Towards a culture-led urban regeneration strategy for Romania from a cultural policy perspective: the case of the paintbrush factory

In the post-socialist city, converting factories into cultural facilities is becoming a relevant solution in the urban regeneration strategies. However, in this logic it is very easy for local authorities to conceive culture as no more than an instrument to attain goals unrelated to culture. While many times a top-down initiative (local government), these projects can also be a bottom-up process (initiated by cultural non-profit organizations, artists, and other cultural operators). I will argue, based on my case study, that a bottom-up culture-led urban regeneration process has great potential to contribute both to the development of the cultural field and to the urban regeneration, and has greater chances of staying outside the neoliberal ideology and the instrumentalization of culture for economic gains.