Eurasian Creaspace Networking (ECN) is an international project organized by the Culture Development Institute of Yunnan University (China) and the ECONCULT of the University of Valencia (Spain) with the support of Asia-Europe Foundation (ASEF) and French Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation.

The establishment of small formal and informal local creative space is an emerging approach to cultural planning in many European and Asian countries. Different from the “shock-and-awe” approach that requires enormous investments on huge cultural facilities, the new approach focuses on formal and informal spaces for local artists and offers involves repurposing obsolete industrial and commercial facilities.

There exist Asian and European perspectives and practices in this approach. Asian spaces emphasize more on economic “efficiency”, i.e. dedicating to an entrepreneurial-friendly environment, start-up business incubator and forming a creative economy ecosystem, an example is Shicui Culture & Art Mall in Kunming. European one emphasizes more on social “fair”, i.e. stressing on local heritage conservation, wide access to local artists and residents, public good and service supply and social inclusion etc., Las Naves in Valencia is an example.

Additionally, financial structures that European spaces rely heavily on public funds meanwhile Asian ones on private funds also impacts business model of these spaces. Different Asian-European perspectives offer complementary viewpoints and methodologies to seek balanced and integrated best practices between fair and efficiency to other local creative place cases.

ECN is a platform to connect eurasian creative professionals from small-and-medium scaled formal and informal spaces for culture, creativity, and innovation, as well as to explore how this emerging cultural plan method reactives bleak building, fertilizes local culture and art and reforms competition model from manufacturing to the creative economy.

ECN attempts to promote cultural and creative industries, theoretically and practically, in Europe and Asia through dialogues and networking among scholars, professionals, and policy makers especially from Mediterranean and Mekong regions.

Its specific goals are:

  1. To support networks to develop, diversify and build their advocacy activities and potential partnerships
  2. To document and share information about good practices in strategic planning of culture networks with a view to improving practices, inspiring network leaders and providing a resource for networks in Asia and Europe

For this end, ten cultural actors from nine Eurasian countries (China, France, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, New Zealand, Philippines, Spain) are selected to join two sessions of project, among whom European participants will join the Kunming session (20th-23rd September 2016) and Asian participants will join Valencia session (23rd-26th October 2016). All of them will acquire local knowledge about the cultural plan and creative management through two-day study visit and a whole day round-table workshop with local cultural managers, scholars and policy makers. On the base of the above activities, researchers from the University of Valencia and Yunnan University collaborate to document good practices about space and innovation with a view to improving practices and inspiring network leaders in Asia and Europe.