Cultural Planning for Sustainable Communities


Principal Investigator: Graeme Evans
Co-investigators: Steve Cinderby (Co-Investigator) University of York, Stockholm Environment Institute
Collaborators: Hackney Wick Cultural Interest Group; Living Places; Adrina Marques, London Legacy Development Corporation; Lee Valley Regional Park Authority
Duration: From 2013 to 2014

This 18 month research project aims to use cultural mapping and planning as a way to explain and value the relationship between arts & culture and the environment. Ideas of and behaviour towards the natural environment and ‘ecosystems’ tend to lack a cultural dimension, or include the cultural sector of arts organisations, artists and other ‘hidden’ community culture. This includes community cultures and local cultural amenities, amateur groups and activities. By using cultural mapping, where cultural ‘assets’ of all kinds can be mapped using local knowledge and various data sources – social/ demographic, land-use and their catchments/ usage, with accompanying visual images and comments ‘from below’ – a rich landscape of an areas culture can be developed, visualised and appreciated. This inclusive cultural base which will be developed by this project will be used to express how community cultures relate to their environments, how they are used and contribute to development and growth decisions and processes e.g. land use development (e.g. new housing, industry), recreation, heritage and resource use (see Hydrocitizenship project). The project seeks to develop detailed guidance on how to incorporate cultural planning within environmental decision-making and ecosystems assessment, using the empirical results from case studies, consultation and practical cultural data mapping tools.