More and more municipalities of all sizes are turning to Cultural Planning as a powerful tool to rebuild local economies, think more creatively about their assets and make places more liveable, equitable and attractive for all sectors of the community. However, to be successful, Cultural Planning has to become the responsibility of everyone – from planners and architects to economic development and tourism officers, and to staff from parks and recreation, public works, social welfare, cultural officers and artists, not forgetting, of course, local community representatives.
The challenge with such processes is that there is no single ‘discipline’ or ‘profession’ capable of delivering the right skills for it. This is where Lia Ghilardi’s training packages come in. Starting in the mid 2000s, she has run regular cultural planning sessions for the members of the Cultural Planning Network (Sweden). At the time there were eight municipalities of the western region of Sweden involved. Since then, summer schools and mentoring programmes have been delivered through the Cultural Planning Laboratory.
In this case, together with Swedish architect and planner Tinna Harling, we have chosen Skärhamn on the beautiful island of Tjörn on the West Coast of Sweden as the ideal place to deliver our training courses. Participants in our 2015 Spring events were from different professions and fields of work (architects, planners, community activists, cultural workers, policy makers etc). They didn’t need to have previous knowledge of the method because our pragmatic approach — ‘learning by doing’ — meant that participants interacted as much as possible with the local environment and stakeholders. By working on concrete scenarios, each participant was, by the end of the course, familiar not only with the principles, but also with the practice of Cultural Planning.
- Come to Esch-Sur-Alzette!
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- Culture Makes Liveable Places