Culture is what we live

Whether we are aware of it or not, whether it is part of our professional life or part of our leisure time, whether it is artistic, intellectual, academic, artisanal, or formative for our social coexistence: culture is part of our everyday life. “Our culture” is how we live, what we experience and create every day. What exactly that means, what is so European about it and how we can all benefit from it in the future is the main theme of “St. Pölten 2024”.

In 2024, an Austrian city will be the focus of international interest: the city that is awarded the title of “European Capital of Culture” by the European Union. For the chosen city this is an honour and, of course, a great opportunity to create an image, achieve recognition and boost its profile in tourism and the economy.

In terms of the decision of the city of St. Pölten and the province of Lower Austria to collaborate on an application for this prestigious title, there was, however, another equally important aspect: we see this as an opportunity to examine, review and explore the culture of the city and the region from a number of perspectives. “What will make St. Pölten the European Capital of Culture 2024?” is the question to which we need to find clear, precise, coherent and exciting answers. Building on these insights, we can pave the way for the sustainable cultural development of the city and its interaction with the region and province.

Hence the application to become European Capital of Culture is linked in with a long-term cultural strategy that sets out a vision that extends far beyond 2024. We must all pull together to consolidate, develop and expand our cultural life. Developing these visions together now and in terms of the pan-European aspect is sure to yield fresh impetus and new approaches for us all.

What makes St. Pölten special

St. Pölten looks back on a remarkable evolution. It is a growing, up-and-coming city that established itself at a very early stage as the capital of Lower Austria. Culture is a defining feature of both the city and the province. Now is exactly the right time to think about how we can communicate these strengths to the outside world and benefit from them both as a community and as individuals.

The active involvement of citizens is a key element for us. We are counting on as many people as possible participating in the discussion process, bringing with them their thoughts, suggestions and visions. What we need to do now, in the first application phase, is to analyse “our culture”, with all of its special features and its rich diversity, while also exploring its potential for the future. This is why we are asking you to voice your knowledge, experience, opinions and expectations. We are calling on all of you to join the process and express your views. The results will be pooled and will then feed into the cultural strategy and the application.


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