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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.

Cities Ahead is a good opportunity for cities to reflect on what resources they have.

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 Academy programme is designed for 2 days and consists of 3 freely selectable modules
  • 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 global Cities Ahead Open Call promotes innovative and participatory creative projects in the participating cities


Building Creative City Ecosystems
Development of cities as cultural locations and the importance of creative districts
  Leveraging Culture for Sustainability
Potentials of art and culture for sustainability-oriented urban development
Crafting Cultural Strategies
Potentials and application of cultural development plans
  Joining International City Networks
Insight into city networks, their modes of operation, goals, and benefits
Working with Cultural Data
Collecting and applying cultural data for the best possible impact for cities
  Becoming European Capital of Culture
Procedure and insights into successful application processes

Participating cities in 2024

Cities Ahead Academy Bielsko-Biała © City of Bielsko-Biała

Cities Ahead Bielsko-Biała

The Cities Ahead Academy Bielsko-Biała was organised by the Goethe-Institut in cooperation with the city of Bielsko-Biała on 18 and 19 January 2024.

Cities Ahead Academy Hamm © City of Hamm

Cities Ahead Hamm

The Cities Ahead Academy Hamm was organised by the Goethe-Institut in cooperation with the city of Hamm on 29 February and 1 March 2024 at the Gustav-Lübcke-Museum Hamm.

Participating cities in 2023

Cities Ahead Augsburg © Lukas Miller

Cities Ahead Augsburg

The Cities Ahead Academy Augsburg was organised by the Goethe-Institut in cooperation with the Department for Culture, World Heritage and Sport of the City of Augsburg from 1-3 February 2023.

Building on the results of the Academy, an open call for creative concepts from all over the world was devised. The placemaking projects sought should relate to Maximilianstrasse or the theatre district and strengthen the connections between people and these places.

Cities Ahead Logroño © Lukas Miller

Cities Ahead Logroño

The Cities Ahead Academy Logroño was organised by the Goethe-Institut in cooperation with the Cultural Department of the City of Logroño and Museo Würth La Rioja on 28 April 2023.

Additionally, in cooperation with the Concéntrico Festival, an open call for the (temporary) transformation of public space was addressed to creatives worldwide. The selected practices were presented in Logroño during the Concéntrico 09 festival, which took place from 27 April to 2 May 2023.



Goethe-Institut e.V. | Cities Ahead