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Cities: Living Labs for Culture? Case studies from Asia and Europe


‘Creative cities’ and ‘capitals of culture’ that have emerged across Asia and Europe attest to the growing importance of these dynamic new centres of arts and creativity. Looking at themes such as cultural and technological innovation, arts leadership, community engagement, and cultural policy at the city level, the Asia-Europe Foundation (ASEF) launched the publication Cities: Living Labs for Culture? Case Studies from Asia and Europe. The publication showcases 27 innovative examples of policy and practice drawing from the experiences of over 40 cities in Asia and Europe. The first four sections of the publication address the following themes: culture and policymaking in the city; role of cultural institutions in today’s cities; arts leadership; and capitals of culture. Each section begins with an introductory essay by a cultural expert. The essays set out the issues and challenges at hand, while also articulating ideas for policymakers and the sector. The essays are followed by six case studies, three each from Asia and Europe.

The fifth and last section of the publication focuses on case studies from Korea, the host of the 8th ASEF Public Forum on Creative Cities in Asia and Europe (24 November 2015, Asia Culture Center, Gwangju, Korea) and that of the upcoming 7th ASEM Culture Ministers’ Meeting – ASEM CMM7 (22 – 24 June 2016, Gwangju, Korea). The variety of cases in this publication offers good opportunities for knowledge exchange between cities in Asia and Europe and provides learning arenas for artists, arts managers, educators, urban planners as well as public sector representatives.

Published by Asia-Europe Foundation (ASEF), 2015, 113 pages, ISBN: 978-981-09-7050-5

The publication is available online at:


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