Author: Graeme Evans and Phyllida Shaw
Full reference: Evans, G. and Shaw, P. (2006). ‘Literature Review: Culture and Regeneration’. Arts Research Digest, vol. 37. Summer 2006
In 2003, the authors were commissioned by the DCMS to examine the case for the inclusion of culture in community planning and redevelopment. Their findings were published as The Contribution of Culture to Regeneration in the UK: A Review of Evidence (2004). In this short review they look at recent international research from around the world on the contribution of culture to regeneration.
The report considers references under three headings: iconic buildings and cities of culture, cultural quarters and clusters, and cultural dynamism. The researchers conclude there are still important questions to be answered, such as whether, if cultural activity does have a positive role to play in the process of regeneration, certain types of intervention are more effective than others. They note that much of the writing on creative industries and cultural quarters acknowledges the role of artists and other creative people in early stages of an area’s redevelopment and the fact that ‘successful’ regeneration can lead to their displacement, unless there is a policy or financial mechanism to enable them to stay. They suggest that the sustainability of regeneration activity depends on a sense of local ownership and that high-profile projects that ignore the historic context of a site and the needs and interests of existing communities are less likely to flourish.