The Interreg Baltic Sea Region project UrbCulturalPlanning was launched on the first week of February 2019 in Riga with the Danish Cultural Institute as the Lead Partner welcoming the project partners. This is the result of five years of initial preparation work done by the involved parties.

UrbCulturalPlanning is a transnational project with 14 partners and 36 associated organizations in 7 countries: Latvia, Denmark, Norway, Finland, Poland, Germany and possibly Russia. The project is part-financed by the EU Interreg Baltic Sea Region (BSR) programme and runs from January 2019 to June 2021 with the total budget of 2.380.330 euros.

Citizen driven social innovation in challenged cities

Many cities today face unprecedented societal challenges. The needs are growing to tackle social inclusion and sustainable development, but the resources of the public sector are in decline or stagnating and new skills for citizen involvement are required as a response.

Over the past two decades cultural planning has been developed as a proven method for citizen-driven urban social innovation. The project adapts worldwide knowledge on cultural planning into the Baltic Sea Region and will be sharing it, working with both UN’s Sustainable Development Goals and UNESCO’s supported work on the method of Cultural Planning.

The Baltic Sea Region has outstanding cultural and creative life, where culture and creative industries contribute substantially to society and economy. UrbCulturalPlaning will explore how region’s dynamic sector of creativity and innovation can be applied to urban social development.

Turning points for shrinking cities

The main objective of the project is to advance the Baltic Sea Region’s performance in citizen-citizen and citizen-city authorities’ cooperation in promoting urban social innovation, inclusion and sustainable development of neighborhoods in cities and in towns in rural areas by increasing the capacity of public authorities as well as local NGOs and associations to collaborate on citizen driven cultural planning.

The project will benefit challenged communities across the region, increase their quality of life and sense of identity. It will contribute to social inclusion and sustainable development of the communities.  The project will help cities to be better prepared for solving the many challenges public authorities are faced with.

Main outputs

This project will produce approximately 8-10 hands-on BSR demonstrator projects in neighborhoods in cities or in towns in rural areas of up to 20,000 persons in 6 of partnering countries: Poland, Lithuania, Latvia, Finland, Denmark and Germany. The BSR demonstrator projects will address challenges such as shrinking cities, social inclusion, gentrification, use of green or blue resources, lack of community life, stigmatization, conflicts etc. Three conferences discussing policies and strategies, professional practice labs, residencies for creative people and a gaming tool to include the innovative ideas of children & youth are some of the other activities planned to be carried out within the project. The first conference will take place on July 4 – 7th, 2019 in Kiel, Germany.

To assist cities and local NGOs in the practical use of cultural planning method, the project will produce a handbook and provide mentoring.

Knowledge will be shared in 8 languages online and hubs of experienced specialists will be established.

UrbanLab in Gdansk

Workshops on cultural mapping in spatial planning, meetings with urban changes animators from the Countries of the Baltic Sea Region, or walks with Local Guides – this is a part of the UrbCulturalPlanning, in which City Culture Institute takes part. In the three-year project, City Culture Institute is responsible for preparing a toolkit for working with the cultural planning method and for organizing a series of workshops devoted to this subject. The first event takes place on March 25-27 in Gdańsk.

As a part of the project activities, we will focus on mapping cultural resources (social and spacial) in the city districts, with particular emphasis on New Port and Old Suburb. The goal of UrbanLab is to prepare local project leaders to work with the new methods. For the next two years, we intend to investigate how these methods work under different social, cultural, but also technical and urban conditions of the Baltic countries – says Natalia Brylowska from the Institute of Urban Culture.

In the workshop program, among others: the presentation of Local Areas in Gdańsk by Agnieszka Rózga-Micewicz and Anna Fikus-Wójcik from the Gdańsk Development Bureau; Warsaw Square research project presentation by Aleksandra Litorowicz from the Bęc Zmiana Foundation.

In addition, Kasparas Lielgalvis will bring the Free Riga, a Liene Jurgelane Kometa Festival initiative closer. Introduction to the cultural planning method will be led by Lia Ghilardi with Noema Culture and Place Mapping. Patricipants will also hear about Medialab Katowice experiment in visualizing the local history using data and mapping the neighbourhood from an artistic perspective, presented by Grete Aagaard and Aleksandra Księżopolska from the Łaźnia Contemporary Art Centre.

The March seminar is conducted for partner organizations, people involved in urban planning and decisions regarding urban spaces. The tools, methods and scripts created as a result of the program will be made available and popularized.

As part of the project, a textbook and mentoring program will be created – its aim will be to support cities and non-governmental organizations in the process of practical implementation of the cultural planning method. The undertaking also assumes the access to internet database operating in 8 languages and centres involving experienced specialists.


Partner organizations:

Danish Cultural Institute in Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania (DK) – the Lead Partner
Heinrich Böll Stiftung Schleswig Holstein (DE)
Copenhagen International Theater (DK)
City Culture Institute (PL)
Project company Kiel-Gaarden GmbH (DE)
Guldborgsund Municipality (DK)
Pomorskie Vovoideship (PL)
City of Pori (FI)
City of Riga (LV)
Vilnius Gediminas Technical University (LT)
Inland Norway University of Applied Sciences (NO)
University of Skövde (SE)
Baltic Sea Cultural Centre (PL)
Rosizo (RUS)

For more information about the project please contact:

Margarita Apine, Communication Manager, UrbCulturalPlanning project, Danish Cultural Institute:, or phone: +371 26463899.

Project coordinator

Natalia Brylowska

Natalia Brylowska

Graduated from the Jagiellonian University (comparative studies of civilizations and cultural management). At CCI she is managing Obserwatorium Kultury, conducts the KaWa – Kulturalna Wymiana programme, evaluates activities of cultural institutions and coordinates the collaboration with the Living Culture Observatory in Pomeranian Voivodeship. As a doctoral student of the Institute of Culture at the Faculty of Management and Social Communication of the Jagiellonian University, she researches entrepreneurship among young artists in Poland.