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Brussels Tips #13

Brussels launches TagTagCity!

It’s a new city mapping project designed around the principles of intuitivity and functionality. It is TagTagCity. Just clicking with NFC or scanning the QR codes scattered all over the city you can get multimedia info on cultural sites and commercial locations in Brussels, and share it immediately on social networks.

The project is based on a smart business model that allows different kinds of potential “location owner” (it can be museums, businesses as restaurants and hotels) to become mobile and share a common social platform at a very reduced cost and participating to a system of promos for their interactive users/custumers.

Hundreds of locations have been already equipped and tens a week are being added. In addition to the interactive map on line, all locations are identified by a red round sign on the door! Just tag it!

Red Round Sign

A BAM! cultural spy from Brussels

Brussels Tips #12

Brussels claims for its own T Days…..but in a Pic Nic version!

bxl pic nic the street 2012

It all started at the end of May 2012, when a great man, the charismatic Belgian philosopher and professor Philippe Van Parijs, published a fiery call to action, titled “Brussels: Pic Nic the streets”.

In this powerful appeal (I really recommend you to have a look at it…it’s simply irresistible!), all Brussels citizens are called to take to the streets and regain possession of the city center public spaces.

If we think about it, it is paradoxical! Brussels, the capital of Europe, the city that should give the good example, the nexus from which all smart cities and sustainability policies are spreading over, is indeed characterized by a congested mobility, right through its central urban heart.

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Brussels Tips #11

European Cities. Make up your brand!


Cities are prettying themselves up. Just like a company of ladies preparing for the grand ball. Some of them are young, others are more experienced, but they all are competing to be the most attractive. 

Be attractive for whom? Well, for their own inhabitants first of all, but also for investors, businesses and tourists. And, exactly as women do, they need to keep one eye open to watch and observe other cities’ brand strategy in order to refine their techniques.

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Brussels Tips #10

Bruxelles Babel: a Cultural Plan for the city

Since 2007, Brussels is working at the development and implementation of a wide and structural Cultural Plan for the City.

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Brussels Tips #9

Living Labs: Smart Cities in progress..

Europe is making way for the strong bottom-up push coming from territorial clusters engaged in innovation for the urban life quality improvement. They are called Living Labs!

They take the form of territorial networks linking public administrations, universities,  research centres and small and medium enterprises engaged in the co-creation and testing of innovative and experimental smart products and services for the city. There is no limit in the application fields: they can be innovative service for culture, health, education, egovernment, mobility, social issues…The fundamental unifying factor is that citizens are called to interact and participate to the creation process itself.

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Brussels Tips #8

Creative Europe: proposals and questions

After having presented results and trends of the European Culture Programme 2007-2013, let’s have a look on what the EU is proposing as a new policy and financial framework for Culture for the next 7 years: Creative Europe 2014-2020.

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Brussels Tips #7

Cultural networks are strange animals 

Today BAM!, ENCATC, Marcel Hicter Foundation and Ask Research Center of Bocconi University met around this table in Brussels.

What is it about? The trigger of it has been the Study Tour 2012 which involves more than 30 researchers from the ASK Centre who are travelling right in these days around Europe to Berlin, Hamburg, Dusseldorf, Brussels and Paris. Each stop is an occasion to meet and collect interviews from scholars, intellectuals, policy makers, artists and cultural managers who will present their vision of the contemporary European scenario. The final result of this itinerant research will be a photography of European cultural policy reaction to the contemporary crisis. 

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Brussels Tips #6

Cultural democratisation means destabilisation..

Jean-Pierre Deru is the president of the Foundation Marcel Hicter, a cultural organisation born in 1980 in Bruxelles, just one year after the death of his inspirator. Marcel Hicter was a Walloon lecturer and politician who strongly sustained the ideal of the democratisation of culture between the ’50s and ’70s.

Yesterday at ENCATC, we interviewed Jean-Pierre, asking him to tell us about his Foundation history and activity. So I discovered that their main activity consists in the organisation of a training course for cultural professionals called the European Diploma in Cultural Project Management. The Diploma is spread over a year-lenght and is organised into residential sessions, comparative studies and seminars, so that participant cultural managers can carry on with their daily activities.

Apart from cultural management issues, what most striked and amused me was Jean Pierre sharp irony and his passionate approach to culture as something that is meant to challenge and destabilse first, in order to create new and stronger equilibriums.

A BAM! cultural spy from Brussels

Brussels Tips #5

European Culture Programme: Policy and Penny

It is only since 1992, year of the Maastricht Treaty, one of the jurisdictional pillars of the EU, that Europe is speaking about culture.

The European Commission deals with culture in two ways: first developing policies, mainly cultural policy, but also by mainstreaming the cultural dimension in other areas of EU interest such as for instance in competition or industrial policy.Secondly through financial support, primarily via the Culture Programme (2007-2013), which will be substituted in 2014 with the new Creative Europe Programme (2014-2020).

European policies are marked by key words. Up until 2013, the European Agenda for Culture sets three guiding concepts: cultural diversity and dialogue, culture as catalyst of creativity and innovation and culture as a vital element of EU’s international relations.

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Brussels Tips #4


Not exactly a classical lunch break…

Bruxelles, Place Flagey, h 12.30

It’s time to have a break from working at my desk in ENCATC, but today it’s gonna be a special break.

A little bit of context first …

I am a BAM! special collaborator of ENACTC: a major European Network on Cultural Management and Cultural Policy Education. ENCATC gathers together more than 120 Universities, Master Programmes and Training Centres specialized in cultural management. ENCATC’s office is in the Flagey building in Brussels, in an open space at the 5th floor, shared with other cultural organisations and networks.

First of all, I have to debunk a myth: when you think about European cultural networks you may imagine huge organisations, full of people and maybe with big offices divided into different departments….not exactly. We are four girls (this of girls power in the cultural network is not news) and we occupy a corner of a nice bureau partagé.

Ok, so as every day I have my half an hour break, but today is going to be a little longer and a little bit more “classic”.

Actually, one of the neighboring organisations in the Flagey building is the Brussels Philarmonic, which has invited us to go to what they call piknik music: one hour concert at the ground floor concert hall just to slow down your mind in the middle of a work day.

Mozart for lunch…so relaxing!

Isn’t it effective coworking? I guess so.

A BAM! cultural spy from Brussels

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