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Culture & Art

Six Hungarian cities among Europe’s most creative

Budapest, Győr, Veszprém, Pécs, Szeged, and Debrecen have been included in the 190 cities with the most creative and cultural potential in 30 European countries.

The second edition of the Cultural and Creative Cities Monitor shows how well 190 cities in 30 European countries perform on a range of measures describing the ‘Cultural Vibrancy’, the ‘Creative Economy’ and the ‘Enabling Environment’ of a city.

The study highlights that Budapest, with its population of more than one million, has achieved a remarkable 87.3 percent level for job creation in the creative sector, well above the EU average. According to the report, Budapest also outperformed the EU average of 34.5 percent in the creative economy, which is how the creative industries contribute to the city’s employment capacity.

In the case of Győr, dynamic development and innovative character of the city made it one of the largest economic and industrial centers of Hungary. Besides numerous cultural programs and festivals, the outstanding regional role of the Győr Ballet Company and the Győr National Theater were mentioned.

Pécs was highlighted due to its multi-ethnic and multicultural composition, which “opens the door” to non-EU Balkan countries. The city’s efforts to protect the culture of minorities and its attitude towards refugees from the Balkan war were also appreciated. The Zsolnay Cultural Quarter is also listed on the UNESCO World Heritage List.

Szeged as a university city has a significant historical heritage and cultural value. The 85-year-old Szeged Open-Air Games is one of the most prominent cultural venues in the country.

Veszprém, which will be one of the cultural capitals of Europe in 2023, was first included in the cultural and creative cities due to its several cultural institutions, including museums, art galleries, theaters, and many of its world-famous music festivals including VeszprémFest and the Veszprém Street Music Festival.

Debrecen was included as one of the most important cultural centers of Hungary for the first time.  MODEM Center for Modern and Contemporary Art, one of the largest exhibition venues in Hungary, the Béla Bartók International Choir Competition, the Debrecen Flower Carnival and the Campus Festival were highlighted as main points of cultural importance. 

The document also reported employment growth in the cultural and creative sectors, particularly in cities in north and eastern central Europe: Budapest (Hungary), Tallinn (Estonia) Vilnius (Lithuania) Krakow and Wroclaw (Poland) and Tartu (Estonia), with an average of 12 percent annual growth.

The listed cities are more prosperous, and there is a positive and significant correlation between the cultural and creative indicators of the cities and the income level of the people within them.

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