The meeting provided an opportunity for a discussion on the current condition of post-industrial cities and, in line with its theme, was held in the beautiful interiors of the revitalised Textile Museum in Tilburg.
Participants in the Comeback Cities conference talked about changes in the cities which, due to the crisis that affected the textile and clothing industry, had to transform, find new development ways, and build a new identity and image that would not contradict the cities' tradition.
The meeting's honorary guests were Charles Landry, an authority in the area of revitalisation of cities designing their future, author of such books as „The Creative City" and co-author of „The Intercultural City: Planning for Diversity Advantage", Carol Coletta President of the American intersectoral network embracing urban leaders - CEOs for Cities, and Włodzimierz Tomaszewski, Vice Mayor of Lodz. As part of the discussion during the symposium, presented was the project to revitalise the brownfields in Lodz and the EC1 New City Centre in Lodz, which strongly impressed and interested the Symposium participants. The meeting was hosted by the Mayor of Tilburg, Ruud Vreeman.
Additionally, the Symposium was attended by representatives of European cities with textile traditions, such as: Manchester, Enscheda, Leeds, Huddersfield, Tampere, Forssa, Chemnitz, Prato, Roubaix, and Gent. The transformations in these cities also became the starting point for a publication titled „Transformation Strategies for Former Industrial Cities" which was compiled based on the statistical data and case studies and research carried out in these cities.
The Symposium was accompanied by a photography exhibition „Comeback Cities on Photographs" from the project's partner cities. Among the pictures of European cities also found were historical photographs of I. Poznański's, K. Scheibler's, L. Geyer's factories and pictures of the contemporary Lodz. The confrontation of the old face of textile empires with their contemporary appearance raised much interest in the symposium guests, and compelled them to reflect and showed the ways in which post-industrial cities have been changing and building their new images.
The Symposium, photography exhibition, and the publication issued as a follow-up to the meeting were part of the celebrations of the bicentennial anniversary of Tilburg being conferred the municipal rights, on which occasion the guests congratulated the Mayor of Tilburg, Ruud Vreeman.
The meeting became a platform for exchange of experiences and provided opportunity to share the best practices in respect of creating new identity and building a new image based on the textile heritage of cities that share a similar history.