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Client: The municipality of Frederiksberg & the Area Renewal of Ndr. Fasanvej in Copenhagen
Category: Festivals & conferences
Year: 2015

City Link Festival in Edinburgh

The cultural festival City Link was held in 2015 in Edinburgh, which was the third city we invited to join the growing international network of people interested in the development of urban spaces and culture.

The challenge

The creation of a sustainable platform for activists, innovators, grassroots organizations, architects, urban entrepreneurs and many others, started as a collaboration between Hamburg and Copenhagen a few years earlier. In 2014 the first City Link Festival was held in Hamburg, and here the concept of inviting a new town into the network every year arose.

Immediately after the Scottish vote for independence from Great Britain there was a need to rethink democracy, local co-creation and bottom-up initiatives. With the City Link Festival in Edinburgh our aim was:

  • To shape a neutral democratic platform for dialogue between the public and the private sectors – between citizens and institutions.
  • To facilitate new and enriching relations between local and international actors.
  • To exchange best-practice and detailed knowledge on urban regeneration through international mirroring in other cities.

The City Link Festival was to provide the framework and allow for expansion of the network and thus provide a platform for exchange of national experiences in the relational urban development across national borders.

The solution
Quickly it became clear that we were working with a unique momentum.

Our experience from Hamburg the year earlier made it possible for us to develop the City Link method: to involve actors from a variety of professions and shape a cooperating culture within the festival’s various elements:

  • Symposium and workshops.
  • Exhibitions and installations.
  • Biking trips with poetic and musical features.
  • Dinners with local flavours from the different cities.

All of the events were gathered under the headline “Democratic Renewal” in an event programme that spread across the whole of the city, both indoors and outdoors.

Festivals facilitate meetings through networking and working across cultural and geographical boundaries. The goal of the City Link Festival is to create a network of artists, activists, cultural entrepreneurs, researchers and people with ideas, to link cities across national borders.

The primary aim was for an expansion of the network from Copenhagen and Hamburg also to involve Edinburgh.

Info

1,300 participants. In addition to Scottish, Danish, German and Turkish participants, three other countries were represented.

14 events spread across all of Edinburgh.

City Link in Edinburgh presented among other things:

  • A symposium in a former veterinary school
  • Workshops at 5 different user-driven venues
  • Biking trips with poetic and musical features performed by Scottish and Danish artists
  • A photo exhibition with contributions from citizens of Hamburg, Copenhagen, Edinburgh and Istanbul
  • An exhibition co-created by Scottish and Danish artists
  • A poetry reading
  • Concerts

Selected speakers:

More information can be found at city-link.org and at City Links Facebook page.

You can read our evaluation of City Link Edinburgh here

 

Concept

Festivals facilitate meetings through networking and working across cultural and geographical boundaries. The goal of the City Link Festival is to create a network of artists, activists, cultural entrepreneurs, researchers and people with ideas, to link cities across national borders.

The primary aim was for an expansion of the network from Copenhagen and Hamburg also to involve Edinburgh.

Info

1,300 participants. In addition to Scottish, Danish, German and Turkish participants, three other countries were represented.

14 events spread across all of Edinburgh.

City Link in Edinburgh presented among other things:

  • A symposium in a former veterinary school
  • Workshops at 5 different user-driven venues
  • Biking trips with poetic and musical features performed by Scottish and Danish artists
  • A photo exhibition with contributions from citizens of Hamburg, Copenhagen, Edinburgh and Istanbul
  • An exhibition co-created by Scottish and Danish artists
  • A poetry reading
  • Concerts

Selected speakers:

More information can be found at city-link.org and at City Links Facebook page.

You can read our evaluation of City Link Edinburgh here

 

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