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PLZEN 2015

Plzeň 2015 is a non-profit organization founded by the city of Pilsen for the purpose of preparing and implementing the program part of the European Capital of Culture 2015 project. After 2015, it transformed from a non-profit society to a registered institute with an extension of activity for an indefinite period to ensure the sustainability of selected projects and run the Creative Zone DEPO2015. 

Pilsen - European Capital of Culture 2015 project was one of the most extensive cultural projects in the history of the Czech Republic, which had an impact on the functioning of not only the entire city, but also the Plzeň Region with a significant impact abroad. The costs of implementing the "soft part" of the project reached EUR 18 million. Private sponsors contributed over EUR 1 million, the Ministry of Culture of the Czech Republic contributed EUR 4 million, the Pilsen Region and the European Commission contributed EUR 2 million, and the City of Pilsen contributed EUR 9 million. Overall, the result ended with a positive economic result, which was used for sustainable activities, especially the development of the DEPO2015 creative zone.

Pilsen won the title in competition with 2 other cities (Ostrava and Hradec Králové) in 2010. This more than six-year process of transformation of the cultural scene in the West Bohemian metropolis brought, on the one hand, positive results in terms of an increase in tourism, an increase in awareness of the city or a fundamental change in participatory understanding culture and its transfer from classic stone buildings to public space. On the other hand, it was a difficult ordeal for city representatives, bureaucrats, the independent cultural scene and ordinary citizens. This investment in human capital and life experience for many is one of the main benefits of the entire project, which has also gone through difficult times. However, after a few years, it can be evaluated as a successful representation on the European cultural scene. The proof of this is that a number of projects continue successfully even years later.

Over 4 dozen projects with German partners, 30 projects with Japanese partners and the involvement of 47 other countries in the program indicate the scope of the project and one of the main goals of the project – to support international cooperation and present the diversity of cultural heritage outside and beyond the borders of Europe.

In 2015, the EHMK2015 events were visited by 1.2 million visitors, 515 volunteers joined the organization, and new infrastructure worth EUR 60 million was created. The increase in the number of accommodation compared to 2013 increased by 31%. The number of visits by German tourists increased by 70%, and even by 199% for Austrian tourists. The Pilsen region also reported a significant increase in tourism (14%). The economic part of the project evaluation shows, among other things, that the expenses of visitors associated with the EHMK amounted to over EUR 22 million in 2015 alone, and at least EUR 6.5 million was returned to public budgets. The fact that, for example, the increase in tourism continued in 2016 is also interesting. However, this effect is also visible in other successful EHMK cities.

The main focus of the sustainability project Pilsen – EHMK2015 is the creative zone DEPO2015, which, in addition to the operation of the former transport area, organizesfestival of lightFLASH FLASH, Czech-Bavarian cultural cooperation including the festival Meeting point in Pilsen and Regensburg, European Neighbor Day, WALLZ – Street Art Festival, Pilsen Design Week and a whole series of projects that originated or were inspired by the very principles defined in the 80s by the spiritual founder of the EHMK project - the Greek minister and actress Melina Mercouri.

Brief outputs from the project are described in the publication Open, come on in! 

Program overview HERE.  

You can watch a clip from the events of 2015, when Pilsen was the European Capital of Culture HERE.

See the attachment for a complete evaluation of the project.

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