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Creative Industries in Traditional Intercultural Spaces (CITIES)
Start date: Sep 30, 2008, End date: Sep 29, 2011 PROJECT  FINISHED 

The project named “Creative Industries in Traditional Intercultural Spaces” (CITIES) is a joined initiative generated by 9 partners from 6 countries: Lithuania, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Hungary, Slovenia. Klaipeda City Municipality as the main initiator of the project will perform a role of the Lead Partner. The project addresses Priority 1 of INTERREG IV C Programme (sub-theme: entrepreneurship and SMEs). The project aims through interregional cooperation to improve regional and local policies addressing the promotion and support of creative and cultural industries, as one of the most significant growth sectors for the European economy in terms of GDP and added value. According to the European Commission’s report ‘Culture and the Economy’ (2006), the creative industries have a growing relevance to the European competitiveness, sustainability and social cohesion: they represented 2.6% of the GDP of the EU in 2003 and 3.1% of employment in 2004.In most partner countries this sector can hardly be estimated as separate economic activity and most countries do not have sound analysis on the impact of this sector on local or national economy, business competitiveness. Thereby only several participating partners have set and undertaken special instruments in promoting the growth of these industries. Some of these already applied instruments are proved as successful and have already provided tangible and measurable results. These approaches as good practice examples will be identified, analysed and transferred to other participating countries as well as exhaustive benchmarking research (comparative surveys) and mapping will be made on local levels. Project provides the medium intensity of cooperation. Project activities encompass not only traditional cooperation tools, but also comparative studies and developing, introducing and piloting a new strategy, instruments on regional and local levels.This will ensure successful exchange of know-how between more and less developed regions. Project activities are scoped around several main goals:- supporting creativity among SMEs as important condition for developing innovation based businesses, and fostering knowledge economy;- performing thorough benchmarking researches in different countries; - developing, piloting and introducing new strategies, instruments and tools to be used at regional or local level in order to promote and support entrepreneurship in creative and cultural industries, especially revitalizing abandoned, retrogressive, traditional city zones; - establishing a virtual platform for constant exchange, share and transfer of experience, knowledge and good practice, thus ensuring that project created added value will be shared to the organizations outside the partnership, EU wide. Achievements: Since the project’s start in October 2008, 8 European creative cities from 6 different countries have actively exchanged experiences in staff exchanges, seminars, workshops, study tours and conferences organized in the framework of the CITIES project. The staff of the partner organizations, creative people, policy makers, artists, SMEs as well as other stakeholders of the creative sector had a chance to attend and increase their knowledge in 14 interregional events. All these events have attracted attention of 379 participants from different fields of activities. Sharing of best practices in the events, face-to-face discussions and online debates, mapping of creative and cultural sectors on local level, studies of pilot cases helped to identify the weaknesses and opportunities for further development of the creative industries in each partner’s city. All the experiences identified as best practices in the partners’ cities and considered as transferrable across the CITIES networkare published in a guide of practices (500 copies and CDs) to inform the use of creative and cultural industries as instruments for urban regeneration under the title „European Creative Cities Shared Learning”. This publication is available for download from the . In this document the types of interventions considered as good practices are summarised in 4 main areas: 1. Developing clusters of activity (in terms of exchange, trust, skills and infrastructure); 2. Fostering business opportunities; 3. Developing cultural identity; 4. Creating cultural assets.13 practices identified by the partners illustrated final conference, which has been held on the 15th of June 2011 in Klaipeda. CITIES project partners shared their experiences in encouraging creative intervention in urban areas, developing creative clusters and supporting the emergence of creative entrepreneurs; and ideas how industrial heritage can be repurposed to form culture identity in urban areas.8 policies, tools and instruments improved in local level shows that creation of local and international partnership networks is the essence of creative industries since it encourages the spread of innovation and productive collaboration and also brings together the key sectors of knowledge society.New approaches have been tested by partners in Modena (IT) and Celje (SI). 4 pilot actions were based on creation of opportunities for physical and virtual meetings among creative people in order to reinforce the creative community at a local level and add new opportunities for already existing and new SMEs and start-ups. The network within creative industries’ (CI) sector and between CI and the local economic community has been enhanced by establishing the CreaMos Association for promotion and development of creativity in Modena. This association increased visibility of the CI sector in Modena, plays important role and creates opportunities for economic growth.Effect of collaboration between policy makers, artists, educational&cultural institutions, citizens has been tested in Celje but in different form - organizanizing a set of forums, public presentations for creative community, Pecha Kucha events with a purpose to create a platform for debates. Pilot activities resulted in 14 meetings with private&public operators and involvement of 11 public institutions in total. In order to increase a visibility of the CITIES project results, 54 press releases in total have been disseminated by partners’ organizations and best practices presented in 13 other events. Moreover, a brief summary of the project activities has been printed in European publication 'Government Gazette'.Surely, a guide of practices as a final report of the CITIES project has been made available in the partners’ websites and presented for LSG members.
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