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Re-inventing the centre-periphery relation by the European capitals of culture: case-studies; Marseille-Provence 2013 and Pecs 2010

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Turşie, Corina

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Abstract The European Capital of Culture (ECoC) Program was initiated in mid 80's, as a modality to promote the richness and diversity of European cultures. It soon became evident that the Program's impact went beyond the cultural and political aspects and that the designation was a marketing opportunity for cities to improve image on a national and European scale, a regeneration tool in itself. ECoC is today about cities re-inventing their identities, re-narrating their history in a European context. The peripheral position, the unwanted heritage of the cities’ past, soon became elements to be exploited and re-invented. The study is focused on two border cities that won the ECoC title and their ability to use the title as a regenerative tool, in order to foster their European identity, to favourably reorient their geography and to reposition themselves on Europe's map: Marseille-Provence 2013 (a Western Europe big city/region with an ex-colonial past and a peripheral position complex) and Pecs 2010 (a small Eastern peripheral city with a communist past). Applying qualitative content analysis on three types of documents: Application (Bid) books, official web pages and ex-post European Commission's evaluations, the article intends to identify the narratives used by these border cities to comply with the European dimension of the ECoC project. (author's abstract)
Keywords Hungary; France; town; culture; cultural identity; Europe; urban renewal; historical development; border region
Classification Sociology of Settlements and Housing, Urban Sociology; Cultural Sociology, Sociology of Art, Sociology of Literature
Document language English
Publication Year 2015
Page/Pages p. 71-84
Journal Eurolimes (2015) 19
Issue topic Border cities in Europe
ISSN 1841-9259
Status Published Version; peer reviewed
Licence Deposit Licence - No Redistribution, No Modifications