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Unveiling the European Music cities Policy Guide

Welcome new board member - Daniel Johansson

The MusicAIRE funded project has conducted the first ever music policy think tank for cities in Europe, leading to the publication of a Music Cities Policy Guide online on 14th September 2023, with an official in person launch at Reeperbahn Festival on 21st September 2023.

EMPE is the first think tank to integrate and enhance the role that music plays across EU city priorities, covering jobs and skills; education; climate action; infrastructure; tourism; the night time economy; diversity and inclusion and strategic planning. Through a series of 9 themed roundtables held between September 2022 and April 2023 - in partnership with Reeperbahn Festival, UNESCO Cities of Music and a host of specialists and supporting partners - a number of best practices will be identified from amongst European cities and international experts. The findings will have informed the development of the first European Music Cities Policy Guide that offers solutions, best practices and frameworks to incorporate music into the heart of local policy.

Participating cities to date include: Aarhus (DK), Amsterdam (NL), Aveiro (PT), Barcelona (ES), Bergen (NOR), Berlin (GER), Brno (CZ), Brussels (BE), Cortona (IT), Gothenburg (SE), Groningen (NL), Guimares (PT), Hamburg (GER), Hannover (DE), Kalmar (SE), Lausanne (CH), Leiria (PT), Liepāja (LT), London (UK), Manchester (UK), Mannheim (DE), Nantes (FR), Norrköping (SE), Paris (FR), Reykjavik (IS), Sydney (AUS), Tallinn (EE), Valletta (MT), Veszprem (HU), as well as international representatives from UNESCO Cities of Music.

Partners who have contributed to roundtables include: Music Declares Emergency, Client Earth, Enjoy Jazz, Eurocities, Globus/Nordisk Kulturfond, Group NAO, Selam, Keychange, Liverpool City Council, Punch Records, Sound Diplomacy, Stauffer Center for Strings, Trempo, VibeLab, WOMEX and many more.

Each roundtable featured at least 10 cities spanning all corners of Europe, comprising both Music Cities Network members and non-members, led by an expert in the field to explore how to incorporate music - in all its forms and functions - into how cities are planned, managed, measured and improved.

The eight round tables were led by the Music Cities Network, the Center for Music Ecosystems and co-facilitated with Kaospilots - experts in design thinking and creative leadership. Two were held in person (Reeperbahn Festival in September 2022, and UNESCO Cities of Music AGM (Norrkoping in February 2023) and the rest online.

Shain Shapiro Music Cities Network EMPE

"Music can be an immensely powerful tool if we use it to help solve the most pressing challenges in our cities and places. We believe cities hold the power to improving lives and we look forward working with the Music Cities Network, and our partners and cities, to using music to continue to make places happen."

Dr. Shain Shapiro

Executive Director, Center for Music Ecosystems

Lena Ingwersen Music Cities Network EMPE

“This guide is the groundwork for all those involved in music policy, but also for all those who are not yet involved, to get inspired and to link city policy areas that have not been thought together before. The 8 chapters champion the undeniable positive effects of music on social, economic, cultural and ecological development. It’s time to spread the word and raise more awareness for the power of music as an integrated part of city development.”

Lena Ingwersen

Managing Director, Music Cities Network

Jordi Pascual Music Cities Network EMPE

"This Guide serves as an indispensable resource for cultural actors and urban enthusiasts alike. It underscores the indisputable role of culture, and music in particular, in shaping resilient and thriving communities. As we unveil this Guide, we celebrate the potential it holds for propelling cities toward a harmonious and vibrant future."

Jordi Pascual

Coordinator, UCLG Culture Committee


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