Our bidbooks

File 1 - Pre-selection phase

The first file downloaded more than 5000 times (thank you all !) defined the 4 thematic axes of the application: Lots of Neighbors, The languages of Europe, On a human scale and Right Here Right Now.

The file is built on the notion of a city on a human scale where a majority of citizens in France and Europe live and where the fractures in French and European society are concentrated – extremist vote, rejection of migrants, minorities, rejection of the European project because that these territories and their inhabitants feel discredited. It proposes a territorial and societal rebalancing towards these cities and their rurality vis-à-vis regional metropolises. The project places artists at the center of the candidacy as drivers of 21st century European society and questions the format of the European Capitals of Culture, particularly on the original design of a climate budget.

The innovative program offers citizen governance solutions on part of the project from citizens drawn at random based on the model of the Conference on the Future of Europe during the French Presidency of the Union in 2022, 25% of its budget for music, the recognition of the rights of Nature, the creation of a European City of Artists.

Built on a compact budget of 40 million euros, it introduced the notion of sobriety in the context of a human sized city  for a European Capital of Culture combined with artistic excellence, in a large country of the Union.

The project introduces a matrix of 15 human-sized cities of less than 100,000 inhabitants in France and Europe supporting Bourges 2028 and integrating some of the projects of the bid mutualised.


File 2 - Final selection

60 years after the first Maison de la Culture in Bourges, the second file proposes a new model of a city of culture and transformation of medium-sized towns in France and Europe in a context of social fragmentation and multiple crises.

Following the selection in the final phase, it develops a detailed artistic program from an international and local curatorial team committed to the vision that the future of France and Europe depends on these territories. The 60 projects were built following individual work and budgeting with the different artists selected by this team.

A precise operationality of the carbon budget has been developed, and a complete mobility program from international to rural areas is proposed for the first time in a European Capital of Culture. Bourges 2028 will transform stations into plant totem places, will propose projects in trains and night trains and a low-carbon mobility strategy in rural areas and in the Region. Nearly 1,000 residents of Bourges and the Region will be invited to co-create projects in around twenty European cities.

A unique and original program to support artists and structure knowledge, the European City of Artists – Melina Mercouri, is proposed.
Cultural rights, of young people who have dropped out of school, to migrants, to differentiated and disabled populations, to minorities are treated as part of inclusive dynamics and where everyone is represented and can participate in the governance of Bourges 2028.

File 3: Special issue Connaissance des Arts, Bourges - territory of the future

At the suggestion of the editorial staff of the Connaissance des Arts magazine (Les Echos/Le Parisien group), a 68-page Special Edition of the magazine dedicated to Bourges 2028 and the Centre-Val de Loire Region is available at the beginning of December on the occasion of the European jury’s visit to Bourges. This special edition will be printed in 56,000 copies in French and English.

This Special Edition allows us to detail several of the projects beyond the very technical application file  which follows the format of 44 questions of the European Commission.

The low carbon paths of Bourges 2028, a dynamic of major transformation of the city, creative and contemporary Bourges, Antre Peaux multidisciplinary and committed place, a cultural and ecological metro, etc.

Special edition can be ordered on the Connaissance des Arts website as of December 1st and will be available in 800 points of sale in France (bookstores, FNAC, etc.)