European Capitals of Culture

The CC:RO has documented the experience of European Capital of Culture (ECoC) hosts since the initiative’s launch in 1985. Overall, research materials, selected indicators and data can be made available for over 60 host cities in 30 European countries between 1985 and 2019.

Dr Beatriz Garcia has led research programmes focusing on the symbolic regeneration potential and long-term cultural legacies of hosting an ECoC. In collaboration with a wide range of researchers, this work is complemented by the assessment of economic, environmental and social impacts.

Find below an overview of the main European Capital of Culture projects the Observatory can provide full access to:

  • Impacts 18 – European Capital of Culture Legacies, 10 years on (2016-2019) This project captures the long-term effects of hosting an ECoC in Liverpool, a decade after 2008. The programme revisits all thematic impact clusters assessed by its predecessor programme, Impacts 08City image; Cultural participation; Cultural vibrancy, Economic development and Cultural governance This is the first time a city fully replicates a multiple impact study to document legacies more than a decade onwards.
  • European Capitals of Culture: Success Strategies and Long-Term Effects (2013) This study, funded by the European Parliament, assesses the long-term effects of hosting the European Capital of Culture (ECoC) Programme since its inception in 1985, and discusses the organisational and policy implications of these findings. Over 60 cities in 30 European countries were surveyed.
  • Impacts 08 – European Capital of Culture Research Programme (2005-2010). Longitudinal research programme into the cultural, social, economic and environmental impacts of Liverpool’s becoming 2008 European Capital of Culture. The programme was commissioned by Liverpool City Council and was jointly developed by the University of Liverpool and Liverpool John Moores University. It is the most extensive research programme ever conducted on an ECoC and its final report is a key referent accross Europe.
    [Final Report]  [Programme website]
  • European Capitals of Culture Policy Group (2009-2010). International network of researchers and programmers of the European Capital of Culture initiative working on a common framework for ECoC assessment and delivery. The network was funded by the European Commission and led to a series of workshops, led by Liverpool via the Impacts 08 team, with the collaboration of teams from Stavanger, Marseille, Turku, the Rhur and Kosice. [Network blog] [Final report]

Report citation and project access:

Garcia, B. et al (2013) European Capitals of Culture: Success Strategies and Long-Term Effects  Brussels: European Parliament

Report citation and project access:

Garcia, Melville and Cox (2010) Creating an Impact – Liverpool’s experience as European Capital of Culture. Liverpool: University of Liverpool


Report citation and project access:

Garcia et al (2010) An International Framework of Good Practice in research and delivery of the European Capital of Culture Programme. Brussels: European Commission