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Culture-led Urban Development Processes: Theory and Policy Pier Luigi Sacco Department of Arts and Industrial Design IUAV University, Venice.

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Presentation on theme: "Culture-led Urban Development Processes: Theory and Policy Pier Luigi Sacco Department of Arts and Industrial Design IUAV University, Venice."— Presentation transcript:

1 Culture-led Urban Development Processes: Theory and Policy Pier Luigi Sacco Department of Arts and Industrial Design IUAV University, Venice

2 The role of culture in post-industrial economies In pre-industrial economies, culture is mostly an activity ruled by the gift economy of mecenatism rather than by market transactions In industrial economies, culture increasingly organizes into cultural industries developing their respective consumer markets In post-industrial economies, culture tends to become the basic platform for the construction of individual and collective identity models and tends to assume the character of a public good

3 Clustering in the industrial economy Clusters are characterized by vertical integration: spatial concentration is ruled by the belonging to a common value chain/industry Traditional cultural clusters (cultural districts) are just one example among many. More generally, industrial districts (Marshall): locations characterized by a shared ‘industrial atmosphere’ (ie an intangible knowledge-based asset related to the specific type of production) which gives comparative advantage

4 The limitations of vertical integration Considerable economies of scale, scope, transportation, etc But at the same time ‘mental lock-in’: product orientation takes over the whole social and economic organization and limits innovation Innovation tends to be incremental rather than radical When competitive pressure forces relocation, the social structure ‘collapses’ The increasing demands posed by social and economic development make this organizational model unsustainable (increased demand for novelty and variety both on the supply and demand side)

5 Clustering in the post-industrial economy Competition drives toward products/experiences with high intangible value added that require radical, knowledge- intensive innovation Increasing tendence toward horizontal integration (strategic complementarity between different industries/value chains which share a common need/orientation toward radical innovation) The industrial atmosphere is no longer characterized by a common product orientation but by a common orientation toward the production and circulation of knowledge

6 Clustering in the post-industrial economy(II) In this new context, culture is not just a bundle of sectors/industries among others but becomes the platform for individual and societal capability building for the production and circulation of knowledge Individual and collective cognitive competences as the basic intangible infrastructure of the post-industrial economy Activation costs and the virtuous circle of competence: capability building  qualified demand  willingness to pay  qualified supply  menu enlargement and social salience  capability building…

7 Progressive/advanced cultural clusters The increasing confluence of cultural and non-cultural productive activities and their relation to social sustainability Culture as an activator of innovation: the strategic importance of cultural access Culture as a social integrator: experiencing the unusual, bargaining over differences Culture as a networking platform: de-instrumentalizing interaction Culture and well-being: an answer to the Easterlin- Inglehart puzzle

8 The distortions of the standard approaches Florida: attraction of talent/creativity  instrumentalization (the key is looking for coolness…) Porter: competitive restructuring  over-engineering, technocracy (the key is building technology/science parks…) Sen: capability building  parochialism (the key is focusing on our community…)

9 Building a general framework Looking at the places where advanced cultural clustering is successfully taking over, it becomes apparent that the attraction/restructuring/capability building dimensions need to be integrated in a wider framework encompassing all them: ‘wide spectrum’ local development models. Examples of relatively ‘wide spectrum’ cities: Lille, Newcastle/Gateshead, Tampere, Lund, Linz, Valencia, Turin, Rome, Montreal, Austin, Denver…plus a quantity of emergent ones.

10 The twelve factors Quality of cultural supply (QCS) Quality nof the production of knowledge (QPK) Quality of local governance (QLG) Development of local talent (DLT) Development of local entrepreneurship (DLE) Attraction of external talent (AET) Attraction of external firms/investment (AEF) Management of social criticialities (MSC) Capability buidling of the local community (CBC) Local community involvement (LCI) Internal Networking (INW) External Networking (ENW)

11 Local development and intangible assets Every euro of GIP that is generated by the local economy may entail positive or negative intangible multipliers  externality effects on human, social and symbolic capital Selling out the cultural identity of a city vs consolidating/building up identity The viability of a local development model must be evaluated against its impact on the twelve dimensions/the five capital assets (tangible: natural and physical; intangible: human, social, symbolic/cultural)

12 The Strategic Matrix Quality Quality of Cultural Supply (QCS) Quality of Local Governance (QLG) Quality Production of Knowledge (QPK) Development Development Local Entrepreneurship (DLE) Development of Local Talent (DLT) Attraction Attraction of External Firms (AEF) Attraction of External Talent (AET) Networking Internal Networking (IN) External Networking (EN) Sociality Management Social Criticalities (MSC) Capability Building and Education of the Local Community (CBE) Local community involvement (LCI) Natural Capital Physical Capital Human Capital Social Capital Symbolic/ Cultural Capital

13 The process 1.Initiator (public or private: town hall, bank, association of entrepreneurs, group of non-profit organizations…) 2.Strategic plan 3.Building a coalition of actors 4.Meetings with stakeholders 5.City conferences 6.Creation of a development agency 7.Implementation of action plan 8.Periodic feedback conferences/meetings, revision of the strategic plan…

14 Cultural planning as a strategic ‘spectrum filling’ process: some cases Vancouver: excellence in QCS, QPK, AET, AEF, DLT, MSC But: basic gaps in QLG, LCI, CBC, INW, ENW As a consequence: ‘dual’ identity of the city  an economically affluent ‘cultural ground zero’ (DTWS) and a culturally rich ‘economic ground zero’ (DTES) Initiator: Vancity Capital (Bank), stage: 4 A city that is an emerging capital of the movie industry but that almost never ‘plays itself’ Invisible culture: the Granville Island paradox The challenge: making cultural life ‘move to the surface’ and become an intrinsic element of collective identity; communitarian strategies of capability building and cooperation (symbolic capital)

15 Cultural planning as a strategic ‘spectrum filling’ process: some cases Venice: excellence in AET, QPK, ENW But: basic gaps in QCS, QLG, AEF, DLT, MSC, LCI, INW As a consequence: dissolving identity of the city  a growing stereotypization of the city that gradually transforms into a customer- oriented entertainment park A city that ‘plays fake’ Initiator: Regione Veneto (regional government), stage: 2 The challenge: reinventing the city’s cultural life through a global rethinking of the social use of space: a bottom-up creative rejuvenation aimed at making of Venice the diamond head of a Veneto advanced cultural clusters’ economy (social capital) From (impossible) preservation to production (Veneto: almost exclusive concentration on DLE now forcing QCS, DLT, LCI, CBC)

16 Cultural planning as a strategic ‘spectrum filling’ process: some cases Belo Horizonte: excellence in AEF, QPK But: basic gaps in QCS, DLT, DLF, MSC, LCI, INW, ENW, CBC As a consequence: weak identity of the city  one of the country’s major concentrations of productive, human capital and cultural heritage that fail to integrateinto a coherent picture A city that is a sum of disparate parts Initiator: a coalition of actors (Fondazione Torino, IEPHA, Instituto Estrada Real with funding from Italian Ministries of Employment and Foreign Affairs), stage: 2 The challenge: creating a system of ‘cultural central places’ (starting from the reinvention of Praca da Liberdade) that produces bridging forms of social capital (social+symbolic capital) The parallel development of manufacturing and the knowledge economy

17 Cultural planning as a strategic ‘spectrum filling’ process: some cases The Faenza experiment: 3-years planning Excellence in QPK, QLG, MSC, LCI, INW But: basic gaps in QCS, AET, DLT, ENW, CBC As a consequence: freezed identity of the city  Faenza, the city of ceramics, a nice, friendly, ‘innocuous’ town( beware of the Impruneta effect: preserving the city of terracotta) A town that sees future as an extension of the past Initiator: group of local non-profits (Laboratorio cultura), town hall, stage: 6-7 The challenge: providing a ‘culture shock’ to the city and enlarging as much as possible the local competence base (human+symbolic capital) Faenza Festival of Contemporary Art Futuro Presente/Present Continuous, The Community Arts Hub, Torricelli 2008

18 Where are we going? Culture 2.0 Culture-based local development processes entail the construction of a knowledge-oriented society and economy in a much more radical sense than originally expected We move away from an organization that functionally separates cultural producers and audiences, and move toward the creatin of wide communities of practice Web-based cultural arenas play a most significant role in this respect Cultural policies have to be strategically re-thought as policies for competitiveness, strongly complementary to innovation policies Big problem: the tension from intrinsic motivation and instrumentality in the production of cultural contents: the call for a new paradign of economic rationality


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