The European Capital of Culture (ECOC) programme is arguably one of the most successful projects ever launched by the European Union (EU). Almost thirty years after it began in Athens in 1985, the ECOC has established itself as a must have event and brand name among European cities, and has spawned a host of imitators all over the world.
The research conducted in Guimarães and Maribor in 2012 fits into this growing legacy of ATLAS ECOC research. The research work was undertaken by ATLAS member institutions in Portugal, Slovenia and the Netherlands. The research was facilitated by the ECOC cities, but there was no funding involved. Although the lack of resources has obviously limited the amount of data that could be collected, it also means that the researchers are able to express a completely independent opinion regarding the findings. As the results of this study show, these are often at odds with the “official” evaluations produced by researchers working for the host cities. As such, these research results provide a useful comparison and contrast to other sources of ECOC information.
Chapter 1: Researching the European Capital of Culture
Chapter 2: Guimarães European Capital of Culture 2012 - Visitor Research
Greg Richards, Johan Ferla and Carlos Fernandes
Chapter 3: Maribor European Capital of Culture 2012 - Visitor Research
Greg Richards, Miha Lesjak and Mitja Petelin
Chapter 4: Guimarães and Maribor 2012, some comparisons