Thanks to the contemporary art biennial Manifesta 7 and the inter – regional exhibition in 2009, the cultural context in South Tyrol has been enriched by two unique and international events. Other events such as TransArt and Merano Music Festival complete the cultural landscape of this region.
In the scientific debate, culture is often seen as an efficient mean to develop the innovation potential. Richard Florida create the expression “creative class” and in his book “The rise of the creative class” (2002) examined the social and economic impact of creativity on regional development. The European Commission study "The economy of culture in Europe" of October 2006 points out how the culture can bring benefits not only to economic and social development, but also to innovation and cooperation.
In this context, South Tyrol is also facing the interesting question: “do cultural events in the region give a positive boost to art, culture and economy, promoting development and innovation? How is it possible to develop a creative environment and which are the conditions and the background for this?”
The scientific studies already carried out identify cities and the urban environment as the best conditions for cultural innovation and conclude that events constitute important location factors mostly for cities and metropolitan areas. With regard to this specific aspect, the perspective of this EURAC study is new, as it takes in consideration cultural development in a rural – alpine context.
Aim of the research is to explore the importance of art and culture in South Tyrol for innovation and competitiveness in the region. By studying the South Tyrol case, the aim is to understand how it is possible to form a creative environment and which are the necessary conditions for doing that.
Therefore, from the research objectives, the following questions have emerged:
- Can events offer a cultural impulse for art, culture and economy in the Bolzano Province?
- Which are the condition for the birth of a creative environment, that could create innovation through the actors’ network and the cultural, artistic and economic initiatives?
- Which are the general principles to plan and promote a creative environment?