The City of Oulu sought to become the European Capital of Culture in 2026. The project was a long-term urban development project the aim of which is to improve the quality of people’s lives, increase the international attractiveness of the Oulu region and strengthen the local and European identity. MDI supported the city of Oulu in the preparation of the cultural strategy. The city’s cultural strategy is part of the cultural capital city process, pointing to the city’s long-term and wide-ranging cultural development, both in the thematic areas of the Capital of Culture and in the broader context. Although the Capital of Culture is above all a cultural initiative, it can also have significant social and economic impacts, especially when it is included in the long-term development strategy of the city’s culture in question. The choice of goals and content priorities in the cultural strategy is particularly important because they need to strengthen the development of the area through cultural means and a special profile, making Oulu a city that is interesting and different.

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