City Innovation Lab



City Innovation Lab is a European knowledge platform dedicated to territorial development via Cultural Planning and Place Branding. Set up in 2012 at the Postgraduate Schools of the Università Cattolica by Federica Olivares, with the support of Ares Kalandides, Giovanna Fossa and Martha Jane Friel, City Innovation Lab now operates out of ALTIS, the Postgraduate School of Business and Society.

Cultural Planning is an approach which has as its objective the strategic and integrated use of cultural resources for urban and community development, and is part of a broader strategy of territorial planning and redevelopment aimed at general regional growth.
Place Branding, on the other hand, focuses more specifically on the image and reputation of a location; it communicates and interacts with urban planning and cultural and social policies, helping to create new value in the perception of investors, consumers and citizens.

Both of these approaches provide a methodological instrument for intervening in culturally-based development and urban regional enhancement strategies.

The activities of City Innovation Lab focus on training and consulting for the implementation of territorial development projects through cultural resources.

City Innovation Lab is part of a European network of universities, research centres and experts who give an international perspective to the activity of LAB.


City Innovation Lab has developed training and skills refresher courses aimed mainlyat directors of local authorities who need to find solutions for the development of the local area and at the same time improve the quality of life of local communities.

City Innovation Lab proposes:

  • Intensive seminars of one or two days on the workings of Place Branding
  • Half-day workshops focused on the practical implementation of territorial development plans using the techniques of Place Branding
  • In-house seminars designed on an ad hoc basis for local authorities, departments and consortia interested in Place Branding as a tool to increase the value of a local area and community
  • Consultancy activities for the realisation of projects for cultural development using cultural resources

For information on the activities of City Innovation Lab :