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Creative, competitive cities: outcomes from EUROCITIES 2018

  • cooperation

The EUROCITIES Conference 2018 focussed on the place of culture in driving successful, inclusive and prosperous cities and enriching the quality of life of our citizens.

Creativity and social innovation is an essential tool to help stimulate new solutions to common challenges cities face, such as unemployment, climate change and political alienation.

A central element of the conference this year, were the six ‘creative conversations’ which were held in parallel sessions around three strands:

  • Involving citizens in cultural projects to promote social inclusion and empower citizens in making decisions about their communities and life chances
  • Inspiring new partnerships and models to maximise potential in the creative sector
  • Impacting inclusive and sustainable economic growth through culture and creativity




Citizens engagement and the future of Europe were also key topics.

Throughout the past year; EUROCITIES campaign, ‘Cities4Europe – Europe for citizens’, which is supported by more than 90 cities, has focussed on positive examples and ideas of how to connect people better to politics.

Dozens of mayors signed the declaration on citizens engagement, which commits cities to:

  • Involve citizens in a dialogue about our common future
  • Inspire all levels of government to create societies where people come first
  • Impact the way decisions are taken in Europe

Throughout the EUROCITIES conference, a delegation of more than 60 youth ambassadors from over 50 European cities were on hand to give their thoughts on the future of Europe. This included a conversation on stage with Nicola sturgeon, the Scottish First Minister.




The EUROCITIES Awards, always a highlight at our conference, reflected the ‘creative, competitive cities’ theme. The winning projects are: 

  • In the category of cooperation: Leeds with its ‘Leeds 2023’ project that aims to transform the city's economy through culture and creativity
  • In the category of innovation: Ljubljana with its ‘RogLab’ project that connects and supports entrepreneurs and creatives, offering a space to co-create and prototype new ideas
  • In the category of participation: Oulu with its ‘Chaos challenge’ project that asks citizens each year to come up with ideas to help make Oulu more attractive for 15-29 years olds

Delegates to the conference also took part in elections for EUROCITIES new president, and members of its executive committee – always represented by politicians from 12 cities. EUROCITIES new president is Anna König Jerlmyr, mayor of Stockholm


Over 500 participants attended the conference, representing over 120 cities, with around 100 politicians taking part. The keynote address, given by Charles Landry, author and international advisor on the future of cities, was very well received. As were interventions by Frank Ross, Lord Provost, Edinburgh and Nicola Sturgeon, First Minister, Scotland.

You can find photos from the awards here.

and follow the discussions from Twitter here.

Not to be missed. Take a look at the full declaration on citizens engagement.