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Resillience, cultural intervention, micro innovation, policy - City-Link 2014


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This talk was given to the City-Link Congress in Hamburg, in September 2014. The congress brought together researchers, artists, and practitioners to reflect on the issue of resilience and culture in cities. The congress had presentations by Sharon Zukin, Elke Krasny, Levente Polyak, Sacha Kagan and Oleg Koefoed.

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Resillience, cultural intervention, micro innovation, policy - City-Link 2014

  1. 1. Cultural interventions in cities - resilience in connections of policy and micro-innovations Oleg Koefoed Action-philosopher Cultura21 City-Link Congress Hamburg September 2014 Swimmers jump in the harbour, Copenhagen, January 2014 – Sharing Copenhagen 14
  2. 2. Pre-face: 5 fields of recirculation through culture Time Matter Space Work/Bodies Out of Market and... Swap Give away Co-produce Buy, invest, share New models Participating Knowledge Etc..
  3. 3. Resilience in CPH – climate threat Violent material Flows = possible collapse But CPH = city of good life Collapse? Not here! Inertia + good life beats deep changes Money for building, roads, canals, metros.. culture? Man watches Lyngbyvejen after rain, Copenhagen, July 2013
  4. 4. Sharing Copenhagen 2014 Macro (top-down): investments, sales, branding, marketing, clients, stakeholders.. Micro (bottom-?): experiments, connecting, citizens, spaces, places.. (..and cultural agents struggling to survive while doing this of course) Bike bridge over Copenhagen Canal, near Islands Brygge – Sharing Copenhagen '14
  5. 5. An Open City? core values in CPH Growth: population, entreprises, economy ← Attraction! Sustainable city: CPH 2025 + CO2 neutral by 2050 (possible clash with 1) Livability: democracy, culture, green&blue, clean Active citizenship and citizen-driven innovation (or inclusion) About 42 % of Copenhageners ride bikes to work – beware of traffic jams!
  6. 6. Policy agendas in CPH Promoting success of Copenhagen → growth by green Branding the city → attraction by consumption Enabling citizen choices for sustainability: Agenda21 Paradox 1: established status vs difference through innovation? Paradox 2: enabling cultural and innovative agents – service / seduction? Paradox 3: public servants serve their decision makers, rather than citizens? Copenhagen hosted a fashion summit for sustainability this year in April.
  7. 7. Relations of macro and micro Power – core values, policies, instruments Institutional – departments, companies, micro-agents, networks Instruments – economic, political, social, natural, cultural Discrepancies between strategy, policy, and instruments? Copenhagen municipality at Islands Brygge – technical and environmental dept.
  8. 8. Intermezzo: the adaptive cycle Resilience is about avoiding or handling release! Gunderson et al, 2002 – read more here
  9. 9. The power of Cultural interventions Culture is a field of big investments Culture increases intimacy High complexity makes it difficult to calculate cultural effects Blurred trajectories A-B-C-D? The Eurovision contest ended up wit a deficit of app 15 mio Euro. - who will pay, and why?
  10. 10. The creatives in Copenhagen Rise of maker class Everyone's an instrument! Highly adaptive The temporary – neither nor Optimism and efficacy Advocates of the good life? - or of Community building? Relaxing on Paper Island / Copenhagen Street Fodd
  11. 11. Resilience and culture Resilience = capacity to turn threats into resources + absorbing change Cultural intervention can INCREASE or INHIBIT this (?) “World's longest lunchtable”, Odsherred Kulturefestival 2013
  12. 12. World view of an average Dane: resilience? “Together we stand” D C “The new life” GROWTH RELEASE CONSERVATION REORGANIZATION “The good life” “Beyond the tipping point” A B WHAT IS THE ROLE OF CULTURE? WHAT DO YOU DO?
  13. 13. Micro-innovations: Vild Festival – a taste of urban nature Wild food in the commons – hedonism + hip + education Partnership + support + pay for food = viable We are having fun – but where are the masses? What is culture? What is its role? Its effect? Vild Festival, Sharing Copenhagen 2014
  14. 14. Micro-innovations: Innosite/Into the Wild – tamed innovations Lack of intimacy // lack of challenge // blurred aim // sympathetic but shallow Entry for Innosite competition “Into the Wild”,2014
  15. 15. Micro-innovations: Eco Island Amager – slow innovation Linking to places and people Results can take years Transmission of Eco Island Amager, Cultura21 agency and identity & Sharing Copenhagen, 2014
  16. 16. Sustainable Cultural Policy / Culture of Sustainability Makers and other creative agents.. how much do they care? Workers.. solutions.. brands like Precarious labour – of course! Bridging interest gaps between short-term economy, cold-headed arch/planing, sust demands and cultural intervention-intensity Interest from e.g. Nordic Council → next step? Or should we forget about culture and just do it? Too many questions and not enough answers..
  17. 17. Instrument or movement? No one floats freely – we are all instruments Intimacy makes a difference ..and everything else is business-as-usual Wind power off the beach on Amager, Copenhagen July 2014