At the recent ceremonies in Europe and after the months of competitive bid process it was announced that Novi Sad is 2021 European Capital of Culture and 2019 European Youth Capital.

Due to an innovative and creative approach of the organizing team, the international audience beyond the Danube region has learned that the successful destination branding projects get accomplished not only because of the money invested, but because of professionalism, originality, and unswerving enthusiasm.

Regarding the 2019 European Youth Capital, Novi Sad outpaced its competition: the French city of Amiens, British Derry City & Strabane and Manchester and the Italian Perugia. What would happen in upcoming years is that the city will present through various programs, its social, cultural, political and economic life and development programs for young people.

Thanks to a detailed application of 200 pages and opening of the first “Youth Club” Novi Sad could show its unique contribution in case they won the title of the European Capital. So they did win in the OPENS project with the slogan Doors Opening.

In terms of Novi Sad’s candidacy for 2021 Capital of Culture it was branded as a city of museum, galleries and theatres, rich in festival tradition and of international importance, the city of business, investment and the home for 26 national minorities.

During this project it became quite apparent that Novi Sad can inspire both cultural workers and all citizens so as to develop in new sustainable ways, reconstruct its spaces for culture, and foster participation in the public life of all its citizens.

The ambitious timeline of the next five years has been outlined so as to meet the aforementioned criteria. Thus, there will be plenty of opportunities to use advanced technologies so as to present new faces of the cities in emerging economies.

During one of the activation campaigns in public it was requested from our company to create a compelling augmented reality campaigns with the markers. By incorporating the logo of Novi Sad 2019 The Capital of Youth the photos of young people became more personalized and festive.  The technology, markers and the implementation of it were quite simple, yet the ideas which are easy to implement are the most elegant.

When it comes to integrating technology into destination branding endeavours, our company DunavNET has participated in H2020 project WeLive with a consortium of partners so as to transform the current e-government by facilitating a more open model of design, production and delivery of public services, leveraging on the collaboration between public administrations (PAs), citizens and entrepreneurs.

WeLive project is based on quadruple-helix approach thanks to the joint collaboration of three PAs, four research agents and five companies that encapsulate the consortium. Furthermore, citizens are the agents of change in an attempt to deliver the next generation personalized user centric public services.

Pilot projects will be conducted in Bilbao, Novi Sad and Trento and Helsinki- Uusimaa region in order to bridge the gap between innovation and adoption of open government services.

In December, an open call will be announced where citizens could propose their solutions so as to make the cities in the consortium more sustainable with the use of the open data. We will notify our audience when the call for applications gets open and how they can participate.

As global tourism industry flourishes and as new emerging markets become more intriguing destinations there is more space for interactive technologies which bring the new destinations closer to the interested audiences.

The cities which are frequented  by visitors who are interested in youth and cultural tourism are vibrant, sustainable, open and exciting.  We could experience that exactly from our Novi Sad and it turns out that sometimes the closest examples are the best ones.