The now forgotten first Cultural Capital of Europe, Athens in 1985, and the anxiety-filled experience of Thessaloniki has cast confusion on what the institution actually means for a city. A rapid overview shows that it is not the institution itself that sets in motion major dynamics so much as the desire by the cities themselves to use it as a basis for a true renaissance. In these 18 years, the case of Glasgow is the most characteristic. The former industrial city, then in decline, took advantage of its status as cultural capital in the best possible fashion. Today, it is reaping the benefits. The figures speak for themselves: Glasgow is today the third most popular tourist destination in Britain, the number of conferences held there have doubled within a decade, theater ticket sales rose by 40 percent and over 5,000 new job positions were created.