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Brussels 2030, the post report of the Summer Assembly

Brussels Brussels

The Brussels2030 Summer Assembly is a key pillar in preparation for the Brussels' candidacy as European Capital of Culture. It was organized at Tour à Plomb from Monday July 4th till Friday July 8th 2022, offering a dynamic program with keynotes, co-creation labs, bar talks, site visits, walkshops, film screenings and artistic performances.

The aim was to test initial findings and aspirations of Brussels2030 against a diversity of lived experiences and expectations. The ambition was also to share and discuss knowledge on current day Brussels, the cultural practices of tomorrow and the heritage of previous European Capitals of Culture.

Over 800 people participated in the Assembly. Diverse actors were mobilized: Brussels citizens, cultural practitioners, academics, policy makers, artists, creatives and civil society representatives. Together they created an open space, fostering inspiring encounters and dialogues around topics that concern us all: sustainability, new forms of democracy, urban transitions, solidarity and inclusion.

Building on these exchanges, the Summer Assembly participants imagined scenarios for preparing desirable urban futures and making Brussels the European Capital of Culture in 2030.

The Brussels2030 Summer Assembly was organized by Brussels2030, Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Université libre de Bruxelles, Brussels University Alliance, Réseau des Arts Bruxelles-Brussels Kunsten Overleg, OpenLab.brussels, Brussels Studies Institute, Brussels Academy, VUB Crosstalks and weKONEKT.brussels. This report provides a synthesis of the activities and discussions that took place at Tour à Plomb. A number of questions and suggestions are formulated that need might be considered in the further preparation of an ambitious candidacy and an inspiring Summer Assembly in 2023.

The candidacy of Brussels as European Capital of Culture is conceptualized as a true urban project. The ambition is not only to become the European Capital of Culture in 2030, but also to remain so after the title year.

The project aims to express the creativity characterizing a city in permanent evolution. After a decade of setbacks and crises, this might be considered a much-needed opportunity to inflate urban renewal. The mission of Brussels2030, in that sense, is to involve a diversity of cultural forces in the transitions that are already shaping Brussels today, and those that are needed in order to work towards a more desirable tomorrow. The guiding principle is to mobilize all sectors and invite all interested actors to work together on transversal projects. Every summer is an opportunity to demonstrate the evolution of the project.

The summer of 2022 was a festive and reflective testing ground, with the very first Brussels2030 Summer Assembly as a starter to open the conversation and mobilization around the project to the broader public.

Three thematic pillars: imagination, spaces & cocreation
The development of an attractive program for 2030 will build on a collective urban imagination, telling the story of Brussels as a cosmopolitan city across different languages, communities, religions and nationalities. A story about what unites us rather than what is putting us apart: a new we.

What practices, narratives and initiatives can inspire such a collective vision and imagination? A shared imagination should be reflected in the cityscape, its social geography and the collection of urban spaces. The regional development plan links spatial planning to highly-needed ecological and socio-economic transitions. Artistic and cultural practices have a role to play in these processes. How can we anchor them through the development of “future spaces“? How can we shape those spaces together, building on existing infrastructure, needs and expertise? Brussels2030 aims to be a true urban project, reflecting a way of life that fully embraces Brussels’ diversity.

It intends to involve the entire population, especially youth. How can we co-produce the Brussels2030 project, ensuring support but also beneficial outcomes for the Brussels population? How can we share ownership and responsibility? The third thematic pillar tackles the issue of participation, the co-construction and co-creation of a cultural project that intends to positively impact the Brussels inhabitants and environment.

The Brussels2030 Summer Assembly was organized to explore these questions and test initial findings and aspirations against a diversity of experiences and expectations.

You can download the report here.

 

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