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Professor Franco Bianchini

Professor Franco Bianchini
Contact Details
Professor Franco Bianchini

Professor of Cultural Policy and Planning

School of Cultural Studies & Humanities

0113 81 29258

About Professor Franco Bianchini

Franco Bianchini is Professor of Cultural Policy and Planning at Leeds Beckett University. From 1992-2007 he was Reader in Cultural Planning and Policy and Course Leader for the MA in European Cultural Planning at De Montfort University, Leicester.

Franco is a member of the Media, Communication, Cultures subject team, as well as of the Management Team for the School of Cultural Studies and Humanities, and of the MA Social History course team.

Franco has been a member of the Editorial Board of International Journal of Cultural Policy since 1997, and of the Advisory Board of ENCATC Journal of Cultural Management and Policy since 2012.

He was appointed in June 2001 by the President of the European Parliament to the selection panel responsible for the designation of Cork as the 2005 European Capital of Culture. In 2006 the Minister of Culture of Slovenia appointed him to the panel responsible for the selection of Maribor as Slovenia's’ choice for the 2012 European Capital of Culture.

Franco has been invited to deliver lectures, mainly on urban cultural policy and planning issues, in most European countries, and also in Australia, Colombia, China and Japan.

His research interests include: the role of culture in urban regeneration (with a particular focus on port cities and on European Cities/Capitals of Culture); cultural diversity and interculturalism as resources for innovation in urban policy, and the development of urban cultural strategies in Europe in the context of the current political, economic and environmental crises.

Research Interests

Selected Research and Consultancy Projects

Collaborator from 2003-2009 with Liverpool Culture Company on the development of the European dimension of the successful bid for Liverpool European Capital of Culture (ECoC) 2008, and of Cities on the Edge, a cultural co-operation project involving Liverpool and five other European port cities (Bremen, Gdansk, Istanbul, Marseilles and Naples), which formed part of the Liverpool ECoC 2008 programme.

Co-author of the report The Economic Impact of the Notting Hill Carnival, for the London Development Agency (2003).

£28,500 research contract from Arts Council England East Midlands and the East Midlands Development Agency, to conduct an evaluation study on the economic and social impact of  eleven cultural festivals in the East Midlands (Festivals and the Creative Region, written with Chris Maughan; work completed in November 2004).

£11,400 secondment contract to work with independent research centre Comedia on research about:
a) the economic and social impact of the Caribbean Carnival in Preston (for Preston City Council; completed in August 2004);
b) creative industries activities in Leicester, Leicestershire, Rutland and the Welland Valley, commissioned by Leicestershire Business Link and other local partners (completed in September 2004);

c) the impact of cultural activities for urban and rural regeneration, commissioned by Culture East Midlands (completed in November 2004);

d) the impacts of PROJECT, a programme of awards designed to facilitate the involvement of artists in urban design and regeneration projects, commissioned by Public Art South West on behalf of Arts Council England, the Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment (CABE) and Art & Business (completed in 2005).

From 2004-2008  Franco collaborated with Comedia also on the Intercultural City: Making the Most of Diversity, a research project on intercultural practices in multi-ethnic cities, and their contribution to urban innovation, sponsored by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation.

In 2005-6 Franco obtained an eight-month research leave award jointly funded by De Montfort University and by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (under its Research Leave scheme) to conduct a research project with the title ‘Cultural policies and urban change in five West European port cities since the early 1990s’. The five case-study cities were Liverpool, Newcastle Gateshead, Marseilles, Genoa and Naples.

In 2007 he delivered a £40,000 research contract to conduct an evaluation of the ‘Cultural Pathfinders’ programme, for the UK Government’s Department for Culture, Media and Sport (with colleagues from the Arts Management team at De Montfort University, Leicester).

In 2010 Franco obtained (with Carnegie Faculty colleague Leila Jancovich) a £15,000 contract from Arts Council England Yorkshire to create a knowledge exchange network for the North of England, involving cultural researchers, policy makers, managers and practitioners, working on issues of participation in and engagement with cultural activities. Additional £30,000 grants were obtained in 2012 to extend the regional network to cover the whole of England, and to consider the links between cultural participation and participation in civic life (£10,000 from Arts Council England and £20,000 from ESRC’s Knowledge Exchange Opportunities scheme.
As part of this project, in 2011-12 Franco co-organised with Leila Jancovich the ‘Participation and engagement in the arts’ international conference, held at Yorkshire Sculpture Park (26 June 2012).

From 2009-10 Franco had an advisory role in the  Placemaking action research project, funded by Arts Council England, Yorkshire and led by MAAP, Leeds.

In 2010 he had a key role in an economic masterplanning and visioning project for the city of York, funded by Yorkshire Forward (£21,000, 2009-10), resulting in the report. York New City Beautiful, York, City of York Council, 2010.

From October 2010 he worked as adviser to Matera City Council, Italy, on the preparation of their bid for European Capital Culture for 2019, leading to the city’s shortlisting by an international jury in November 2013.

Media work

In 2009-10 Franco was interviewed on issues concerning European Capitals of Culture by Spanish newspaper Diario Vasco (“Esta ciudad tiene cierta modestia a la hora de comunicar sus ideales””, interview with Gorka Larrumbide, 10 October 2009), Le Monde (“Les mal aimées se rebiffent”, interview with François Thomazeau, 7 January 2010) and Radio Uno (one of the main national radio channels in Italy, January 2010).