Back to school – a cultural planning syllabus

do we have to do *all* the readings?So after a stretch in university administration, I am back full-time in the classroom this fall. One of my classes is in Cultural Planning and Community Development – i.e. “place-based” cultural policy – and though I’ve taught bits and pieces of the subject here and there, have never had the course actually assigned to me until now.

So, this is what I’ve put together. It’s a lot of reading, with some preliminaries on what’s going on in the economy right now (since I don’t think anyone can do “placemaking” policy without a good understanding of current economic and social trends specific to different places)

Hopefully readers of this blog interested in the subject find something of interest here they hadn’t seen before!


August 21: Hors d’oeuvres (I’m using video conference for this first class, from Tallinn)

Jane Jacobs, The Death and Life of Great American Cities (1961) chapter 1.
Richard Florida, The Rise of the Creative Class (2002) chapter 1.
Edward Glaeser, The Triumph of the City (2011) Introduction.

August 23: Introduction to Cultural Planning (guest lecturer Professor Woronkowicz)

Ann Markusen and Anne Gadwa “Arts and culture in urban or regional planning: a review and research agenda” Journal of Planning Education and Research 29(3) 379-391.
Ann Markusen “Creative cities: a 10-year research agenda” Journal of Urban Affairs 36(S2): 567-589.

August 28: Urbanization and Economic Transition in the US

Edward Glaeser, The Triumph of the City (2011) Chapter 2
The Economist “Nice change” (July 21, 2018)

August 30: Urbanization and Economic Transition abroad

John M. Quigley “Urbanization, agglomeration, and economic development.” In Spence, M, Clarke Annez, P & Buckley, RM (Eds.), Urbanization and growth: The International Bank for reconstruction and development, The World Bank (2009) chapter 4
The Economist “The bitter generation” (May 5, 2018)
The Economist “Villas and slums” (June 16, 2018)

September 4: Employment, Education, Technology, and Trade

Claudia Goldin and Lawrence F. Katz, The Race Between Education and Technology (2008) Introduction.
Enrico Moretti, The New Geography of Jobs (2012) chapter 3 “The Great Divergence”
Anne Case and Angus Deaton “Rising morbidity and mortality in midlife among white non-Hispanic Americans in the 21st century” PNAS 112(49) (December 8, 2015): 15078-15083.
David Autor, David Dorn and Gordon Hanson “When work disappears: manufacturing decline and the falling marriage-market value of young men” IZA Institute of Labor Economics (April 2018)
The Economist “Left-behind places” (October 21, 2017)

September 6: Inequalities in Cities

Edward L. Glaeser, Matt Resseger and Kristina Tobio “Inequality in cities” Journal of Regional Science 49(4) (2009): 617-646.
Neil Lee “Inclusive growth in cities: a sympathetic critique” Regional Studies (2018)

September 11: The Economics of Diversity

William Easterly and Ross Levine “Africa’s growth tragedy: politics and ethnic divisions” (1997)
Gianmarco I.P. Ottaviano and Giovanni Peri “The economic value of cultural diversity: evidence from US cities” Journal of Economic Geography 6 (2006): 9-44.
Alberto Alesina, Johann Harnoss and Hillel Rapoport “Immigration, diversity, and economic prosperity” CEPR VOX (August 22, 2013)

September 13: Politics, Class, Culture, and “Bubbles”

Pierre Bourdieu “The forms of capital” in J. Richardson (ed.) Handbook of Theory and Research for the Sociology of Education (1984): 241-258.
Tak Wing Chan et al “Understanding the social and cultural bases of Brexit” Institute of Education, University College London (December 2017)
Aaron Reeves and Robert de Vries “Can cultural consumption increase future earnings? Exploring the economic returns to cultural capital” British Journal of Sociology (2018)
Alisa Moldavanova, John C. Pierce and Nicholas P. Lovrich “Sociopolitical sources of creative cultural capital in U.S. counties” Journal of Urban Affairs 40(4) (2018): 518-542.
Klaus Desmet and Romain Wacziarg “The cultural divide” NBER Working Paper 24630 (May 2018)
Marianne Bertrand and Emir Kamenica “Coming apart? Cultural distances in the United States over time” NBER Working Paper 24771 (June 2018)
New York Times “An extremely detailed map of the 2016 election”

September 18: Why place-based policy?

Amartya Sen “Equality of What?” The Tanner Lecture on Human Values (1979)
Edward L. Glaser “Should the government rebuild New Orleans, or just give residents checks?” The Economists’ Voice 2(4) (2005)
Randall Crane and Michael Manville “People or place? Revisiting the who versus the where of urban development” Lincoln Institute of Land Policy Land Lines (July 2008)

September 20: Accessibility, Inclusion and Disability

Guest lecturer Professor Beth Bienvenu

September 25: Measuring Arts Participation

National Endowment for the Arts, “Measuring cultural engagement: a quest for new terms, tools, and techniques” (2014)
National Endowment for the Arts “A decade of arts engagement: findings from the survey of public participation in the arts, 2002-2012” (2015)
Jennifer L. Novak-Leonard, Michael K. O’Malley and Eileen Truong “Minding the gap: elucidating the disconnect between arts participation metrics and arts engagement within immigrant communities” Cultural Trends 24(2) (2015): 112-121.

September 27: The Arts and Happiness

Carol Graham, Soumya Chattopadhyay and Jai Roberto Lakhanpal “Using new metrics to assess the role of the arts in well-being: some initial results from the economics of happiness” Working paper, Brookings Institution and National Endowment for the Arts (2014)
Chris Hand “Do the arts make you happy? A quantile regression approach” Journal of Cultural Economics 42(2) (2018): 271-286
Kate Oakley, Dave O’Brien and David Lee “Happy now? Well-being and cultural policy” Philosophy and Public Policy Quarterly 31(2) (Summer 2013): 18-26.

October 2: The Arts and Togetherness

Robert Putnam “The arts and social capital” from Better Together (2003)
Stephen Marche “Is Facebook making us lonely?” The Atlantic (May 2012)

October 4: The Arts and Empathy

Raymond A. Mar, Keith Oatley, Jennifer dela Paz and Jordan B. Peterson “Bookworms versus nerds: exposure to fiction versus non-fiction, divergent associations with social ability, and the simulation of fictional social worlds” Journal of Research in Personality 40(5) (2006): 694-712.
Maja Djikic, Keith Oatley, Sara Zoeterman and Jordan B. Peterson “On being moved by art: how reading fiction transforms the self” Creativity Research Journal 21(1) (2009): 24-29.
Barbara Kingsolver, High Tide in Tucson (excerpt) (1995).
Joshua Landy “Corruption by literature” Republics of Letters: A Journal for the Study of Knowledge, Politics, and the Arts 1(2) (2010).
Michael Rushton “Thinking outside the empathy box” Cultural Trends 26(3) (2017): 260-271.

October 9: Should Cultural Policy Serve “Instrumental’ Ends?

Kevin F. McCarthy, Elizabeth H. Ondaatje, Laura Zakaras and Arthur Brooks, Gifts of the Muse: reframing the Debate about the Benefits of the Arts, RAND (2004)
Steven Hadley and Clive Gray “Hyperinstrumentalism and cultural policy: means to an end or an end to meaning?” Cultural Trends 26(2) (2017): 95-106.
Kate Oakley and Jonathan Ward “The art of the good life: culture and sustainable prosperity” Cultural Trends 27(1) (2018): 4-17.

October 11: Inequalities in the Art World

Mark Taylor and Dave O’Brien “’Culture is a meritocracy’: why creative workers’ attitudes may reinforce social inequality” Sociological Research Online (2017)
Orian Brook, David O’Brien and Mark Taylor “Panic! Social class, taste and inequalities in the creative industries” (2018)
Michael Rushton “Women’s wages and employment at the top of the art world” (November 27, 2017)

October16: The Creative Class

Richard Florida “Bohemia and economic geography” Journal of Economic Geography 2(1) (2002): 55-71.
Edward L. Glaeser “Review of Richard Florida’s The Rise of the Creative Class” (2002)
Karol Jan Boroweicki and Kathryn Graddy “Immigrant artists: enrichment or displacement?” Working Paper, Brandeis University (2018)
Matthew B. Crawford, Shop Class as Soulcraft: An Inquiry into the Value of Work (2009) chapters 1 & 2.

October 23: The Consumer City

Sharon Zukin “Urban lifestyles: diversity and standardization in spaces of consumption” Urban Studies 35(5-6): 825-839.
Edward L. Glaeser, The Triumph of the City (2011) chapter 5 “Is London a Luxury Resort?”

October 25: Gentrification

Sharon Zukin “Gentrification: culture and capital in the urban core” Annual Review of Sociology 13 (1987): 129-147.
Meghan Ashlin Rich “’Artists are a tool for gentrification’: maintaining artists and creative production in arts districts” International Journal of Cultural Policy (2018)
Lance Freeman “Five myths about gentrification” Washington Post (June 3, 2016)
The Economist “In praise of gentrification” (June 23, 2018)

October 30: Culture and Economic Development

David B. Audretsch, Erik E. Lehmann and Nikolaus Seitz “Cultural amenities, subcultures and entrepreneurship” (2017) Working paper.
Peter Campbell, Tamsin Cox and Dave O’Brien “The social life of measurement: how methods have shaped the idea of culture in urban regeneration” Journal of Cultural Economy 10(1) (2017): 49-62.
Desislava Hristova, Luca M. Aiello and Danielle Quercia “The new urban success: how culture pays” Frontier in Physics 6 (article 27) (April 2018)

November 1: Creative Placemaking – Concepts

Amanda Johnson Ashley “Beyond the aesthetic: the historical pursuit of local arts economic development” Journal of Planning History 14(1) (2015): 38-61.
Ann Markusen and Anne Gadwa “Creative Placemaking” White Paper for the Mayors’ Institute on City Design, National Endowment for the Arts (2010)
Anne Gadwa Nicodemus “Fuzzy vibrancy: creative placemaking as ascendant US cultural policy” Cultural Trends 22(3/4) (2013): 213-222.

November 6: Creative Placemaking Programs in the US and UK

Jamie Bennett, “Creative placemaking in community planning and development: an introduction to ArtPlace America” Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco Community Development Investment Review (December 2014): 77-84.
National Endowment for the Arts “Our Town”
The Kresge Foundation “Arts and Culture”
Arts Council England “Creative People and Places”
Mark Robinson “Faster, but slower; slower, but faster” Thinking Practice (2016)
Michael Rushton and Joanna Woronkowicz “Now does the arts council know what it is doing?” working paper (2018)

November 8: Cultural Planning in Small Towns

Wendell Berry “The work of local culture” Iowa Humanities Lecture (1988)
Anne Gadwa “Small is beautiful: creative placemaking in rural communities” Grantmakers in the Arts Reader 25(2) (Summer 2014)
Timothy R. Wojan and Bonnie Nichols “Design, innovation, and rural creative places: are the arts the cherry on top, or the secret sauce?” PLOS ONE (February 28, 2018)

November 13: Cultural Districts – Planned

James Doeser and Anna Marazuela Kim “Governance models for cultural districts” Global Cultural Districts Network (2018)
Jane Jacobs, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, chapter 8
Indiana Arts Commission “Statewide Cultural Districts Guidelines”

November 15: Cultural Districts – “Organic”

Mark J. Stern and Susan C. Seifert “Cultivating ‘natural’ cultural districts” University of Pennsylvania (2007).
Ji Youn Kim “Cultural entrepreneurs and urban regeneration in Itaewon, Seoul” Cities 56 (2016): 132-140.

November 27: Earmarked Taxes for the Arts

Michael Rushton “Support for earmarked public spending on culture: evidence from a referendum in Metropolitan Detroit” Public Budgeting and Finance 25(4) (Winter 2005): 72-85.
Salt Lake City
Columbus, Ohio

November 29: Buildings for the Arts
Carl Grodach “Beyond Bilbao: rethinking flagship cultural development and planning in three California cities” Journal of Planning Education and Research 29(3) (2010): 353-366.
Joanna Woronkowicz et al, Set in Stone: Building America’s New Generation of Arts Facilities, 1994-2008 (University of Chicago, 2012)

December 4 and 6: Student presentations

Week of December 10-14: Final Exam


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  1. I’ll check out your syllabus more carefully. Thank you for sharing it.

    In my experiences as an urban revitalization “analyst” I write about cultural planning a lot, including gaps that I have identified in cultural planning. Although this is limited to blogging. I’d recommend these pieces:

    that artistic disciplines need their own plans, that they shouldn’t expect real estate interests to do it for them:

    the need to create community development corporations as vehicles to buy, develop, and hold properties for artists and cultural functions:

    (I need to link this point to the arts, culture districts, and revitalization piece where I didn’t specifically make this as a sixth point, creating CDCs, even though when I wrote it I was familiar with the Playhouse Square Development Corporation, the Gordon Square arts district initiative in Cleveland, BAM in Brooklyn, and the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust)

    organization failure as an indicator of the failure to plan

    that ephemeral efforts damage the ability to play the long game

    relatedly, that temporary urbanism is not the same thing as tactical urbanism

    gaps in creation of culture master plans

    within this entry is an extended discussion of community media and cultural coverage

    but I have been meaning to write a piece on how cultural master plans need a section on media and communications. I have a 16,000 word document in response to the DC cultural master plan draft that I haven’t published, and part of it was an extended discussion on this point. Of course, the master plan draft completely ignored this as an element.

    central libraries repositioned as community cultural centers

  2. Gosh… two more things.

    I wrote a series of articles for an EU National Institutes of Culture project in Baltimore. I wrote about culture-based revitalzation in 7 European cities. In that work, I referenced some European sources you don’t have in the syllabus, including John Montgomery (which I originally learned about from SIAP).

    European academic writings new to me. Over the course of the project I was introduced to European academic work on culture-based revitalization that I hadn’t been familiar with before–other than the “basics” out of the UK, especially the work of John Montgomery and Charles Landry.

    While I didn’t get a chance to delve as deeply into this work as much as I wanted (for example I would have liked to have explored how too much tourism can damage a “city of art” like Venice or Florence, but neither of those cities was part of the series, cf. “Vanishing Venice: A City Swamped by a Sea of Tourists,” New York Times), I did get introduced to the writings of Luciana Lazzaretti (Creative Industries and Innovation in Europe: Concepts, Measures and Comparative Case Studies; Tourism Local Systems and Networking), Walter Santagata (Cultural Commons: A New Perspective on the Production and Evolution of Cultures; The Culture Factory: Creativity and the Production of Culture), the regional development and economic geography research group at Erasmus University Rotterdam, organized as the European Institute of Comparative Urban Research (e.g., Creating Knowledge Locations in Cities), the “Intelligent Cities” project at the Urban and Regional Innovation Organization of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, and others. I intend to explore these works in the future.

    Of course, there is extended discussion of the Capital of Culture program in the pieces on Liverpool and Marseille.

    A lot of those pieces (Helsinki, Marseilles, Dublin) feature large scale multifaceted arts centers like La Friche in Marseille, the City of Books in Aix-en-Provence, and Cablefactory in Helsinki.. The piece on Bilbao is recognized by people in Bilbao as being one of the better discussions of what they did, but I have a more recent piece on this topic: