Oulu, Savonlinna and Tampere published their applications for the European Capital of Culture. The media read them: The game is far from over.
Yle published an introductory story.
Of Oulu’s offerings, Yle highlighted the Peace Machine, which according to the story is based on the idea of the late artificial intelligence researcher Timo Honkela of a “peace machine based on various technologies that could help all of humanity in building peace and resolving conflicts”.
The program line Village Hopping emerged from Tampere’s offer, which is, among other things, the study of European identities. According to the story, “the best traditions of village madness would be unleashed.”
Savonlinna then has a steamboat: “A steamboat sailing from one port to another would present Finland’s largest art exhibition, which would also be on display in the provincial art museums and in digital form.”
Oulu or Tampere
Lännen Media’s Matti Posio made the most thorough in-depth reading of the search books. Posio explicitly estimates that based on the applications, “either Oulu or Tampere will be chosen as the European Capital of Culture 2026”.
According to Posio, “Tampere’s strength is a brisk European, international and modern perspective”. According to him, “Tampere’s application does not taste like an advertising agency, but a brutal realism of urban development, from which a broad cultural perception and the promise of good content glare.”
What about Oulu? “The design work tied to the Oulu city organization has produced a unified and appealing imprint. The footprint of Tampere’s more independent working groups is missing: Oulu’s application book is more slick. Oulu skillfully combines its themes of climate change and sustainable development with the cultural transformation that the city says it wants. ”
Posio sums up the two struggles as follows: “Oulu builds a more complete and enchanting vision of its development opportunities than Tampere. What Tampere is lagging behind in the vision, it catches up with with its credible implementation capacity: Tampere is growing with the already existing cultural offer and construction plan. ”
According to Posio, Savonlinna’s application looks most like a travel ad, and as such, is very good”.
Any benefits for the taxpayer?
The media in the applicant cities have been encouraging. In the story, Erkki Hujanen from Kaleva asks what is the benefit of investing EUR 20 million in a city dweller? Several respondents refer to the good experiences of the Turku Capital of Culture year. There, a budget of 60 million brought a production impact of 260 million euros to the economic area.
Only the Oulu MP and member of the city council Ville Vähämäki (ps.) Is critical: “Oulu’s basic problems, such as youth unemployment or the city’s economic challenges, will not be solved by the Capital of Culture project. The risk of an investment of 20 million is either that the investments will only benefit momentarily, for example from increased tourism, or that permanent annual costs will start to form somewhere”, he says. The reader comments on the story are also very critical.
In Aamulehti, Tampere, Nina Lehtinen stated that “Oulu and Savonlinna deserve a victory, but so does Tampere”. According to her, Tampere as a growth center also absorbs people from the provinces and exclusively into social services.
“It has not been possible to react adequately to the side effects of growth. The number of crimes in Tampere is growing, as is the drug problem. Tampere has the highest unemployment rate in Pirkanmaa. Loneliness, mental health problems and economic inequality are increasing. Culture and working together can help with all this”, Lehtinen writes.
Editor-in-chief of Tamperelainen Petteri Mäkinen states that “if the competition were won by the best city of culture, which has the most diverse and extensive program package to present, the title could be distributed to Tampere immediately”. He recalls that there may be other criteria for the allocation of the title, such as whether the applicant has created a program that goes over normal expectations, or that “the city has a clear and identifiable need for a Capital of Culture”.
According to an editorial in Itä-Savo published in Savonlinna, “The Saimaa phenomenon is what Europe needs”. The story says that “The budget of Savonlinna’s Capital of Culture is only about half of the budgets of its competitors, which would not be to the detriment of the application. At least it would be strange if the Capital of Culture status can only be obtained with big money.”
According to the editorial, “Savonlinna should also hope that the selection is targeted at those who need it most, as the selection criteria say. The Saimaa region and the whole of Eastern Finland are in dire need of new impetus for development right now ”.
Marita Salonen from Kulttuuritoimitus.fi watched the streaming of three media events and became convinced of Sari Kaasinen. According to Salonen, “Saimaa Phenomena project director, musician Sari Kaasinen beats the representatives of Tampere and Oulu in when the semi-final was played at a press conference hosted by Arto Nyberg. Kaasinen ruthlessly used the biggest marketing weapon: the power of the story. ”
Links to bid books