European capital of culture and sustainable regeneration

  • Yi-De Liu

Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis

Abstract

This commentary synthesises the author’s published works, including ten peer reviewed journal
articles, which represent research centred on sustainable event-led regeneration and attempt to provide a significant contribution to the evaluation of the European Capital of Culture programme, with 2008 Liverpool as a case study. The papers submitted collectively conceptualise the significance of cultural event for a city’s economic, social and cultural regeneration and advance academic knowledge on the
local implementation of European Union cultural policy. The coherence is based on three research questions linking these publications: (1) What are the long-term effects of the European Capital of Culture status? (2) How can the sustainability of a European Capital of Culture event be achieved through legacy planning? (3) To what extent can European Capital of Culture help address the dilemmas of culture-led regeneration?
Sustainability and legacy issues have been the focus of discussion in recent years and have become
one of new paradigms of European Union cultural policy. Cultural event, with the European Capital of Culture as a notable example, is conceived as a part of city’s dynamic and long-term process of development. Theoretically, this research contributes to the debate on urban cultural policy by exploring the criteria of sustainable culture-led regeneration and investigating the long-term effects of the European Capital of Culture programme. This study also contributes to event evaluation by adopting theories from interdisciplinary academic fields to more widely assess the event’s impacts and legacies.
Empirically, considering that legacy planning is vital for event sustainability, this study provides some strategic planning directions for future European Capitals of Culture.
Although the European Capital of Culture is a fascinating case to study both the aspirations and the challenges of European Union cultural policy, the existing literature often disregard the connections
between the European Capital of Culture and European Union policies. This commentary concludes by revealing the limitations of the research done to date, embedding the publications in the broader interdisciplinary framework of European Studies and illustrating some points for future research. So far, from the perspective of European Studies, at least three important research themes have been overlooked: (1) the transnational dimension of the European Capital of Culture; (2) European Capital of Culture in European Union multi-level governance; and (3) European Capital of Culture and layered identities and
citizenship. Through these three different but interrelated conceptual lenses, future European Capital of Culture research can more fruitfully relate to recent innovations in disciplines studying the European Union’s political and societal processes.
Date of AwardOct 2021
Original languageEnglish
SupervisorWolfram Kaiser (Supervisor)

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