Exploring port-city relationships through event-led urban regeneration
Policy makers in European port cities have been keen on bidding for mega events (MEs) in the last thirty years, as a means to boost or sustain processes of urban regeneration and development. Despite MEs are an increasingly regular feature of urban and cultural policies in these cities, little effort has been put in exploring the outcomes of event-led urban regeneration on the conflicting and deterritorialised liminal space that is the port-city interface. This paper presents some of the findings of a PhD research about the spatial and socio-cultural relationships between ports and cities and the impact of event-led urban regeneration on these links. The experiences of Rotterdam (EURO 2000; European Capital of Culture 2001), Genoa (1992 Specialist Expo, European Capital of Culture 2004), Valencia (America’s Cup 2007 and 2010; Formula One European Grand Prix 2008-2012) are put in conversation in relation to the recent case of Kingston upon Hull (UK City of Culture 2017). The analysis of these experiences helps to problematise a range of issues including the ‘cultural’ role of port authorities, the spatiality of event-led regeneration at the port-city interface and issues of authenticity and cultural demaritimisation.
culture-led regeneration, European port cities, event-led regeneration, port-city relationships