The role of Helsinki contemporary art biennial in placemaking and city branding : an interdisciplinary study on the establishment of a new cultural event

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Title: The role of Helsinki contemporary art biennial in placemaking and city branding : an interdisciplinary study on the establishment of a new cultural event
Author: Radaelli-Muuronen, Barbara
Other contributor: Helsingin yliopisto, Matemaattis-luonnontieteellinen tiedekunta
University of Helsinki, Faculty of Science
Helsingfors universitet, Matematisk-naturvetenskapliga fakulteten
Publisher: Helsingin yliopisto
Date: 2019
Language: eng
Thesis level: master's thesis
Degree program: Kaupunkitutkimuksen ja suunnittelun maisteriohjelma
Master's Programme in Urban Studies and Planning
Magisterprogrammet i urbana studier och planering
Specialisation: USP Plans
USP Plans
USP Plans
Discipline: none
Abstract: In current city policies, cultural events take part in urban, social and economic development contributing in place making and city branding. This master thesis examines the role of the forthcoming Helsinki contemporary art biennial within the city strategies to fulfill social, economic and environmentally sustainable development. The vision of the city of Helsinki is to be the world’s most functional city, creating the best conditions for residents and visitors as well as an attractive knowledge hub for companies and individuals. The potential of achieving some of the strategies’ objectives through the contemporary art biennial is analyzed through interviews with experts of Helsinki Art Museum and benchmarking the city of Helsinki with other long-term biennial cities, specifically, Venice, Berlin and Liverpool. For the benchmarking, it has been used data provided by the European Commission’s on line platform “Cultural and Creative Cities Monitor”. Helsinki biennial takes part in the place-making, city branding as well as in the strategic plan for the city. Overall, the event is efficiently related to most of the objectives of the city strategies, of which the maritime strategy, the project for youth social inclusion, exercise and mobility, health and welfare promotion. The convergent outputs of the analysis of Helsinki provided positive scenarios on the creation of new jobs within the creative economy and revealed that human capital and education sectors might undertake a significant increase. Yet, a broad overview on the strategies for the city of Helsinki 2017-2021 revealed contrasting aspects within the sustainable development principles. The new jobs created through the maritime strategy seem not completely fulfill the ambitious aims of the city strategies to create new captivating jobs through new companies and startups. Furthermore, in order to avoid the worst effects of climate change, environmentally sustainable alternatives for the Biennial in the island of Vallisaari should be carefully considered.

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