Organza is research projects in which nine medium-sized European cities collaborate learn form each other regarding policies to stimulate the creative economy. The project, initiated by the Municipality of Arnhem, in cooperation with ARCCI, started in February 2010 and will end in December 2012. ARCCI is especially responsible for the content development of the project.
The project focuses on medium-sized cities with a growing creative potential, which, however, face competition in this respect from larger creative hot spots, such as Amsterdam in the case of Arnhem. In a similar vain Nottingham is facing strong competition from London and Manchester, Bremen from Berlin, Navarra from Barcelona, Treviso and Varese from Milan, et cetera. We notice, however, that many creative professionals prefer working in smaller creative cities, where they can work more quietly on the sidelines, while keeping in touch with big cities.
In order to improve the competitive position of these cities, the Organza project was set up. In addition to the already mentioned cities there are also the Flanders region and two cities from Eastern Europe participating: Iasi in Romania and Presov in Slovakia. In all these cities there is a creative focus on textiles, fashion and design.
The project is divided in three main phases:
1. Orientation (2010)
In the first phase it was important to get to know each other better. Based on a format designed by ARCCI and Nottingham Trent University, the industrial structure of all regions was described with of course a special interest in creative industries and related policies at different levels. Partly on this basis a number of mutual visits took place, in which the visitors reflected on what they learned, and what they found interesting in other cities.
2. Selection of best practices (2011)
In the second phase we have made an inventory of the most inspiring practices we found in the different regions and classified them. Overall, all interesting initiatives can be divided under the following categories:
- Providing inexpensive studio spaces.
After we had made up this classification, it showed that in different regions there were even more interesting initiatives to find in each of these categories. Ultimately we want to present at least seventy inspiring practices. On the basis of the most inspiring ones we will set up a number of pilot projects, in which the partners involved, will try to adapt these practices to their situation, whilst other partners will look at this and try to learn from it in order to try something similar later on.
3. Implementation of pilot projects and completion (2011 and 2012)
From the second half the pilot projects are implemented in two waves: the first one starts in September 2011, the second one in January 2012. Each project is structured as follows:
- One partner organizes the pilot in its region;
With these pilot projects, the Organza project will finally, in December 2012, result in:
- a range of innovative initiatives for policy development for the creative economy ( stimulating more and other initiatives);
And for background on how creative the Netherlands is, read this artikel: