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City of Coventry Cultural Strategy Initiative 2016-2026

The implementation of arts practices and humanities discourses as the means to analyse, evaluate and galvanise urban change is an idea that is very much ‘in play’ at this point in time. A research strategy, involving partnered collaborations between academics from the universities of Warwick and Coventry, has been established which will witness not only the integration of a research-led dimension to the UK City of Culture bid – for which the initial deadline is April 2017 – but also the realisation of a ten-year programme of cultural development running from 2016-2026. At Warwick this initiative is being led by Professor Jonothan Neelands of WBS (via Warwick Creative Exchange).

For academics interested in becoming involved in this endeavour via the Connecting Cultures GRP, the following provides a summary of options:


Short term
Feed into the bid and strategy documents themselves.
Given the tight deadlines for the UK City of Culture application (the initial bid will be submitted in April 2017), it is likely that this will be based on existing research. Areas of research interest include:

  • Big Data Science (social media)
  • Photography and iconography
  • Migration, identity and cultural impact
  • Health and well-being
  • Cultural Value and measurement
  • Sociologies of difference and inequality
  • Place making
  • Culture, creativity and economic regeneration
  • Digital-Creative SMEs
  • Cultural memory and identity
  • Mapping cultural participation in formal and informal settings

Medium to long term
Developing new research projects around the city’s cultural life. Developing impact and public engagement projects.
Whether Coventry is successful in its City of Culture bid or not, the Cultural Strategy initiative provides an exciting platform for researchers to work more closely with the city, building on relationships with Coventry University, Coventry City Council, cultural organisations in the city and local businesses. In a sense, the possibilities are endless and include impact and public engagement initiatives. In order to provide coordinated support to researchers wishing to engage with the city of Coventry Cultural Strategy, Research and Impact services (R&IS) has formed a small team with relevant expertise in bid writing and research development, impact, and post-award project management. Any academics who think that their research and impact plans may be relevant should contact the R&IS City of Culture resource account: RISCityofCulture at warwick dot ac dot uk dot