding of €20,000. Using a process that makes collaboration with the city appealing, transparent and empowering, the contest sees a jury of young locals and city representatives select the best proposals which are then turned into presentations that can be used for purchase contracts. The latest winners include CHAOS Stage, which creates an easy-to-build frame for citizen-driven cultural events, and eSports CHAOS, a place where youngsters can improve their skills and parents can learn about the positives of gaming. 


For more information, please contact:
Nicola Vatthauer, communications director, EUROCITIES: 
Steve Vance, senior economic development officer, City of Edinburgh Council: