The study examines international reports for culture's impact on European cities and its use as a tool for regeneration and development. It provides an overview of the factors in EU city development linked to culture and identity through selective qualitative and quantitative analysis. Culture is examined thematically in terms of its use as a vehicle for economic growth, a tool for reconverting cities, for integration and inclusiveness, and as a pillar of European identity. Attention is drawn to the processes by which culture and city regeneration go hand in hand. The argument of whether culture is best treated in terms of its own importance or as a contributor to other social and economic benefits is discussed. The recommendations request that the EU: recognises cultural rights as fundamental to human development; acknowledges culture as a necessity for sustainable development; supports exchange between cultures for social and economic development; and empowers cities’ decisions on culture to shape our future. Cities should rethink their policies with culture as their starting point. Strategies should bring peripheral communities back into the centre by reversing the social geography of cities. Security would be enhanced by the creative use of public spaces for dialogue.