The centers of small towns offer potentially attractive spaces not only for tourist purposes, but also to live and work. People spend there most of their free time and often have emotional connections with such places. In past eras, population groups depended on their city centers to work, to weave social relations and to carry out commercial activities. Today, thanks to an increased mobility, city centres face a number of key challenges to survive and count like they used to. The trend just described is accentuated by the fact that city centers have often deteriorated with the passing of the centuries. In particular, small villages located in the proximity of large attractors (metropolises, tourist centres, etc…) or located in border areas close to more advanced countries are facing some shared specific challenges.
Municipalities are therefore in front line in the battle for revitalizing their cities. This challenge includes the review of available space in historic city centres for new forms of retail trade (e.g. omni-channel shopping), for new productive activities (e.g. start-ups and innovation incubators) and for cultural activities (e.g. creative areas), in order to nurture an environment able to generate creative ecosystems, ventures related to city spaces and community events.
The general objective of CityCentreDoctor project is to encourage the launch of creative activities that can stimulate change and innovation in the historical centres of small towns located in the shadow of larger towns, addressing specific aspects of key sectors (sales, commerce, work and creative culture) and governance processes (participation, public-private collaboration, etc.).