EU Urbanism – Bauhaus Kolleg VIII 2006/2007
The "Cultural Capital of Europe" initiative was initially motivated by the political endeavour to construct a common European identity by means of culture. The programme referred to an understanding of culture, characteristic of the European city, as the public mandate of the municipalities.
In the course of the global struggle for position among cities for investors, capital, tourists and financially strong residents, urban cultural policy is increasingly determined by economic motives. In the context of cultural capital processes, the aim is to not only to reinterpret and re-imagine the history and architecture of the respective city, and to present this effectively as a contribution to the European identity: often, this is coupled with building and art projects, which focus on the international or transnational development of the city.
The character of the respective programmes decided to what extent this attention is successfully exploited for sustainable projects, for the expansion of cultural or other infrastructures and, last but not least, for the repositioning of the city in the national and international consciousness.
The Bauhaus Kolleg EU Urbanism focused, based on the example of the Cultural Capitals 2007 Sibiu/Hermannstadt and Luxembourg and the dual city Görlitz- Zgorzelec, which unsuccessfully applied for the title of "Cultural Capital" of the year 2010, on the effects the title of "Cultural Capital" has on each of the cities and their urban cultures. Which concepts and perceptions of European lifestyle and culture do such programmes convey? Do such Cultural Capital programmes follow an exemplary vision of European urban culture, or respectively, to what extent do they present a testing ground for new urban cultural policies?