Cultural Planning as a method for urban social innovation

January 2019 -
December 2021


Policy area:
1. Innovation 1.3 Non-tech innovation


Cities in the Baltic Sea region are challenged by emerging societal and demographic changes and a growing need for sustainable development of neighbourhoods. Active co-creation among citizens and between citizens and authorities can be a way to overcome increasing exclusion of socially sensitive groups, such as the elderly and minors, and to advance Baltic Sea region social innovation. The UrbCulturalPlanning project uses cultural events and gaming methods to engage people into urban social innovation, and to compile a toolbox with good practices for other cities.


Common societal challenges in the Baltic Sea region

Cities across the Baltic Sea region face growing societal challenges to ensure social inclusion and sustainable development while the resources of the public sector remain limited. A response to that is closer cooperation and co-creation between citizens and authorities, and among citizens themselves. The approach called cultural planning is a proven method for citizen-driven urban social innovation.

Creating public sector capacity, creating solutions

The project UrbCulturalPlanning produces a number of hands-on demonstrator projects to address the challenges of shrinking cities, social inclusion, gentrification, use of green and blue resources, lack of community life, stigmatisation or conflicts.

Hundreds of city managers participate in urban labs to explore models they can re-use in their cities. The collected knowledge is shared online in seven languages. A handbook on a cultural planning method and mentoring services help city authorities and local NGOs use the method efficiently. Model residences showcase the inspiring co-existence and space sharing with creative people, such as artists and architects. The project also involves young citizens in urban social innovation via gaming-tools.

Stronger communities in the Baltic Sea region

UrbCulturalPlanning creates a political momentum to ensure and embed citizen-driven solutions across the Baltic Sea region into regional and local policies. The multifaceted project offers benefits to challenged communities across the region by increasing their quality of life, sense of identity, community and social inclusion.


€ 2.53
€ 1.77
Eni + Russia
€ 0.13
€ 0.06



Project manager

Danish Cultural Institute

Olaf Gerlach-Hansen

4 523 608 500

Legal representative

Danish Cultural Institute

Simon Drewsen Holmberg

37 126 542 524

Financial manager

Danish Culture Institute

Diana Jansone

37 167 288 221

Communication manager

Danish Culture Institute

Martins Engelis

371 20096948