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The impact of cultural events on city image: Rotterdam, cultural capital of Europe 2001

Richards, Greg; Wilson, Julie


Greg Richards

Julie Wilson


Cities are increasingly using cultural events to improve their image, stimulate urban development and attract visitors and investment. As part of its event-led regeneration strategy, Rotterdam staged the 'Cultural Capital of Europe' event in 2001. The aims were to attract visitors and to stimulate cultural consumption among residents, while positioning Rotterdam as a cultural destination. Over 2000 questionnaire responses by resident and non-resident visitors to the Cultural Capital event were used to evaluate the image effects of the event. In depth interviews were also undertaken with policy-makers and cultural managers, to permit evaluation of survey findings in the context of richer qualitative material. The image of the city as a cultural destination did improve in 2001, but the physical and tangible elements of the city's image (modern architecture, water) and its character as the working city of the Netherlands continued to dominate. © 2004 The Editors of Urban Studies.


Richards, G., & Wilson, J. (2004). The impact of cultural events on city image: Rotterdam, cultural capital of Europe 2001. Urban Studies, 41(10), 1931-1951.

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date Sep 1, 2004
Journal Urban Studies
Print ISSN 0042-0980
Publisher SAGE Publications
Peer Reviewed Not Peer Reviewed
Volume 41
Issue 10
Pages 1931-1951
Keywords cultural events, city image, Rotterdam, cultural capital, Europe, 2001
Public URL
Publisher URL
Additional Information Additional Information : Equal co-author. This article arose from a collaboration funded by the British Council Netherlands and NWO / UK-Netherlands Partnership Programme in Science awarded to Wilson in 2002 for a research visit to Erasmus University Rotterdam and Tilburg University, the Netherlands.

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