Pesaro is an ancient city nestled between two hills, facing the Adriatic sea. With the lands of the Renaissance extending at its back, Pesaro looks towards the Balkans over the horizon, its sandy shores stretching for more than 13 km. Joint capital of the province of Pesaro-Urbino, the city spans over a urban area of 127 km² and counts 130,000 inhabitants. The local economy is based mainly on manufacturing industry and tourism.
Pesaro is also a city with a strong musical tradition. Music encapsulates the city’s main strengths, and it fosters the development of a smart economy based on the creative industry and on a high social participation.
Pesaro and its Rossini Opera Festival offer a unique contribution to the history of opera in the world. The figure and the works of Gioachino Rossini and the main musical institutions of the city represent a rich network of material assets, traditions and multi-disciplinary learning, that forms the city’s memory and identity. Also, in the last few decades, the independent rock scene has seen a remarkable expansion, bringing forth artists and projects of international renown.
It is the value placed on creative heritage, innovation and interdisciplinary experimentation that sets apart the city’s 80 musical festivals, the 30 educational programmes and the projects for studying and practicing music as an mean of cultural mediation and social inclusion. Pesaro’s area counts more than 700 musicians, composers and soloists and 40 musical ensembles, including orchestras, bands, choirs and groups. The Conservatory Rossini – one of the oldest and prestigious Italian conservatories – Liceo Musicale “Guglielmo Marconi” and the over thirty formal and informal schools and academies involve around 700 teachers. The city’s rich concert season formally involves around 800 show business professionals. The city is home to 10 entertainment enterprises, 7 businesses involved in manufacturing musical instruments, and 21 involved in offering support for artistic productions, altogether employing around 1000 people. More than 30 associations and co-operatives for social and cultural promotion have initiated programmes for using musical culture as an instrument for overcoming cultural and social inequality.
Pesaro City of Music vision
This vision concerns the concept of “creativity” when referred to a city: the most important impact of Pesaro belonging to the UCCN has been the awareness – both among the citizenship and within the city’s governance institutions – of the key role creativity can play in order to achieve the politics’ most important objective: social happiness.
Creativity in urban policies and actions for sustainable development
During the last four years creativity has become an essential component of urban policies and actions for sustainable development: as shown by the large number of artistic, cultural and social initiatives implemented in the field of music and related areas; new social actors have been involved into the cultural chain; successful participatory processes in music production, promotion and dissemination have been tested; cultural institutions and associations, informal groups and the third sector have experienced new forms of networking and creating synergies; sustainable models of cultural consumption and tourism have become an active part of the city’s economy and society.The emergency situation represented by COVID-19 pandemic, paradoxically stimulated a huge sense of community, accelerating a shared capacity of networking and cooperating.
A new challenge
Building on this crescendo, on January 2021 the city decided to apply to become Italian Capital of Culture in 2024, with the aim of creating a virtuous circle between the benefits generated by the UCCN framework and the creative forces channelled by the new challenge. On March 2022, Pesaro won the bid.
The action plan 2022-2025
The action plan we are proposing for the next years – Crescendo: the Nature of Music (CNM) – arises from the intersection between the two challenges represented by the title of Creative City and Italian Capital of Culture in 2024.
riven by the issues raised by the Anthropocene, which force national and international agendas to pay increasing attention to the environment and the ways in which we interface with it, Pesaro has chosen to dedicate the next four to exploring the relationship between environment, art and technology through music.
The two sections of the action plan, Crescendo in Pesaro (CrePe) and Playing the Planet (PP), directed respectively at the local and international level, explore the creative potential of music in its intertwining of material and immaterial heritage, art and science, poetry and technology. Building on the results achieved since 2017, when music has gradually become the testing ground for creative and participatory models of creation, training, promotion and fruition, CNM faces the more important and crucial challenge for a city, the well-being of the inhabitants, the community and the Earth.
Objectives and expected results
With even greater awareness than in 2017, the program finds its ultimate goal in the social hap- piness. CNM makes music and creativity play the key-role of rewriting the city and fostering a urbanism of proximity, a decentralized, widespread and multi-layered city of music involving the whole urban area and the provincial territory. The major contribution Pesaro aims to give to the UCCN and 2030 Agenda objectives concerns in fact measures, policies, strategies and practices which build on creativity in order to strengthen the community, to address inhabitants’ needs and desires, to foster a sustainable smart economy.