Most of the world is experiencing a growing tendency of urbanization where people leave rural areas and move to large cities. This is the big challenge for small towns in rural areas.

But it doesn't have to be dull to live outside the big cities. S2017 is going to be proof of that. Rural areas have a lot of attractive qualities that will be highly sought once they are developed and rendered visible. Here, life is at a healthier pace, nature is right outside the door, and there are many strong communities.

By giving priority to culture and creativity S2017 aims to create a countryside metropolis as an attractive alternative to living in the big city.



With the European Capital of Culture as a milestone the region is working to reinvent itself on both sides of the border. With its 76,000 inhabitants Sønderborg is not a large city. But 700,000 people live in the region of Southern Jutland and Schleswig, and if you combine that with the population of the Region of South Denmark and Schleswig-Holstein it amounts to almost 4 million inhabitants. Many cross-border collaborations have come to existence in the last 10-15 years and it is a goal of the project to strengthen these collaborations in cultural and other areas.

The border region has a mix of cultures. The Danish minority in Northern Germany numbers approximately 50,000 people and around 15,000 people are a part of the German minority north of the border. This is a unique starting point for creating a melting pot where cultural diversity is seen as strength. A place which opens up to the world, and in which people from other countries and cultures feel welcome.



The road to the Countryside Metropolis leads you over three bridges with artistic events and projects of the Capital of Culture.

Celebrating - Confronting - Connecting

The program will reflect this both in singular events with famous international artists as well as in longer-lasting events of more common caliber which incorporates art.