POLIS excursion Liverpool

We spend an interesting day in Liverpool on Wednesday the 10th of February 2010.
We started with a friendly reception in Liverpool’s Town Hall where Neil
Peterson, from the Liverpool City Coucil/Liverpool Culture Company gave us
an informative and detailed account of Liverpool’s recent transformation and
the role of Liverpool Culture 2008, the European Capital of Culture scheme,
for the city’s urban regeneration.

After Neil’s presentation, we had the pleasure to explore Liverpool’s past
and present architecture. Robert Burns, one of the city’s leading urban
planners, guided us through Liverpool’s commercial district and the
transformed waterfront area which has been the central feature of
Liverpool’s cultural regeneration. Passing the recently completed Liverpool
Museum and the Albert Docks the guided tour concluded with a walk through
Liverpool One the city’s new retail quarter. Robert’s explanations of the
contemporary and historic

built environment were most valuable and helped us to understand the
relationship between architecture, design and context as well as the
importance of architectural spectacle (or theatre as he called it) to create
interesting, inviting and changing experiences of urban landscapes.

In the afternoon, Claire Bullen, a researcher from the University of
Manchester, took us to areas on the outskirts of the city centre. After
walking through the Ropewalks, the recently designated creative quarter of
the city, passing China Town, the city’s cathedrals and university district
we took the bus to Edge Hill, a deprived neighbourhood of Liverpool and
which has been undergoing housing renewal and regeneration initiatives for a
number of years.  Here we were hosted by Vinny Lawrenson Woods from
Culturepool and Jenny Porter from Metal at the newly restored arts space at
Edge Hill Station. We finished our day discussing the innovative role played
by grass roots cultural organisations in engaging people from across the
city in cultural activities and the difficulties faced by smaller
organisations in securing funding they need to achieve their goals.

Many thanks to Claire Bullen, Neil Peterson, Robert Burns as well as Jenny
Porter and Vinny Lawrenson Woods.

About: Robert Grimm

All over Europe, cities are faced with the challenge of using cultural resources to re-position their city in an increasingly culturally and economically diversified European space. Related to this is a clear recognition of the growing importance of cultural resources for economic and community development. This produces new opportunities and challenges for local cultural planning and management. In order to fully exploit the innovative and supportive role of culture in European urban development, it will be necessary to develop a new socially and culturally sensitive professionalism, able to cross the boundaries between the arts, design, urban and spatial planning, public policy and the market, artistic creativity and cultural management. The MA in European Urban Cultures offers a specialist programme aimed at graduate students from Europe and elsewhere with undergraduate degrees in subject areas such as the social sciences; cultural and leisure studies; art, design and architecture; urban theory and planning; cultural marketing and management. The course is also targeted at professionals and administrators eager for the latest experiences, ideas and insights in urban cultural policy.