Culture for social inclusion, social innovation and intercultural dialogue


Culture-led development strategies have direct and indirect impacts on social inclusion, social innovation and intercultural dialogue. Access to culture for all increases social cohesion at local level, but also strengthens considerably the sense of belonging to a city and local pride. Access to culture, including audience development, is also a key concern in cultural policies across Europe in order to bridge social disparities.

Access to culture as a means of social inclusion and intercultural dialogue

Culture can be a powerful instrument in promoting social inclusion and managing diversity. Initiatives designed to ensure effective access to and participation in cultural activities can have many positive impacts at local level. Cities are particularly well positioned to implement culture-related activities with a social objective/purpose. Culture is also a key to foster intercultural dialogue. Promoting intercultural dialogue provides a means to enjoy the richness of cultural diversity by fostering mutual understanding and establishing linkages between different cultures, communities and people.

Culture as a driver of civic participation

Culture is increasingly regarded as a tool to foster citizens’ participation in public life. The cultural and creative sector is permeated with values such as free exchange, critical thinking, personal development, solidarity, cooperation, networking, diversity and co-creation. Those values can spread from the cultural field through the society as a whole in many ways such as forms of community arts, workshops or voluntary programmes.

Social innovation through culture

By promoting citizens’ participation, forms of co-creation and involvement, culture can be also instrumental to social innovation by stimulating new forms of problem solving and innovative governance models to address societal challenges. Creativity, lateral thinking and imagination are particularly valuable in generating new ideas to solve societal issues through the creation of new products, services and models. Innovative participatory approaches have been experimented at local level as an opportunity to give new dynamism to cities’ plans by involving citizens in the decision-making process.

Case studies catalogue - 2.0 complete version  Download
Case study - Aalst: UiTPAS  Download
Case study - Antwerp: Red Star Line Museum  Download
Case study - Belfast: Development and outreach programme  Download
Case study - Berlin - Projekt Zukunft  Download
Case study - Bilbao - Bilbao Bizkaia  Download
Case study - Birmingham: Culture on your doorstep  Download
Case study - Brno - Creative Brno  Download
Case study - Catalonia: Apropa Cultura  Download
Case study - Centre Val de Loire - PACT  Download
Case study - Copenhagen - Kunstgreb  Download
Case study - Derry: first UK City of Culture  Download
Case study - Dublin - Temple Bar  Download
Case study - Edinburgh: Museums Alive  Download
Case study - Gothenburg: We are Roma  Download
Case study - Helsinki - Kontupiste  Download
Case study - Helsinki/Espoo: Culture for Children and Youth  Download
Case study - Iasi - Romanian National Opera  Download
Case study - Ile de France: Musée passager  Download
Case study - Kalmar County - Time travel method  Download
Case study - Lille - From Lille2004 to Lille3000  Download
Case study - Lisbon: Urban Art Gallery  Download
Case study - Ljubljana - Tabor Cultural Quarter  Download
Case study - Luxembourg - Cross border projects to stimulate cultural exchanges  Download
Case study - Madrid: Matadero Madrid  Download
Case study - Nantes: Quartier de la Creation  Download
Case study - Nord-Pas de Calais: Euralens  Download
Case study - Rennes: access to culture strategy  Download
Case study - Riga: Culture Palace  Download
Case study - Saint-Etienne: La Cite du Design  Download
Case study - Sofia: Public/private fund for innovation in culture  Download
Case study - Thessaloniki - Creativity for Th.  Download
Case study - Varna: FUNCITY Festival  Download
Case study - Vienna: WUK  Download
Case study - Warsaw: Warsaw in Flowers  Download
Case study - Zagreb: Mala Performerska Scena  Download
Case study - Zilina - Stanica Cultural Centre  Download