Cultural policy as urban transformation?: Critical reflections on Glasgow, European City of Culture 1990

Mooney, Gerry (2004). Cultural policy as urban transformation?: Critical reflections on Glasgow, European City of Culture 1990. Local Economy, 19(4) pp. 327–340.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/0269094042000286837

Abstract

This paper revisits Glasgow, European City of Culture 1990, and considers the main criticisms made of Glasgow's cultural policy as urban renewal strategy. It argues that while many of the criticisms made by opposition groups such as Workers' City were valid, and largely supported by the economic and social problems that have faced the City since 1990, nonetheless it also suggests that this critical response itself needs to be subjected to more thorough scrutiny. The paper claims that flagship cultural events can do little but gloss over and divert attention away from the major structural problems which characterise many ex-industrial cities and concludes by arguing that the lessons of Glasgow's experience are also very relevant for other cities such as Liverpool that are also increasingly embracing cultural policy as a route to urban transformation.

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