Aarhus 2017

Jacob Urup Nielsen

Aarhus will be the Danish Capital of Culture in 2017. I have had the privilege to work with both the cities that were applying to become European Capital of Culture in Denmark. And I have lived in Aarhus for a number of years so I know the city very well. 

The central theme in the bid is Rethink. They want to rethink cultural institutions, they want to rethink educational institutions. They want to rethink the city as such. And they want to offer the city during the year of 2017 to experiment with new forms of institutions. So that is the core of their bid. 

Aarhus is a special city in the sense that it has got a big student population. It has got a student population of about 50,000 in a city of 350,000. So it is one seventh that are the university students there. So it is a very big student population and it gives the opportunity for a richer cultural life. 

The university lies on the outskirts of the city or what used to be the outskirts of the city. And gives it that dimension of having a city center that is not taken over by the university. So that the university does not have the predominant role in daily city life. You can go to the city center without going to the university. 

That being said students have an immense value to the city such as consumers, as developers of services and as creative entrepreneurs. Many of the students will be people that will go on and develop new things and take part in in the cultural life of the city.

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Jacob Urup Nielsen

Jacob Urup Nielsen

Founder of Centre for Cities and Creativity

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