Nantes hosted the first study visit under our Culture for Cities and Regions initiative, focusing on how culture and the creative industries have helped regenerate a former industrial area.
Participants from Amsterdam, Central Denmark region, Kalamata, Lisbon, Nottingham, Pisa, Regensburg, Varna, Zagreb and Zaragoza visited Nantes on 16-18 September for the first Culture for Cities and Regions study visit.
The visit focused on how culture and the creative industries have played a key role in the regeneration of the Island of Nantes (Ile de Nantes), a former industrial area in the city centre.
In Nantes, local policy makers have pioneered the use of culture, and later the creative industries, as a driver for territorial change and growth, international attractiveness, social inclusion and wellbeing, and innovation and creativity. Currently, 15% of the city's budget is allocated to culture.
Located in a 15 hectare area on the Island of Nantes, the Quarter de la Creation brings together high-class creative and cultural industries by bridging and supporting higher education, science, project developers, cultural stakeholders and artists. It provides many different services and events that are accessible to all, which has turned it into a well known social hub in Nantes. Many cultural, economic and artisanal activities have relocated to this neighbourhood.
We visited several initiatives in the area, including La Cantine Numerique, a space dedicated to sharing ideas on digital innovation and web experiments; Stereolux and Trempolino, two spaces dedicated to music; Les Machines de l'Ile, an original artistic project which creates all sorts of fantastic machines inspired by Jules Verne; and the School of Architecture, which has developed a joint diploma with the local business school.
Michel Magnier, European Commission director for culture and creativity, joined us in Nantes. He reminded participants of the importance of peer to peer learning between cities and regions.
For EUROCITIES members, the discussions continue on the Culture for Cities and Regions online forum, which you can access using your EUROCITIES login details.
For more information on the iniatiative, visit: www.cultureforcitiesandregions.eu.