The ZEN project is an European Union project focusing on knowledge sharing between regional and local governments in the EU. With a group of 12 international project partners they have investigated approaches to the reduction of impact of events and festival across Europe, using best practices from 10 European countries.
The project also has a project-website (http://zen-project.eu/) on which you can find information about the project and the studied cases, but where we can also place extra information, articles and links to external website. Its all part of the Interregional Cooperation Programme INTERREG IVC, financed by the European Union’s Regional Development Fund, which helps Regions of Europe work together to share experience and good practice in the areas of innovation, the knowledge economy, the environment and risk prevention. EUR 302 million is available for project funding but, more than that, a wealth of knowledge and potential solutions are also on hand for regional policy-makers.
The main issue that ZEN focuses on is the impact of seasonal events on historical towns and centres, especially in terms of mobility, transport, waste and resources. Musical events that attract large numbers, both in terms of participants and workers, and that require transport and setting up of equipment put increasing pressure on the surrounding environment: a veritable act of ‘consuming the place’. This can generate a negative trade off between the postive effects of the event in terms of cultural enjoyment and economic benefits and the negative effects on the community and the city.
The impact of a cultural and music event and/or festival can create collective diseconomies, such as: traffic, infrastructures and services congestion; air, water and noise pollution; deterioration of cultural landscape and the degradation of the historic centres