In a post-industrial world – where seemingly random and rapid movements in flows of capital can alter radically the place preferences of businesses and people – the question of what are the best ways of driving the economy of cities to the point where they can be in control of their destiny is key. Over the past twenty years, economists, political commentators and urban experts have remarked on the relevance of creativity and the ability to attract, retain and support the skills powering a “creative economy”. Thus, provision of amenities, cultural programmes and culture-led regeneration schemes have become the default option for places, but results have been mixed. By grounding their developments on local capacity and context some cities have benefitted, while those that “engineered” creative enclaves with unimaginative governance were often forced to abandon their plans. My work focuses on putting more thought into how to help civic leaders and communities to co-create the conditions through which local cultural and creative resources can make a bigger contribution to local development. By using short-term, low-cost and scalable interventions and iterative processes of place making, the projects below show how culture can truly deliver for cities. This selection of projects dates from 2010 until today (for older ones please contact me).

Come to Esch-Sur-Alzette!

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Throughout 2020 we worked with the Department of Tourism and Economic Promotion in our favourite…

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Mapping the Informal Cultural Scene in Novi Sad

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Novi Sad will be ECoC in 2021 and both the city’s cultural services department and…

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Culture Makes Liveable Places

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Throughout 2019 Lia Ghilardi has continued to work with the city of Esch-sur-Alzette (Luxembourg) to…

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Cities of Culture (EU)

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2010 saw the celebration of 25 years of European Capital of Culture (ECoC). Over the…

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Creative Towns and Regions Initiative

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For a number of years Lia Ghilardi has been involved in mapping projects using her…

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Creative and Attractive Regions

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In January 2015, together with colleagues Nils Bjorling (Chalmers University, Gothenburg) and Magnus Björkman (Theory into…

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Six Creative Cities: Indonesia

During Autumn 2014, together with urban designer Riccardo Bobisse (AR-Urbanism), Lia Ghilardi started a two-year…

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Creative Zlin

During 2013 Lia Ghilardi tested her Cultural Ecology Qualitative Mapping Toolkit. The region of Zlin…

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Urbact II Programme (EU)

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URBACT is a European Union programme, funded by the European Regional Development Fund, which aims…

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Earlier Projects