About cultural planning
Cultural planning is not quite what it sounds like! it is a term that has been interpreted in many ways, and the very words 'cultural' and 'planning' have a variety of meanings.
There is a Cultural Planning Toolkit which has been published for guidance of good practice in planning places and working with the planning system, relating to the National Planning Policy Framework but there is a more basic approach which can be applied to many contexts and uses the term 'culture' in more of a sociological way than an arts definition - in other words, it is an approach which helps us think strategically about the way we live, which includes the arts of course.
So it is not specifically about planning culture though you could say it is about 'planning culturally'. The essential elements of a Cultural Planning approach are that it should be
And use the cultural resources or assets of an area or situation to come up with creative ideas which are sensitive to the 'culture' of the situation by 'mapping' the cultural resources and assets, and therefore relevant and appropriate.
By culture, we mean 'the way in which we live', and what makes living worthwhile rather than 'the arts' (although the arts are a part of culture) so that any plans take into account the existing values, traditions and stories and the way we do things rather than parachuting in something that isn't relevant to the people involved.
Culture-based regeneration is the idea of using cultural infrastructure such as galleries, theatres, libraries and arts activity to make an area more vibrant and dynamic and thereby more attractive and prosperous.
In the next few weeks I will be posting up some resources to explain more about what I mean.