ROCK Webinar Programme Announced

New webinars on social inclusion and critical urban regeneration

NEW WEBINAR ANNOUNCED: Participatory approaches and social inclusion in cultural heritage

Date: 3 October 2019, 15.00-16.30 CET


Overview: To make sure urban development in cultural heritage and other areas is inclusive and brings social change, cities’ administrations must improve the terms on which individuals and groups take part in society, confronting barriers that prevent participation and meeting communities’ needs. Allowing for bottom up ideas in the participation process is a step towards more socially inclusive planning, especially if these ideas are taken into consideration in decision making.

ROCK cities are testing new approaches to working with communities in a way that is “sensitive, supportive, inquiring and carefully analytical, challenging but not directive or patronizing” (Kennedy, 1996). The final aim is to enhance the capacity of community organisations to influence the decisions that concern them, bringing a more equitable outcome to the process. This webinar will present some of the approaches tested at local level.

Case studies:

  • Lisbon Interpretive Centre in Marvila: Through the ROCK project, the Lisbon municipality is investing in the creation of a living lab to approach local urban issues by engaging local communities. The Interpretive Centre is being created in the Marvila’s Library through a participatory approach in which the local community (residents, local institutions, entities with local intervention) is called to participate actively. Its main objective is to gather knowledge about the cultural, material and immaterial patrimony of the neighbourhood, making it available to the public in an appealing, playful and innovative way, encouraging the direct participation of communities.
  • Casa del Quartiere: Turin decided to look and get inspired by what was happening in its neighbourhoods. With the network of public spaces Casa del Quartiere, associations, citizens and artistic and cultural operators are working together to transform abandoned structures and vacant land and foster community spirit and the creation of social enterprises.

NEW WEBINAR ANNOUNCED: Culture as a rocket fuel for urban regeneration: a critical look

Date: 14 November 2019, 11.00-12.30 CET


Overview: In recent years, culture-led regeneration has gained popularity as a means of reversing urban decline by re-branding cities. Culture is used as a development strategy in many European cities, especially those where de-industrialisation hit harder. Culture can also become a means to attract capital, to improve the image of the city, and to promote unity and cooperation. Without necessarily building flagship cultural venues, cities are betting on culture and use it to re-brand themselves. This webinar will discuss well-known examples of cities using culture for urban regeneration purposes and examine some of the consequences of culture-led urban regeneration.

Examples presented include:

  • The European Capital of Culture title awarded to Liverpool in 2008 led to a massive investment in culture and events. The national and international reputation of the city continues to be influenced by this title a decade on.
  • Nantes suffered from deindustrialisation, especially the island of Nantes, when the shipyards were abandoned. The brownfield led to a decline in social cohesion and sense of belonging. Since the early 1990s, local policy-makers have been pioneers in using culture (and later creative industries) as a driver for territorial change and growth.

Barcelona Lab for Urban Environmental Justice and Sustainability

  • Barcelona Lab for Urban Environmental Justice and Sustainability: A groundbreaking research lab that examines the processes and dynamics that lead to more just, resilient, healthy, and sustainable cities.

We will be hosting a webinar on 'Urban governance and cultural heritage management: the case of public lighting in Lyon' in early 2020. Watch this space to find out more...


The ROCK webinar programme will showcase the leading cultural heritage projects which are driving sustainable urban regeneration across Europe. The webinar programme has been designed to share case studies and insights from ROCK partners on a range of topics relevant to cities, including cultural policy, circular economy, citizen engagement, adaptive reuse, new technologies, and urban biodiversity. Each webinar will clearly demonstrate the opportunities for historic cities and cultural heritage professionals in contributing to new and sustainable (environmental, social and economic) urban processes. Participants will hear from a range of speakers and have the opportunity to ask the experts questions and share ideas with their fellow listeners.

Author: Latham Lucy - JB