Cities Ahead

The Cities Ahead programme supports ambitious European cultural and creative cities in attaining more international visibility and cultural appeal. At a two-day academy, renowned experts impart practical knowledge on international cultural urban development. Through a worldwide open call, cities receive further stimuli from the cultural and creative industries.

European cities can now apply to participate in Cities Ahead in 2025:  
Cities Ahead is a good opportunity for cities to reflect on what resources they have.
Charles Landry

Charles-Landry © Charles-Landry


The programme consists of two phases:
  • The Cities Ahead Academy consists of expert input and workshops to train local administrations and cultural actors in (international) cultural urban development
  • The two-day Cities Ahead Academy is organised locally in the participating city. The programme consists of three freely selectable modules (see below)
  • The Academy is open to employees from cultural administration, economic development, urban planning, offices for international relations, and tourism offices as well as employees of local cultural institutions
  • The optional Cities Ahead Open Call is a worldwide open call to promote innovative and participatory creative projects in the participating cities
  • The Cities Ahead Open Call offers the opportunity to involve artists and creatives as well as the local population in the urban development process


  • Building Creative City Ecosystems
    Establishing cities as cultural centres and developing creative districts
  • Leveraging Culture for Sustainability
    Utilising the potential of culture for sustainability-oriented urban development
  • Crafting Cultural Strategies
    Strategic planning in cities and regions
  • Joining International Networks
    Harnessing international initiatives for urban development
  • Working with Cultural Data
    Collecting data and using it for urban development
  • Enabling Cultural Participation
    Utilising citizen participation and involving communities in urban development

Application deadline

Applications are now being accepted. The deadline for submissions is 30 September 2024 at 23:59 CET. You will receive feedback on your application by 31 October 2024 at the latest.


Participating cities in 2024

Participating cities in 2023


Goethe-Institut e.V. | Cities Ahead

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