Cultural Strategy – Creative Žilina 2035 is a strategic document defining the vision of sustainable development of culture, creative industry and cultural tourism in the town of Žilina in the period from 2021 to 2035. The document was prepared in context of preparations for candidacy of the town of Žilina for the title of European Capital of Culture 2026 and in connection with preparation of strategic and program documents for the new program period 2021 – 2027.

Draft strategy was prepared by the preparatory team of the candidacy of the town of Žilina for the title of European Capital of Culture – Žilina Beskids 2026 in close cooperation with relevant departments of the Municipal Office and in cooperation with cultural institutions in the town of Žilina. Analytical part was professionally covered by researchers from the University of Žilina and independent experts in individual areas who also helped to set strategic frameworks.

The submitted proposal is the result of a wide ranging participatory process and a broad professional public from state, public and non-governmental sectors was involved in creating preparatory documents. General public had an opportunity to participate in the preparatory process through an online questionnaire, the Urban Interventions platform, community mapping in urban areas or through an opinion poll.

The city of Žilina started with the preparation of it's cultural strategy along with the launch of the ECoC candidacy process. In fact it was historically a first attempt to adapt a comprehensive policy document focusing solely on cultural and creative industry strategic development. During 26th meeting of the Town Council in Žilina, councillors approved several points in connection with the candidacy of the town of Žilina for the title of European Capital of Culture 2026. One of them is Cultural Strategy - Creative Žilina 2035.

In 2020 we have started the process by framing the strategy and by realizing its first analytical entry. We collected the available data, organised thematic focus groups to conduct SWOT analysis and published an online questionnaire.
Based on these, an in-depth research conducted in 2021 led to a reformulation of the strategic goals. The city commissioned a public opinion poll to collect base-line data and to better understand citizens’ cultural needs and experience, but also their relationship to the city, Europe, and culture in general. Further, the University of Žilina conducted qualitative research into areas that came out as priorities after the initial inquiry. They conducted numerous individual in-depth interviews and thematic focus groups with key stakeholders in cultural and creative sectors to validate the findings and setting strategies. At the end, several public workshops were held and led to the formulation of the vision, goals, and measures in the strategic document. 
As part of the process, community mapping was conducted in neighborhoods, since the initial insights indicated poor opportunities for cultural participation in remote areas of the city. As well, the assessment of the cultural tourism in the city and region was analyzed by an external expert, who mapped the scene, ran interviews with operators, and then proposed strategic priorities.

Outline of Strategy Creative Žilina 2035:

City support to culture A diverse, lively and cooperating cultural scene in the city operating in adequate infrastructural conditions and with the participation of a passionate / engaged audience.

City as a partner and catalyst of cooperation
Effective management of culture
Audience development – promoting a more accessible culture

An inspiring and innovative city Investment in innovation - creative industry as the industry of the future, development of recognizability and at the same time competitiveness of the city.

Promoting a creative ecosystem with sustainable working conditions for CCIs
Capacity building and development of creative and innovation potential
Rise attractivity of the city based on the recognizable brand of a creative city

Identity and cultural tourism. An attractive destination for domestic and foreign cultural tourism thanks to its ability to reflect creatively and to develop its urban identity through culture.

Creation of an offer for cultural and creative tourism
Reinforce cross-border region Beskyds through cultural cooperation
Build up a stronger European profile of the city and open to networking

Inclusive and sustainable city. Healthy, democratic, open, inclusive and sustainable city - wide availability of culture that will contribute to improving the quality of life of all city residents.

Developing a cultivated public space for all
An inclusive city creating space for creativity and community development
An engaged city – development of a culture of democracy and cultural openness
A sustainable city

European profile of the city

The city of Žilina aspires to become a modern European city, which includes participation in more European projects and networks. A part of the strategy is to make more use of the city’s geographic position close to the Czech and Polish borders, as well as to reinforce and build the capacity of the cultural sector for improved international cooperation.