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The ideal cultural and creative city is a bit like Leuven

12 July 2017

The ideal cultural and creative city is a mix of eight different European cities, with Leuven among them. This is according to the new Cultural And Creative Cities Monitor by the European Commission.

In the monitor, the ideal city is defined as a mix of top cities in different categories. Leuven tops the list for Human Capital & Education. The other qualities come fron the Swedish city of Umeå (new jobs in creative sectors), the Dutch city Eindhoven (intellectual propert & innovation), the Irish city of Cork (cultural venues & facilities), the French capitla Paris (Cultural participation & attractiveness, creative & knowledge-based jobs), Glasgow in the UK (openness, tolerance & trust), the Dutch city Utrecht (local & international connections) and the Danish capital Copenhagen (quality of governance).


Leuven also scores a city index of 36.4, putting it just outside of the top 20 next to Galway (Ireland) and Edinburgh (UK). The city index is made out of three sub indices, being Cultural Vibrancy, Creative Economy and Enabling Environment. In this last category, Leuven scores the highest of all the cities with a 53.4 index score, beating the UK's capital London and the Dutch city of Utrecht.

"Leuven MindGate is an important programme that underscores Leuven as one of the world’s prime regions for health, high-tech and creativity, with a unique ecosystem of companies cooperating with knowledge institutions and the government, creating a perfect breeding ground for companies, entrepreneurs, investors and talent."

The results highlight what cities are good at and where there is room for improvement. They also show that the best performing cities are not necessarily best in everything, but rely on key strengths in different areas.

The Monitor is presented as a tool to support policy makers in identifying strengths, benchmarking their city against peers and learning from them, and assessing the impact of their policies. The goal of the Monitor is to engage the public and policy makers to fully acknowledge the importance of culture and creativity in today’s society and trigger investments in promoting culture and creativity.

"Today, 37 % of Leuven’s entrepreneurs are part of the cultural and creative sectors and 6.5 % of employees work in these sectors. All of those who are part of the sector in the city are part of the network called Leuven MindGate, which has an annual network event called SPACE."

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