After 2020, Rijeka will permanently remain on the map of the European Capitals of Culture alongside cities whose citizens feel at home anywhere in Europe.
Most previous European capitals of Culture experienced a surge in interest from visitors and a higher number of tourist arrivals during the celebratory and subsequent years. This, in turn, benefited almost all hospitality proprietors in the cities.
The cultural buildings and facilities in Rijeka will remain durable assets intended for the citizens of Rijeka and its visitors to enjoy the cultural offering, as well as for the further development of the tourist offering in the city and the region. These include the facilities at Benčić (Children’s House, City Museum, Library and the Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art), the ship Galeb, the Exportdrvo building at Delta and the RiHub premises that were refurbished in 2018. The renovated Frankopan castles in Primorje-Gorski County will also remain durable assets.
The permanent exhibition of the City Museum at the Sugar Refinery Palace, which addresses the history of Rijeka, will remain after 2020, as will the permanent exhibition on the Galeb, which will deal with the history of the ship and Tito as a man who made a small country, which included Croatia, an important and recognised factor in the global arena and who was also a leading figure in the Non-Aligned Movement of which Yugoslavia was a part. The permanent sculptures made by global, European and Croatian artists that make up the new culture and tourism route and tackle topical issues relevant to their locations will remain in the Kvarner region after 2020. Physical transformation projects conducted in Rijeka will also leave a permanent legacy. The Children’s House resumes its activities aimed at developing creativity in children and projects such as Brickzine and Tobogan.
The organisation and development of festivals, exhibitions, plays, concerts and a plethora of other cultural and entertainment events will continue even after 2020. In order to achieve this, several training programmes have been held for the citizens in Rijeka and the region, as part of the Classroom flagship, with the aim of attracting a large number of people who are interested in acquiring the knowledge, skills and experience required for the organisation of cultural events.
The European Capital of Culture project will enable the University of Rijeka, as an important project partner, to implement new study programmes that will have a significant impact on the future of culture in Rijeka. One such programme is the DeltaLab – Centre for Urban Transition, Architecture and Urban Planning. The Classroom flagship has also initiated the preparation of the International Development of Cultural Projects – University of Rijeka lifelong learning programme in partnership with Sciences Po Bordeaux. The programme is currently being developed and should be implemented in the summer of 2020.
As a result of the development of cultural diplomacy as an integral part of the European Capital of Culture project, Rijeka has been establishing international strategic partnerships since receiving the title. It will ensure the visibility of Rijeka in cultural and social milieus across Europe and around the globe, allowing Rijeka to host many international conferences and welcome reputable experts in the fields of culture, art and creative industries. Such events will provide new know-how and ideas for culture in Rijeka in general, as well as for young people and the university students and community, and will eventually benefit all the citizens of Rijeka.
The programmes for the participation and inclusion of citizens in the life and development of the city, such as those initiated at RiHub, including Civil Initiatives, Green Wave and the Citizens’ Council, will become a benchmark for the further development of activism among citizens, which will make Rijeka an activist city. In such a city, the citizens take responsibility for improving the quality of life in their immediate environment.
The PartneRi Business Club, which includes entrepreneurs attuned to and willing to invest in cultural projects, was launched under the initiative of the European Capital of Culture project. This initiative may continue to exist as a permanent model for financially linking the business and cultural sectors even after 2020.