European Cultural Capital Report 3
By Robert Palmer, Greg Richards and Diane Dodd, Atlas, Arnhem, 2011, 92 pp.
In its third edition, The European Cultural Capital Report provides essential information for those organising, implementing and evaluating the European Cultural Capital events, attracting increasing interest from policy makers, academics and the media every year. As more and more cities are involved in competing for the ECOC title, there is also a growing need for information about and evaluation of the event and the host cities.
The European Cultural Capital Report aims to update the wealth of information contained in the original Palmer Report (2004) produced for the European Commission. This report seeks to cover the many different aspects of the event, including its cultural, economic, organisational, political and social implications. It provides an independent analysis of the ECOC, identifying trends and best practice which can help those involved with this and other major cultural events to take better informed decisions. By extending and enriching the data collected for the Palmer Report, this publication provides new insights into the workings and function of the ECOC.
The third volume of the report starts by looking back over a quarter century of the event, with a report on the 25th anniversary ECOC conference in Brussels. The event was billed to provide an opportunity for past and future representatives of cities to debate the relative merits and pitfalls of being European Capital of Culture.
The report includes Robert Palmer’s review of the ECOC, in which the first five years saw capital cities being awarded recognition for their importance as already established cultural capitals. Whereas from 1990, when Glasgow won the title, there was already the idea that the title could help create cultural cities – and thus the award became a torch for cities to hold for one year in recognition of their aims.
After Section 1, Introduction, and Section 2, Methods, Section 3 of the report focuses on more recent news, trends and data, analysing common issues, while Section 4 reviews the new ECOC selection process. The next section provides an in-depth profile of one particular aspect of the ECOC, in this case the role of tourism. Section 6 looks at ECOC legacies in terms of cultural, social and economic impacts, and Section 7 provides a case study of the Stavanger ECOC 2008. Section 8 highlights the growing popularity of the ECOC around the world, while the ECOC Bibliography in Section 9 of the report reviews the massive output of books, reports and grey literature related to the ECOC. The annotated bibliography provides summaries of the recent ECOC sources published since the previous report.
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