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Mega-Events and New Patterns of Cooperation: The European Capitals of Culture

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Abstract

Since its launch 30 years ago, the European Capital of Culture (ECOC) programme has been researched widely from different perspectives of urban and regional development, investigating the physical and structural changes that it initiates and the challenges that it brings to local government and to urban governance. Alternatively, this chapter gives a longitudinal analysis of two particular ECOC cases to examine the potentials of this cultural mega-event for social (network) capital mobilisation. Inter-organisational networks of an ECOC project can be characterised as collaborative networks; however, considering their potential longer-term sustained impact, they can contribute to strengthening the local–regional governance network. Using examples of the cities of Pécs, in Hungary, and Turku, in Finland, the analysis looks into the networks and relations between various participating actors in order to explore how these ECOC projects facilitate and change inter-organisational cooperation and networking among cultural and creative producers. The study applies the basic approach and methodology of social network analysis and uses primary data taken from online surveys performed in the two ECOC cities. Primarily, the chapter uses an analytical approach based on the thorough examination of numerical and visualised data. The findings reveal the importance of knowledge and support networks in the field of creative industries and the role of large-scale cultural events in the formation and sustainability of such networks.

Keywords

European capitals of culture Local government Urban governance Mega-events Collaborative networks Local–regional development Social network analysis Hungary Finland 

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Karelian InstituteUniversity of Eastern FinlandJoensuuFinland

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