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CURE: Creative Urban Renewal in Europe

CURE stands for 'Creative Urban Renewal in Europe'. CURE is an EU-funded project (INTERREG IVB NWE) aiming to facilitate the trigger of growth of the creative economy in decayed urban areas of medium-sized cities in Northwest-Europe. The project brings together 7 project partners in Germany, Belgium, France, the Netherlands and the UK.

The Creative Zone Innovator

CURE will drive the regeneration of urban areas in North-West Europe by using the pioneering 'Creative Zone Innovator' model to support creative businesses and nurture entrepreneurialism. The Creative Zone Innovator (CZI) is an integrated model, focussing on the creative economy, creative entrepreneurs, urban renewal, and city planning. The aim of this model is to stimulate creative entrepreneurship within Creative Zones, by linking the creative economy with the networked local economy, and by offering a framework for an integrated approach.

Edinburgh as one of the creative zones

Edinburgh City Region is a major Scottish hub for creative industries, with 22,500 employees - almost half of the Scottish total. Edinburgh is in itself a whole creative zone, but CURE concentrates on 2 areas in Edinburgh: Craigmillar and Leith. These deprived areas have seen a decline in traditional manufacturing and cope with higher levels of unemployment and lower levels of educational attainment.


The creative sector in Edinburgh encompasses advertising, architecture, art and design, computer and video games, crafts, designer fashion, film and video, music, the performing arts, publishing, software and broadcasting. As the world's leading Festival City, the Inspiring Capital attracts around 4 million visitors annually with an internationally renowned programme of all-year-round festivals.

Some of the actions taken to regenerate neighbourhoods in Edinburgh:

  • Development and support of collaborative working contacts and projects
  • Mapping and promoting diversity in disciplines, business categories, target groups, cultural activities, events and practices
  • Involvement of community representation - schools, older residents, community groups 
  • Learning Labs: development of entrepreneurial capabilities creative professionals - skills, knowledge exchange platform, co-creation, learning networks and events
  • Improvement of the provision of space - including creative desks - for the creative industry - supporting and integrating 
  • Creative Supply Chain: organisation of events to highlight the skills and offer financial benefits


Cities. Crisis? Creativity!

Medium-sized cities in Europe are struggling to cope with the urban crisis. When looking for revival, Creative Zones take central stage. Building or strengthening your own urban creative zone is the core focus of the international CURE-Summerschool from the 13th to 15th of June 2013 in Utrecht, the Netherlands. For more information on the project CURE and the stories of other cities’ creative zones, please visit the CURE-website.