An attempt at socio-economic regeneration through culture in a Central European city: the case of Pécs
Keywords:cities, European Capital of Culture, ECoC, urban regeneration, creative sector, creative class, tourism, cultural quarters, urban governance, Pécs, Hungary
The paper analyses the culturally-led economic regeneration of Pécs, a Hungarian city which has been awarded the title of European Capital of Culture (ECoC) in 2010. The aim is to shed light on its social and economic development over the past 25 years, by evaluating the transition from the socialist economic system to the free market economy and by considering the culture-oriented transformation as implemented within the city.
According to the author, in Pécs the true legacy of the title is represented by a major renewal of the urban infrastructure. However, the physical regeneration is not found to be connected to any productive activity involving the local population and boosting the economic growth in the long run. Furthermore, in a more general perspective, the paper identifies the essential characteristics of the ECoC project by highlighting the weaknesses and suggesting possible alternatives for the future of the title.