#EUniverCitiesTalks - N. 1

Maintaining a cultural offer in times of social distancing….a challenge for City & University

On 5th June 2020 from 11.00 to 12.30, the network organized the first of a series of webinars regarding the collaboration between Cities and Universities in COVID-19-time, that we called “#EUniverCitiesTalks”.

The webinars are moderated by Willem van Winden, professor of Urban Knowledge Economy & Strategy at Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences and  Eunivercities Network thematic expert.

The first topic we tackled was about “Maintaining a cultural offer in times of social distancing….a challenge for City & University”.

The Corona pandemic has hit our cities hard across the board, but one of the most affected sectors is culture. Cultural venues and institutions face the challenge to serve an audience in very limiting circumstances, their business model is broken, and many of them may not even survive this crisis. But on the long run, an attractive cultural life is crucial for any city, and especially for university cities where culture plays an even bigger role.

In this webinar we explored how cities and universities are dealing with this crisis together.

How to maintain a vital cultural scene? Is this mainly a problem for the municipality and the cultural institutions, or do we see a role for universities as well? If ‘yes’ then what? What are other universities and cities doing that may be transferable?

We had introductions and case studies from Parma and Exeter, and then we discussed new solutions together.



1. The experience of EXETER

     Brigid Howarth, Head of Society, Culture and Organisations at the University of Exeter

     TBC, Exeter City Council

Summary of current challenges

Summary of current interventions e.g.

  • New Covid applications with sectors such as tourism, heritage and community
  • Survey of what the issues and opportunities are
  • Update on what we are now offering as a UNESCO City of Literature and how this has changed


2. The experience of PARMA

     Michele Guerra, Councilor for culture at the City of Parma and professor of Film Theory at the University of Parma

Summary of current challenges

  • Web University: challenge or threat?
  • Cultural events with people: the right time restart

Summary of current interventions e.g.

  • Parma Italian Capital of Culture from 2020 to 2021