Parma, Italy

Cultural planning
Place strategy

Kickstarting a culture of contemporary creativity in Parma, Italy


Parma is a city with an immense cultural heritage. Home to Verdi, Oscar winning film director Bertolucci and some of the best food on the planet. More recently it was the Italian City of Culture 2020-21 during which it forged new models of cultural partnerships — connecting local strengths in sustainability, democracy and entrepreneurship to arts and culture.

So how do you ensure a city with such profound heritage stays relevant for a fast changing future, and remains an attractive place for young people? In Italy, the answer comes through creative and contemporary culture.

We were commissioned by Parma Io Ci Sto and the City’s Comune to develop the concept for a contemporary art foundation in Parma. Through a 3-day on-site studio in the city, we spoke to hundreds of local people to draw out the unique creative spirit, hopes and challenges of the city. We mapped the city’s core cultural assets and sites, and generated ideas for its future cultural programme. Now we’re looking forwards, supporting Parma to explore this legacy, establishing the role of contemporary culture at the heart of civic life — creating a foundation where the nexus of nature, culture, entrepreneurship and education come together to involve people in the critical themes facing the future of the region.

Cultural District

Concept Study and Cultural Action Plan

  • Parma Io Ci Sto
  • Comune di Parma
  • Nebbia Works
  • Frele researchers
  • Sarah Farwell