Cultural and Creative Potential: EC Proclaims Pula Best in Croatia

Lauren Simmonds

The City of Pula is one of beautiful Istria’s most popular gems, and it seems that this is being recognised not only by tourist stakeholders here in Croatia, but by the European Commission (EC) itself. Far from being the typical ”sunshine and sea” destination, although it does have that too, this gorgeous Istrian city has caught the eye of the EC for its potential in culture and creativity.

Potential is a word everyone loves to throw around here in Croatia, because we all love to talk and not really do a great deal (read more about that here), but seeing the country finally begin to expand from being the ”sunshine and sea” destination that it has unfortunately clung to the label of for so many years is encouraging indeed, and Pula is taking the lead.

As Glas Istre writes on the 31st of October, 2019, in terms of its cultural and creative potential, the City of Pula is the best city of up to 250,000 inhabitants in all of Croatia, according to a European Commission study based on numerous quantitative and, to a lesser extent, qualitative indicators.

In its category, Pula surpassed Osijek, Split and especially Rijeka, which is at the very bottom of the list, although it won the title of European Capital of Culture 2020.

In this category, 87 cities were rated and the best result was earned by Bern with an index of 46.9. Beautiful Pula finished 27th with an index of 25.6, Osijek came 62nd with an index of 19, Split came 71st with an index of 17.7 and Rijeka, to say it is set to be the capital of culture next year, came a rather surprising 76th place, with an index of 15.9.

In competition with cities with over one million inhabitants and in the overall competition, the French capital of Paris was ranked first with an index of 66, the best city from 500,000 to one million inhabitants was Copenhagen with an index of 46.8. In that group, Zagreb finished 32nd with an index of 21, meaning Pula even managed to outrank Zagreb.

Zurich is the top city with a population of 250,000 to 500,000 with an index of 49.3.

Indicators such as the number of cinemas, theatres and museums, the number of overnight stays generated by foreign tourists, the number of cinema-goers and museum visitors, content satisfaction, the percentage of employees in the arts, culture, entertainment, media and communication fields, the number of patents, the number of job openings in new media and communication(s) companies, and the number of graduates in arts and humanities courses were taken into account.

In addition to all of the above, the percentage born abroad of the total population and the percentage of population who unreservedly agreed with the statement that “the presence of foreigners is good for this city” and “foreigners living in this city are well integrated” and so on was also deemed positive.

A total of 190 cities were rated.

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