Urban development and cultural policies

Cupore Fact Booklet 3

Urban development plays a central part in creating a good future for the society at large. Cities are not only the foundation for people’s social co-existence and organization but also a breeding ground for culture. In recent years the role of culture and cultural policies has gained momentum as a fixed part of the holistic development of cities. This largely stems from the need to bring the full potential of culture and cultural activities to use in urban development and to create future opportunities for cities.

The EspooCult research project carried out in 2018–2019 reviewed cultural activities and cultural policies in the city of Espoo, with a special focus on the role of culture in the city’s development. This fact booklet compiles the key findings of the research. It is based on the more extensive research report Urban Development and Cultural Policies – Results of the EspooCult Research Project (English translation published in autumn 2020).


1. City of Espoo

2. Culture as part of urban development

3. City of Espoo as a framework for cultural activities

4. Culture as part of the city organization and local community

5. Participation and inclusion in cultural activities

6. The dimensions of developing urban culture

7. Culture and cross-administration

8. Conceptualizing the impact of cultural activities

9. Culturally sustainable development

10. Conceptualizing culturally sustainable development

11. Scenarios on the role of culture in the future of Espoo

12. Conclusions and recommendations of the EspooCult research


Maria Hirvi-Ijäs, Anna Kanerva & Minna Ruusuvirta (eds.) 2020. Urban development and cultural policies. Results of the EspooCult Research Project. Cupore Fact Booklet 3. Center for Cultural Policy Research.

 Read more about EspooCult research project on Cupore’s website.

Project researchers