Kiel is the capital of Schleswig-Holstein with 250.000 inhabitants. And at the same time the northernmost major city in Germany, located at the Baltic Sea. The Kiel Fjord reaches into the heart of the city – it opens up horizons for people and is an important hub. With its cruise and ferry terminals, the port of Kiel builds bridges to Scandinavia and the Baltic States.

The proportion of people in Kiel that have a migration background is about 30%. In two districts, almost 60% of the people have a migration background. In addition, the two districts are also more affected by unemployment than others – 11% and almost 13% of the people are unemployed and dependent on state transfer payments. Moreover, there is a child poverty rate of 25.5 percent in 2022 according to Kiel’s social report. This places particularly high demands on urban integration policy and intercultural dialogue in Kiel. These are major challenges for cultural work in and with urban society. A great deal needs to be done in these areas to strengthen social resilience.

One of the main priorities in the Culture and Resilience action plan of Kiel is empowerment of children and young people through cultural learning for this is a crucial tool to build long-term and sustainable social resilience. Children and young people are the target groups that need to be strongly involved in order to strengthen their identity and presence in the cities activities. City believes that the education and learning as the key factor to achieve equal opportunities and access to societal participation.

Furthermore, the challenge of reducing the social divide in society and culture will be tackled. Marginalised groups and people with fewer economic resources are particularly affected by a lack cultural offers that foster a sense of belonging and local identity.

Last but not least, promoting the inclusion of people with disabilities is a crucial task. It is important to strengthen the visibility of these groups, as it is only through the participation and belonging of all people that we can achieve social resilience facing shocks and stresses. Inclusive measures are not self-evident in all cultural institutions. It also contributes to the goal of integrating people with little knowledge of German.



Local ceremony in Kiel

On 1 March 2024, the city of Kiel was officially awarded its title. The local ceremony coincided with and thereby posed the opening to Kiel’s first event as Cultural Pearl, a barcamp titled ‘Kieler Kulturkraft 2024’. The latter translates to ‘Kiel’s cultural strength 2024’ highlighting its goal to showcase the impact of different initiatives across the city and bringing them together to foster more of this cultural strength in developing new cooperation opportunities and formats.

Watch the picture gallery from the event.