Culture for Waterfronts – river//cities

The Use of Culture to Increase Access to, and Engagement In, European Waterfronts

Programme: Lifelong Learning Programme – Grundtvig 


This Learning Partnership, as a framework for European and international intercultural dialogue, draws together organisations with a shared interest in impact of culture on their rivers/waterfronts. Culture is a tool for bringing people together – city inhabitants, city planners, city authorities, media, business sector – and engaging them in the debate on condition and future of European cities. 

This partnership is intended to identify and strengthen the impact of culture on diverse aspects of waterfront regeneration e.g. volunteering/civil society involvement, public space/city planning, environment, sustainable development, governance.

Culture for Waterfronts Handbook


The project’s overall aim is to create a base of expertise, while disseminating information to the general public, and influencing policy-makers and city planning in our cities.

Concrete objectives:

  • To train member organisations to identify and develop the potential of culture as a resource for local communities and the cities themselves.
  • To develop partnerships between cities seeking to interact with and develop their rivers or waterfronts as cultural spaces and establish fruitful, new partnerships between several European organizations sharing an interest in river areas as a cultural and educational resource.
  • To increase access and civic engagement with waterfront public space, harmonisation and public participation being a fundamental element of sustainability
  • To promote benefits coming from cultural approach and transversal work and knowledge
  • To work together on the theme of impact of culture.
  • To learn from each other how to improve the quality of current work practices so they could be directly transferred to groups and communities we work with on an everyday basis.
  • To combine our different experiences of project partners and develop new models and approaches to all above mentioned issues of best practice.

During the lifetime of the River//Cities platform it has become increasingly clear that although there are individual attempts at regenerating urban waterfronts or animate them through arts and culture, there is a noticeable lack of interrelation and interaction between different sectors of society, such as culture, government, environment, city planning, education and tourism. 

There is little focus on culture as a viable tool in the regeneration process, or on the benefits of creating public spaces accessible to citizens, while taking into account the transversal aspects of such development. What is more, there is no training available to adult learners on this topic. The project addresses this problem by pooling together the expertise of its partners where the European and the local perspectives are brought together and explored. Strengthening cooperation and civic engagement is one of our main priorities. 

We wish to create learning experiences that are adaptable to local realities, while highlighting the European dimension of these issues. The work programme will combine interactive online tools and live seminars, allowing to direct interaction with participants, while providing information to the general audience.

Project Partners

  • Impact Foundation, Poland
  • Intercult Productions, Sweden
  • EGEAC – Empresa de Gestão de Equipamentos e Animação Cultural, EEM, Portugal
  • SPÖ Wien – SPÖ Wiener Bildung, Austria
  • Stad Oostende, Belgium
  • InnoPolis Centre for Innovation and Culture, Greece
  • Associazione Culturale ONDADURTO TEATRO, Italy