Renewal through Culture? The Role of Museums in the Renewal of Industrial Regions in Europe
Martin Heidenreich and
Beatriz Plaza ()
European Planning Studies, 2015, vol. 23, issue 8, 1441-1455
Bilbao has become a role model for the regeneration of declining urban and industrial regions. The debate on the so-called Bilbao effect showed that rundown industrial cities and regions might profit from culture-based development strategies, even if successful urban regeneration cannot be induced by only one flagship project without an appropriate local and regional context. Based on the comparative analysis of six, in general recently founded, museums in five countries (Guggenheim Museum Bilbao; Louvre in Lens; Centre Pompidou in Metz; Istanbul Modern Art Museum; Museum Folkwang in Essen; Museum of Natural History in Florence), the authors of this special issue discuss the role of these museums in building the image and the attractiveness of their local and regional environment, the cross-fertilization of ideas and the integration of a region in global circuits and networks. Museums can play an important role in building up "social capital", creating networks between different professionals, groups, sectors and segments of society, bridging diverse social backgrounds, lowering coordinating costs for individuals and businesses, and increasing the capacity of firms to reconnect .
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