Action 12: Peer learning activities for city representatives to learn from each other on cultural services fostering social inclusion

  • Leïla Morais profile
    Leïla Morais
    20 July 2020 - updated 1 week ago
    Total votes: 0
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Although all European cities are different, they share similar challenges when it comes to culture and heritage. There is no one-size-fits-all approach to culture-led development, but cities nevertheless have plenty to share and plenty to learn. It is therefore important that they learn from each other, compare local situations and share solutions that they have implemented at the local level. This will allow to transfer successful practices from one city to another, and to adapt it to local contexts and specific needs.

To be successful and attractive such peer-learning exchanges need to be organized and well structured. They require a specific methodology. Several experiences have successfully taken place, for example Culture for cities and regions and  Cultural Heritage in Action, financed by the Creative Europe Programme of the European Commission, and URBACT as a Programme dedicated to peer-learning, knowledge sharing and capacity building. These programmes have allowed hundreds of cities to develop better local cultural policies. It is important that we build on the successes we have already seen and experienced and to adapt them to new organizational challenges faced by cities.This proposed action is meant to help cities face challenges linking culture, urban management, regeneration or development and social inclusion. Indeed, most cities are confronted with challenges linking culture to demographic changes (growing numbers of young families, older people, newcomers from third country nations, but also shrinking, population) and to access and participation.

In response, cities need to develop new cultural offers that meet the evolving needs of their changing populations, and that reach a maximum of citizens. The diversity of European cities is an opportunity to find better responses to those challenges while sharing practices in different contexts will be an opportunity to improve them.

To reach maximum efficiency, peer learning activities programs must be well known and become a reference of excellency and success. That is why communication around such programs and their results will be very important.


We propose to develop a methodology that all cities can use to learn from each other, regardless of  their size. This methodology will also be shared with all interested stakeholders and will not be restricted to only be used by cities.

We propose a focus on culture and social inclusion, but the outcome of this proposed action can be used for all topics covered by this CCH Partnership. The aim is to share knowledge, methodology (how to) and expertise among cities.

Topics that could be covered during the peer learning activities (to be decided with members of the PartnershipPartnership) include:

  • developing long term and inclusive local strategies for culture;
  • improving participation in cultural activities;
  • cities dealing with their past, in particular the ‘difficult heritage’ (including slavery and colonisation) and opening up new dialogues with communities and local institutions
  • links between culture, urban regeneration and urban development
  • developing new partnerships at the local level within the culture sector and other sectors, including social inclusion, health and wellbeing, migration and integration


The outcome will be twofold:

  1. We will develop a methodology for peer-learning activities and visits between cities. In particular, we will take into account the need to develop online methodologies that do not require onsite visits. This methodology will be based on previous experiences, taking stock of what did and did not worked. We will propose:
  • a methodology for onsite peer learning activities (requiring traveling from participating cities)
  • and a methodology for online peer learning activities. This is clearly a lesson from the recent lockdown period, as a result of COVID-19, that reminded us of the need for innovative learning formats.
  1. We will arrange one peer learning visit (online or on-site) to test the methodology developed in 1). The visit will focus on a specific topic linked to culture and social inclusion, as detailed in the ‘objective’ section above.

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Action Leader: Eurocities

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