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Arts and Culture in Urban or Regional  Planning: A Review and Research Agenda
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Arts and Culture in Urban or Regional Planning: A Review and Research Agenda


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Arts and Culture in Urban or Regional
Planning: A Review and Research Agenda
Autor: Ann Markusen and Anne Gadwa

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  1. 1. Journal of Planning Education and Research Arts and Culture in Urban or Regional Planning: A Review and Research Agenda Ann Markusen and Anne GadwaJournal of Planning Education and Research 2010 29: 379 originally published online 12 January 2010 DOI: 10.1177/0739456X09354380 The online version of this article can be found at: Published by: On behalf of: Association of Collegiate Schools of Planning Additional services and information for Journal of Planning Education and Research can be found at: Email Alerts: Subscriptions: Reprints: Permissions: Citations: >> Version of Record - Mar 2, 2010 OnlineFirst Version of Record - Jan 12, 2010 What is This? Downloaded from by guest on March 27, 2013
  2. 2. Journal of Planning Education and ResearchArts and Culture in Urban or Regional 29(3) 379­ 391 – © 2010 Association of Collegiate Schools of PlanningPlanning: A Review and Research Agenda Reprints and permission: http://www. DOI: 10.1177/0739456X09354380 http://jpe.sagepub.comAnn Markusen1 and Anne Gadwa2AbstractAmid the buzz on the creative city and cultural economy, knowledge about what works at various urban and regional scalesis sorely lacking. This article reviews the state of knowledge about arts and culture as an urban or regional development tool,exploring norms, reviewing evidence for causal relationships, and analyzing stakeholders, bureaucratic fragmentation, and citizenparticipation in cultural planning. Two strategies—designated cultural districts and tourist-targeted cultural investments—illustrate how better research would inform implementation. In guiding urban cultural development, researchers should exam-ine and clarify the impacts, risks, and opportunity costs of various strategies and the investments and revenue and expenditurepatterns associated with each, so that communities and governments avoid squandering “creative city” opportunities.Keywordscultural planning, arts planning, cultural policy, arts policy, creative city, arts impact, gentrification, cultural districts, tourismSince the creative city and cultural economy buzz first other decision makers in crafting strategy and allocatingemerged in Europe in the mid-1980s, states, cities, and small resources. We begin by addressing the often implicit normstowns have turned to cultural planning and programming as that condition cultural policy making, followed by a reviewa broad strategy for economic and community development, of what is known about the causal relationship between artsincluding neighborhood, community, and downtown revital- and cultural activity and economic development.ization. By the mid-2000 decade, this interest came to a We then lay out a framework for understanding the prac-crescendo, with many communities commissioning cultural tice of cultural planning at the local level. We discuss theplans, designating and targeting incentives to cultural districts, baffling array of public sector institutional structures chargedbuilding and expanding cultural capacity, and designing new with cultural planning at the local level in the United States,arts-specific revenue sources to pay for these. followed by a review of the political economy of cultural Yet knowledge about what works at various urban and planning stakeholders. We call for research to examine howregional scales is sorely lacking. Failure to specify goals, reli- alternative approaches to developing and implementing localance on fuzzy theories, underdeveloped public participation, cultural plans and policies influence outcomes, such as theand unwillingness to require and evaluate performance out- degree of participation by different stakeholders and alterna-comes make it difficult for decision makers to proceed with tive public sector institutional and funding structures.confidence. Without access to studies that clarify the impacts, Finally, we examine two widely employed strategic choicesrisks, and opportunity costs of various strategies, investments, in depth: (1) designated cultural districts anchored by largeand revenue and expenditure patterns, communities and gov- performing and visual arts spaces versus dispersed “natural”ernments are in danger of squandering opportunities to guidecultural development. Worse, many risk being saddled with Initial submission, May 2008; revised submissions, March and September 2009;unimplemented plans and budgets mortgaged far into the final acceptance, October 2009future to pay for underutilized capacity. Some efforts are sim- 1 University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN, USAply disguised real estate revaluation efforts (Kunzman 2004) 2 Metris Arts Consulting, Minneapolis, MN, USAthat cause displacement and undermine more spatially decen-tralized cultural vitality. Corresponding Author: Ann Markusen, University of Minnesota, Project on Regional and Industrial In this article, we review the state of knowledge about arts Economics, Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs, 301-19th Avenue South,and culture as urban or regional development and outline Rm 231, Minneapolis, MN 55455, USApotential research that would substantially aid planners and Email: Downloaded from by guest on March 27, 2013
  3. 3. 380 Journal of Planning Education and Research 29(3)cultural districts with smaller scale nonprofit, commercial, notion that economic calculus should dominate decisionand community cultural venues and (2) tourist-targeted ver- making, the World Bank (1999) and scholars working on thesus local-serving cultural investments. For each, we flag developing world (e.g., Yudice 2007) articulate how cultureuntested claims and assumptions in need of further research. investments confirm identity for specific groups of people, In these discussions, the emphasis is on state-of-the-art build social cohesion by bridging across cultures, provideresearch findings and unsettled questions. We rely on pub- avenues for social and political critique, foster self-esteem inlished research, our own cultural policy case studies of individuals in communities, counteract fear and insecurity,Los Angeles, San Francisco, Minneapolis–St. Paul, and some and offer pleasure, beauty, and food for the soul. A path-smaller jurisdictions and extensive interviews and discus- breaking effort to develop indicators capturing these dimen-sions with city cultural planners and policy makers across sions has recently been published by Jackson, Kabwasa-Green,the United States and abroad. The article is not a comprehen- and Herranz (2006).sive review of the literature, particularly of the many case Cutting across these progrowth, revitalization, and leftstudies that help us understand the richness of cultural plan- brain norms are the more familiar norms of efficiency andning and challenges in specific places. The focus is, instead, equity. Efficiency norms remain underexplored to date, reflect-on articulating the common hypotheses driving creative city ing the poor performance of economic development plan-initiatives and how these might be tested using existing data, ning in general (Bartik and Bingham 1997). The cultural citycomparative cases, and new methods. literature is surprisingly devoid of cost–benefit evaluation or acknowledgement of opportunity costs of alternatives. Yet cultural planning options must be weighed against each otherCultural Planning Norms and Goals and against other pressing public sector needs.As in other planning realms, cultural planners, who include Many people engaged in cultural planning invoke equityfor our purpose all policy makers and professionals engaged norms as they stress the importance of equal access of all peo-in the fostering of arts and cultural activity, base their strate- ple to cultural opportunities. Cultural practices are often spe-gies and prescriptions on one or more implicit norms that are cific to groups distinguished by place of origin, age, gender,linked to goals, stated or unstated. These norms reflect com- ethnicity, race, and religion, placing a severe and confusingmunity values, and since communities are diverse and encom- onus on cultural planners to take into account these differ-pass conflicting interests, such values may be multiple and ences within their constituencies.disparate. Most cultural planning efforts to date fail to clearly All city and regional cultural planning initiatives shouldstate their underlying norms and related goals in ways that begin with an explicit statement of the several norms thatcan be monitored, thereby handicapping researchers in their form their rationale and related goals. Not only are transpar-efforts to evaluate cultural planning initiatives (Evans 2005). ent norms and goals good governance practice; they enableGiven these acknowledged limitations, we examine what researchers to more effectively evaluate the success of an ini-norms and goals are evident in the relevant literature. tiative. A city’s cultural districts proposal, for instance, should In the pioneering literature about the role of culture and articulate the expected economic, neighborhood, and culturalthe creative city (Bianchini et al. 1988; Landry 2003; Landry goals in terms of job creation, property valuation and occu-et al. 1996; Mt. Auburn Associates 2000; Perloff 1985; Perloff pancy rates, small business revenues, visual character of theand the Urban Innovation Group 1979; Port Authority of neighborhood, and enhancement in cultural experiences andNew York and New Jersey and the Cultural Assistance Center values of multiple constituencies as well as possible negative1983), at least three sets of norms and goals can be distin- effects on other groups and neighborhoods. The equity normguished (Garcia 2004): economic impacts, regenerative demands that the city be explicit about who will benefit fromimpacts (on the surrounding neighborhood or region), and its proposals and how any groups harmed will be compen-cultural impacts. The seminal European literature focused sated (as are property owners whose land is seized by emi-more on the regenerative effect of investments in older indus- nent domain). The efficiency norm requires that any proposaltrial cities (Evans 2005). Early work on the United States pri- be judged by the balance of its benefits over its costs andoritized the economic role of an arts and cultural sector in a by the alternative uses of public funds and staff time to beregional economy in terms of its impact on jobs, output, and devoted to it.public sector revenue, although a number of studies addressed Researchers should unpack, critique, and evaluate out-localized, chiefly downtown revitalization. comes according to norms and goals. To date, despite past Few writers in the cultural city and cultural region litera- calls for such guidelines (Lim 1993), very few cultural plan-ture have unpacked cultural planning norms and goals. These ning research efforts attempt to understand these norms orhave been best articulated by social scientists and humanities to develop measures that will gauge their performance. Forscholars working on nonspatial cultural policy, such as the instance, economic impact (in terms of jobs, output, and rev-powerful claims made for the importance of cultural sensi- enues) studies of various arts and cultural investments (e.g.,tivity and artistic capacity (Nussbaum 2001). Rejecting the Americans for the Arts 2007) are plagued with unwarranted Downloaded from by guest on March 27, 2013
  4. 4. Markusen and Gadwa 381assumptions and inference problems. These include (1) not through new techniques and/or areas of investigation. Researchadequately demonstrating that the arts are an export base strategies vary by the scale and size of the city or communityindustry, (2) treating all spending as new spending, as opposed factoring out expenditures that would otherwise have been Researchers and advocacy bodies have used arts and cul-made elsewhere in the local economy, (3) not acknowledging tural economic impact assessments to support the claim thatthat nonprofit arts expenditures are directly subsidized by the the arts and cultural sector is an important contributor of jobs,public sector through both capital and operations support, output, and public sector revenues in a regional economy.and (4) failing to count the foregone tax revenues that non- Economic impact assessments total up the money invested inprofit status confers (Stewart 2008; Sterngold 2004; Seaman and spent by arts facilities (e.g., Beyers and GMA Research2000). Even the best of the cultural impact studies, such as Corporation 2006) or specific cultural industries (e.g., Beyersthe Beyers et al. (2004) and Beyers and GMA Research et al. 2004 on music in Seattle; Saas 2006 on film incentives)Corporation (2006) studies of Seattle industries and cultural and compute the resulting jobs, tax revenues, and total expen-centers, do not explicitly pose equity or efficiency questions. ditures, using multipliers. As causal exercises, these studies generally overestimate the extent to which the initial invest- ment or incentive induces external (or export base) incomeThe Causal Role of Arts and Culture for the region rather than reflecting the other motivations ofin Economic Development consumers (or filmmakers) for the reasons given above.In the United States, the art and cultural sector’s presumed Beyers and GMA Research Corporation (2006) are particu-ability to stimulate economic development, at both regional larly careful to ensure, through on-site interviews, that visi-and neighborhood scales, is one of the most frequently invoked tors are coming from outside the county expressly to visitrationales for cultural planning. The argument for arts and the Seattle Center. But other studies, such as the Audiencecultural activity as urban and rural economic development Research & Analysis (2006) study of the newly redonebroadens a strategy that has been around since at least the New York Museum of Modern Art, make inaccurate assump-1960s, with the flowering of public arts funding in the United tions, such as that all New Jersey visitors are “out-of-towners.”States (the National Endowment for the Arts, state arts boards, Arts impact studies also fail to consider whether induced artsregional arts councils, city cultural affairs departments, and and cultural spending is simply displaced from other sectorsexpanding philanthropic arts programs). In that same period, in the regional economy (the substitution effect), a point madehuge new center city arts facilities investments, such as forcefully by Noll and Zimbalist (1997) in their analogousNew York’s Lincoln Center, were built by blending cultural work on sports facilities. Claims for the economic impact ofwith urban renewal funds (Kreidler 1996). They were meant tax incentives and subsidies for film production are critiquedto both expand cultural offerings and “revitalize” their imme- by Christopherson and Rightor (2008).diate environs. Lincoln Center, for instance, razed the neigh- In addition to researchers applying more due diligenceborhood that was the subject of West Side Story. regarding the substitution effect and establishing the extent In subsequent decades, additional causal claims have been to which a given arts or cultural investment induces externalmade for the economic efficacy of investments in arts and income, attention to other norms, namely, efficiency andcultural activity: that cultural industries help diversify the eco- equity, would greatly strengthen this research. Impact studiesnomic base of deindustrializing or highly specialized cities do not include cost–benefit analysis of outcomes nor oppor-and regions (e.g., Pratt 1997); that cultural workers, with high tunity cost assessments of alternative public investments thatrates of self-employment and considerable human capital, earn would address efficiency concerns, and they generally do notincome from directly exporting products and services and inquire into the equity consequences. One researcher arguesimprove the productivity of noncultural industries locally that “the attention to the high-cost and high-profile culture-led(e.g., Markusen and King 2003; Markusen and Schrock 2006); regeneration projects is in inverse proportion to the strengthand that the presence of cultural offerings and artists attracts and quality of evidence of their regenerative effects” (Evansother firms and high human capital residents (e.g., Florida 2005, 960). Independent scrutiny of arts and cultural sector2002a, 2002b). The causal claim that arts and cultural physi- contributions could address these inadequacies in extantcal investments help revitalize neighborhoods or districts (e.g., studies.Bianchini et al. 1988; Landry et al. 1996) is now joined with Equity concerns could be addressed by independently con-arguments that artists and other bohemians play similar roles ducted (rather than self-administered and promotional) arts(Lloyd 2002, 2005; Lloyd and Clark 2001). and cultural participation studies that use surveys to deter- In this section, we examine the kinds of evidence that have mine the age, race/ethnicity, and income characteristics ofbeen used to test these claims and how they reflect not only people who enjoy access to specific arts and cultures spaces,theory but also underlying normative positions. We call atten- facilities, and programming. Regional participation studiestion to existing deficiencies in past research efforts and offer (which are largely limited to attendance at nonprofit arts andinsights as to how these approaches might be strengthened cultural venues) reveal that people with higher educational Downloaded from by guest on March 27, 2013
  5. 5. 382 Journal of Planning Education and Research 29(3)attainment (and thus presumably higher incomes) are more Survey (ACS) is a rich source for industrial and occupationalfrequently engaged (Schuster 2000). Using broader notions modeling linked to worker characteristics. Like its predeces-of participation and venues, Stern (2005) found more diverse sor, the Census of Population 5-Percent Public Use Micro-engagement in Philadelphia, though not centered on large data Sample, the 1 percent annual ACS uniquely capturespublic and nonprofit arts investments. Participation studies, employment at the place of residence (rather than by work-as the work of Schuster and Stern shows, can be conducted at place, as business data sources do). It allows researchers toany spatial scale. link individual and household data by cultural occupation Derivative causal theories in which researchers posit that (e.g., visual artist, musician, writer, designer) and industrysome cities or regions have added jobs more rapidly over (e.g., advertising, film/TV/media, publishing, performingtime as a result of robust cultural industries (Pratt 1997) or arts) with socioeconomic data on income, age, race, immi-because they host larger concentrations of cultural industries grant status, migration patterns, home ownership, and so on.(e.g., Currid 2006) or occupations (Markusen and Schrock ACS and census “long form” data offer broader coverage of2006) remain undertested. In general, the comparative mezzo- arts and cultural work than do establishment-based sources,economic techniques these researchers employ are descrip- including self-employed and unemployed workers, importanttive exercises or correlations that do not build or test causal because of high rates of cultural self-employment (Markusen,models of the contribution of culture to development. Schrock, and Cameron 2004). For instance, Scott’s (2005) work on the media industry None of the aforementioned studies probe the impact ofand Hollywood and Currid’s (2007) work on fashion, art, public cultural policies. Quasi-experimental methods offerand music in New York City are rich descriptions of hyper- ways to test whether places with cultural investments haveconcentrated cultural industries, including how they work on fared better than places without. While these have been skill-the ground. While they use location quotients (a comparative fully used for smaller, more rural towns and regions, they aretechnique) to show the overrepresentation of these industries more difficult to apply to large complex cities (Isserman andin their respective cities or regions, they do not show that Beaumont 1989). Causal models encompassing a multiplic-these industries account for an estimated share of job growth ity of developmental forces (e.g., overall industrial structure,or property revaluation, nor do they explore what would have transportation access, cost of living, university-based researchhappened in the absence of each. Similarly, Markusen and activity, higher educational access) have probed the compara-Schrock’s (2006) use of location quotients and recent net artist tive role of high-tech activity in metro growth (e.g., Markusen,migration rates to reveal cultural specialization among large Hall, and Glasmeier 1986). Similar research efforts honing inU.S. metros does not explain aggregate performance. All on cultural policy and investments would enhance our under-such uses of location quotients risk making fallacy of compo- standing of their effectiveness. The causal models and sug-sition inferences. For instance, the Chicago metro hosts only gested data sources just discussed are mainly useful for gaugingaverage numbers of artists in its workforce compared with very explanatory power at the metro or regional, rather than neigh-high shares for New York, Los Angeles, and San Francisco. borhood or district, scale.This may simply reflect its still robust blue-collar industrial At the neighborhood level, the presence or introduction ofworkforce, a group that has been decimated in the other a particular cultural facility or an influx of cultural workerslarge artist-rich metros. or consumers can be modeled and tested for impacts on sur- To strengthen these explorations, researchers could use rounding property values, retail businesses, building vacancymethods with more robust explanatory power, such as devel- rates, jobs, and income. In a study accounting for other factorsoping and testing multivariate regression models. Concentra- in local growth and requiring original data collection fromtions of artists or cultural industries at the local level and their city sources, Sheppard (2006) found that MASS MoCA, adistributions across cities and regions could be modeled as large new arts center developed in an old textile mill in Norththe outcomes of complex longitudinal decision-making pro- Adams, Massachusetts, increased nearby property values bycesses, including differential public investments and spend- about 20 percent, evidence of positive neighborhood-leveling, firm location and expansion decisions, and artist and wealth-creating effects. The study does not, however, revealcultural workers’ migration decisions. In a simple example, the beneficiaries of associated real estate appreciation orFlorida (2002a) has tested the contention that cultural activity information on those who may have been displaced or pricedattracts other firms and high-income (i.e., desirable) workers out of their homes in the process.with cross-sectional correlations across metros, but Glaeser Teasing out the impacts of a particular cultural interven-(2004) and Markusen (2006) raise interpretative issues regard- tion in a dynamic neighborhood poses formidable the direction of causality and missing variables. Yet in her treatment of artist live–work spaces, Gadwa (2009) Better data are becoming available for testing multivariate illustrates how researchers can track neighborhood change onmodels and probing equity outcomes, both from secondary a range of economic (as well as social and physical) indica-sources. The U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community tors, including new business formation and residential vacancy Downloaded from by guest on March 27, 2013
  6. 6. Markusen and Gadwa 383rates, to test whether these spaces for artists play a role in currently so vociferous, the need for further research is quiteeconomic regeneration at the neighborhood scale. Elements pressing.of this methodological framework, which combines extensivefieldwork, hedonic property valuation, fiscal (tax) impactanalysis, and comparative neighborhood versus parent area The Roles of City Cultural Structuretrend lines on multiple indicators, could be successfully and External Stakeholdersadapted to assess the impact of other physical cultural inter- Cultural planning strategies are heavily shaped by evolvedventions or of small-scale interventions in general (new hous- city bureaucratic structures and programs and by diverseing, sports facilities, convention centers, etc.). external constituencies. Responsibilities for cultural affairs Empirical research on economic development impacts is and investments are fragmented across multiple local publicperhaps most advanced and insightful where there is conten- sector agencies and vary considerably among American cit-tion, as in the gentrification debate. Using Manhattan as a ies, even among those of similar scale. In this section, wecase study, Zukin (1982) argued in a seminal book that arts present a framework for understanding how cultural plan-activity and artists are often used as a vanguard for gentrifi- ning currently operates at the local level, examining varia-cation by developers. In a powerful critique suggesting that tions in public sector cultural capacity and implementationthis is not the case in cities with lower generalized real estate as well as in the range and differing interests and power ofpressure, Stern and Seifert (1998) identified ninety-four stakeholders. States also conduct cultural policy through aPhiladelphia census block groups that underwent economic multiplicity of agencies, but generally they do not engage inrevitalization (defined by poverty decline and population gain cultural planning to the extent that cities do, so we confineduring the 1980s) and asked (1) whether the revitalization of our discussion to the latter. We identify research opportuni-these neighborhoods was related to the presence of arts orga- ties that scholars could pursue to illuminate which types ofnizations and (2) whether displacement had occurred in the structures, strategies, and political coalitions improve theprocess. They found that neighborhoods with more arts orga- prospects for achieving cultural planning goals and hownizations and participation were more likely to experience scale affects the challenges in doing so.revitalization and did so without clear evidence of racial orethnic displacement. They also posit that cultural investments,compared to other neighborhood revitalization tools, excel Local Public Sector Institutionalat nurturing both bonding and bridging social capital. Such and Funding Structuresfindings suggest that growth and equity goals of cultural The institutional structures and funding streams that localinvestments are not inherently in opposition. Researchers governments employ in cultural planning vary greatly. Citiescould explore the external validity of Stern and Seifert’s have powerful tools for shaping the cultural economy—landfindings by extending their analyses to other areas with dif- use and redevelopment planning, ownership of substantialfering real estate pressures or in different eras–for example, parcels of land and buildings for redevelopment, infrastruc-in the present real estate bust. ture provision, and financial resources such as dedicated taxes In sum, causal theories of the relationships among cultural and various community and economic development funds.facilities, industries and workers, and area economic devel- Most city governments, even some very small towns, conductopment remain crude and undertested. In particular, conven- variants of cultural planning and policy, offering researcherstional economic impact studies could be strengthened by an opportunity to critically compare alternative institutionalstricter criteria for determining the extent to which a given and funding structures.arts or cultural investment induces external income, increased Currently, responsibility for cultural affairs in most U.S.scrutiny with regard to the substitution effect, and attention to city governments is spread among a baffling array of agenciesefficiency and equity concerns through cost–benefit analyses that have evolved over many decades and, since cities areand participation studies. To test the role played by cultural creatures of state government, vary dramatically from placeindustries and occupations in the rate of regional job creation, to place. Some cities (e.g., Los Angeles and San Francisco)researchers could develop more sophisticated causal models have citywide arts funds supported by dedicated taxes thatand test them with multivariate analysis. They can use quasi- support publicly owned arts facilities (museums, performingexperimental models to test the impact of cultural invest- arts centers) and grants programs for artists and arts organi-ments and control for other developmental forces, especially zations. Some have special cultural tax districts that raisein smaller towns. At the neighborhood level, mixed qualita- funds from property, sales, or cigarette taxes for specifictive and quantitative methods can be used to track changes facilities, areas within the city or whole countries. Most havein a range of economic indicators and provide compelling public arts programming, including commissioned public artcausal evidence for the role the cultural intervention played. and support for cultural events. Some support community cul-Because posited claims for the fruits of cultural policy are tural centers and have subsidized artists’ centers, live–work Downloaded from by guest on March 27, 2013
  7. 7. 384 Journal of Planning Education and Research 29(3)buildings, and performing arts venues through land and support for state cultural bonding, though in San Franciscovacant building turnovers, loan funds, and parking ramp neighborhood arts and cultural centers receive a larger shareand streetscape investments. Some have commissioned and than in most other cities.adopted cultural plans or included cultural components in Other local agencies play roles as well. Many cities runtheir master planning exercises. cultural programs through departments of parks and recre- In most cities, responsibility for cultural planning is frag- ation and school districts. Public works departments may bemented among major agencies such as cultural affairs, city responsible for cultural facilities and build the parking rampsplanning, and economic development, with public works, that often subsidize them. Public safety departments arepublic safety, and independent park, library, and education responsible for parade permitting and public space usageboards also involved. Many larger cities (New York, Chicago, rules. A recent San Francisco Arts Task Force (2006) reportLos Angeles) have cultural affairs departments staffed by lays out the complex web of city and county agencies involvedpeople with expertise in arts and culture. In other cities, such in support for the arts, shows how funding streams work theiras Minneapolis, formal cultural affairs capacity is limited to way through this web, and makes challenging suggestions forone or a few staffers in economic development agencies run- reconfiguring and consolidating arts funding.ning public arts programming on very small budgets. Cul- Scale affects the range of public cultural practice. Verytural affairs departments and offices have suffered resource large cities such as New York, Los Angeles, and Chicago havelosses in recent decades as taxpayer revolts and higher prior- widely disparate cultural affairs departments with large staffity for public safety, downtown redevelopment, and business (on the order of fifty to ninety employees), sizeable budgets,recruitment have squeezed their shares of the public purse. and responsibility for publicly owned large arts venues. InResponding to a survey by Grodach and Loukaitou-Sideris smaller cities, cultural initiatives are often public–private–(2007), many cities report having subsumed cultural plan- community partnerships that are easier to forge and sustain.ning under economic development functions. Even in very small towns, city councils and local government Many of the regulatory tools that enable or hamper the agencies have transcended traditional turfs and training to fos-creation of artistic space in cities are lodged in city planning ter arts-driven downtown revitalization—examples includedepartments and run by people with city planning degrees, a New York Mills, Minnesota (Markusen and Johnson 2006),training that may or may not include expertise in urban design Lanesboro, Minnesota (Borrup 2006a), and other Minnesotaor cultural policy. Artists’ centers and live–work buildings, communities (Cuesta, Gillespie, and Lillis 2005; Metropoli-permits for art fairs and festivals, and urban redevelopment tan Regional Arts Council 2006). In tiny New York Mills,plans that include cultural space and facilities must be com- for instance, the city council paid for the renovation of anpatible with current land use and zoning ordinances or receive old two-story Victorian storefront on main street, donated forvariances. In some cities—Minneapolis would be an example— $1 by its owner, into the New York Mills Regional Culturalit is very difficult to build artists’ live–work buildings because Center; on an ongoing basis, the council pays half the salaryof strict zoning laws that do not permit the mixing of commer- of the director of the nonprofit center because she also servescial and residential use (Johnson 2006). In most cities, cultural as the town’s tourism director.policy has little standing or interface with city planning depart- Policy makers should be able to consult comparativements and their management of land use and visioning of the research on the institutional and revenue structures shapingcity’s physical future. cultural planning at the local and state level. Yet the mishmash Economic development departments (and often separate of structures and spending tools currently relied on for cul-economic development authorities) are the most powerful of tural planning makes it very difficult to generalize acrossthe city’s bureaus affecting the creation of cultural space. As places or to determine which cities are relatively successfulthe manager of land and buildings that the city owns, a city’s and why. However, researchers could theorize and test theeconomic development agency makes decisions on reuse causal impact of public arts and cultural support on economicand redevelopment and has at its disposal considerable funds and cultural outcomes, such as the relative presence and netfor building rehabilitation, brownfield cleanup, enterprise in-migration rates of artists (and artists of color to gaugezone initiatives, commercial corridors, workforce develop- equity) and of cultural industry employment, arts participationment, and other federal and state economic development pass- rates, and measures of cultural vitality (Jackson, Kabwasa-through funds. Like city planning departments, they operate on Green, and Herranz 2006). Hypothesized causal factors coulda parcel-by-parcel basis—districtwide planning is unusual include variations in the size of cultural affairs offices anddespite the existence of comprehensive plans and designated departments; whether cultural affairs are placed within othercultural districts. Most economic development agencies are departments, such as planning or economic development, orprodevelopment and work very closely with private land- are stand-alone agencies; consolidation or fragmentation ofowners, developers, and real estate interests. In many cities, cultural functions within agencies; the size of dedicated taxlarger arts and cultural institutions have garnered the lion’s revenues (vs. general funds); and the degree of citizen par-share of city commitments of land, parking garages, and ticipation in arts and cultural planning (through hearings, Downloaded from by guest on March 27, 2013
  8. 8. Markusen and Gadwa 385neighborhood organizations, and arts commissions). Longi- 2007), sector leaders are preoccupied with key regulatorytudinal comparative studies that captured changes in these issues such as intellectual property rights protection andcausal structures over time would be especially welcome. telecommunications access that are national rather than stateComparative research of this sort is emerging on institutional or local issues (B. Ivey 2005). With rare exceptions, such asdeterminants of developing countries’ economic trajectories, film industry bids for incentives, managers in these sectorswhere the context is arguably much more challenging. Com- are disinterested in city cultural policy, though individualsparative research could help answer questions of the follow- made wealthy through cultural firms’ success may contrib-ing type: Did the failure, as part of a fractious mayoral contest, ute to and lobby the city for support for their favorite (usu-of an ambitious bid to remake Minneapolis’s role in arts and ally large, elite) cultural organizations. While geographerscultural affairs in the 1990s result in the observed outmigra- and sociologists have produced excellent studies of the urbantion of artists in the latter part of that decade (Bye and Herman distribution and impact of particular cultural industries, they1993; Markusen and Schrock 2006)? have not reflected on whether and how commercial sector Such a research agenda should also attempt to match out- leaders and activists engage actively with public sector urbancomes to intentions. An exemplar in this regard is a RAND planning strategies (e.g., Lloyd and Clark 2001; Lloyd 2002,qualitative study (McCarthy, Heneghan Ondaatje, and Novak 2005; Power 2002; Power and Scott 2004; Rantisi 2004;2007) that compared, for eleven different midsized cities, Rothfield et al. 2007).public and private support mechanisms for nonprofit arts In contrast to cultural firms, cultural nonprofits have aorganizations to larger cultural planning objectives. huge stake in city and state cultural planning. Most museums, orchestra halls, opera houses, artists’ centers, theaters, and community arts facilities function as nonprofits (Gray andStakeholders Heilbrun 2000; Heilbrun and Gray 1993; Wyszomirski 1999),The arts and cultural sphere is balkanized into competing as are some artists’ studio and live–work buildings and manycommercial, nonprofit, and community segments, and often artist service organizations, including unions and professionalthere is little solidarity within each group. Although artists associations. They lobby for state or local arts and culturalcross over these sectoral divides all the time (Markusen et al. budgets, new sources of revenues, and bonding bills for cul-2006), the organizations at the helm of each sector rarely work tural facilities, with the largest institutions dominating thetogether on common problems or policy agendas (W. J. Ivey character of this advocacy effort. Yet outside of the flagship1999; Arthurs, Hodsoll, and Lavine 1999; Pankratz 1999). In organizations, this dominant constituency for cultural policy,addition, the built environment industry is actively engaged including small nonprofits and universities (Dempster 2004;in using arts and culture to make money and nurture civic Perry and Wiewel 2005), understands little about the inter-pride. Elected officials may champion or ignore cultural plan- section with urban development and planning, focusing onning. Citizens can be expected to participate in cultural plan- funding advocacy rather than engaging in the creative cityning initiatives in direct proportion to the extent that it feeds debate and its arcane contests over land use, development,a personal or community passion, as in the case for arts afi- and cultural districts.cionados or ethnic cultural groups, or may directly affect them, In the community (sometimes called informal, unincorpo-such as residents and business owners in close proximity to rated, or participatory) sector, cultural activities are organizeda proposed cultural investment initiative. Because the goals by actors operating outside formal for-profit or nonprofit sta-and motivations of each constituency differ widely, they often tus. Community cultural activity includes festivals organizedhave competing stakes in cultural planning. Research on the by ethnic or affinity groups, gatherings for artistic sharing andways in which the politics and interests of external stake- performance in people’s homes or parks, and community net-holders shape urban cultural initiatives, programs, and plans works of bartered artistic services, lessons, or products. Pio-would improve planning and policy decision making. neering studies of community-based artists celebrate this The commercial sector encompasses for-profit firms in sector, the legitimacy of its art forms, its ability to bridge acrossindustries whose product in large part consists of texts and class and culture, its changing character, its service to com-symbols (Hesmondhalgh 2002), including, in conservative munities and individuals, and its functioning as an R&D arenadefinitions, architecture, design, media, advertising, pub- for the nonprofit arts sector (Alvarez 2005; Jackson, Herranz,lishing, recording, and film, TV, and radio (Markusen et al. and Kabwasa-Green 2003; Peters and Cherbo 1998; Peterson2008). The commercial cultural sector also encompasses art 1996; Wali, Severson, and Longoni 2002; Wali et al. 2006;markets (galleries, art fairs, online Web sites), for-profit per- Walker, Jackson, and Rosenstein 2003). Community culturalforming arts spaces (theaters, music clubs, restaurants), and groups may confront money problems, personality conflicts,artists who sell their work on commission, directly to the delays, and managerial deficits that render them fragile andpublic or on the Web. In most regions, cultural industry difficult to sustain. By and large, these groups are too busy tomembers have not banded together around public policy or be engaged in city or regional cultural policy and are excludedplanning issues. Driven by bottom-line concerns (Vogel from most advocacy organizing efforts. Downloaded from by guest on March 27, 2013
  9. 9. 386 Journal of Planning Education and Research 29(3) In addition, the local built environment industry— are Wolman and Spitzley’s (1996) overview and Dewar’sdevelopers, the construction industry, real estate brokers, (1998) insightful study of a Minnesota state business incen-banks, newspapers, and others whose livelihoods depend tives program. The more developed body of work on urbanon the making and maintenance of urban spatial form— tourism may offer good methodologies and models (Fainsteinconstitutes a coalition with an active interest in cultural space and Gladstone 1999; Ioannides 2006), yet here too compara-development. In many cases, their interests (especially those tive causal analysis is thin.of developers) dominate cultural planning, facilitated by the However, it would be possible to do a set of qualitativedeal-making work mode of city redevelopment authorities (though time-consuming) comparative case studies that addressas well as the absence of broad and more democratic cultural questions such as the following. Do cultural plans dominatedcoalitions. by particular stakeholder configurations influence outcomes? Finally, the changing character of city councils and may- Do inclusive participatory cultural planning processes ensureoralties may bring cultural policy to the fore or ignore it, so more equitable and spatially decentralized public culturalthat arts and cultural policy may abruptly be conducted quite capacity and benefits? Is a championing elected official a pre-differently from prior regimes. Long-time city arts watchers requisite for success, or have grassroots cultural planninghave concluded that progress on strategic city cultural plan- initiatives been successful without such leadership? Can coali-ning requires an advocate at the top—a mayor or a city coun- tions be built bridging cultural interests with other causes,cil member who sees arts and culture as an important urban such as occurred in the successful 2008 Minnesota constitu-economic and community development domain. So, for tional amendment that joined clean water, wildlife, and cul-instance, St. Louis’s pioneering 1971 cultural tax district was ture or legacy constituencies to win a half percent dedicatedthe brainchild of civic leader Howard Baer (Bassity 2008). sales tax?Los Angeles would not have its dedicated arts share of thehospitality tax had then-councilman Joel Wachs not followedthrough on the Perloff and the Urban Innovation Group Urban or Regional Cultural Strategies(1979) study. Portland’s arts infrastructure commitments Beyond evaluating outcomes in relation to norms and goals,evolved over twenty-five years and were steered by council vetting established causal economic theories, and probingmembers Mike Lindberg and Sam Adams, sequentially. how stakeholder participation and institutional or funding Citizen and stakeholder participation in cultural planning structures influence outcomes, researchers can greatly assistoccurs along a spectrum. Some cities—Minneapolis, for cultural planners and jurisdictions interested in pursuing cre-instance—have citizen-based arts and cultural commissions ative city initiatives by evaluating the efficacy of specific cul-that are toothless and on which the largest arts institutions tural strategies. In this section, we explore two urban culturalrefuse to participate since they have professional lobbyists strategies—cultural districts and cultural tourism—exploringand backdoor ways of reaching politicians and city staffers. the goals, logic, and evidence on outcomes, pointing out theSmaller arts organizations directors and individual artists poverty of good research. Other research frontiers includecycle through the commission and leave feeling it is a waste evaluations of targeted incentives for firms in cultural indus-of time. However, city cultural affairs officers, planning tries, support for individual artists and related cultural work-directors, and elected officials can play a powerful role in ers, public operating or project support for arts organizations,designing participatory mechanisms that ensure that diverse capital support for (and sometimes public ownership andconstituencies are included in resource allocation. For instance, operation of) arts and cultural facilities, and changes in plan-the public sector can encourage communication and joint ning regulations, such as zoning, low-income housing, rentplanning among the three cultural sectors by using its regu- control, and historic preservation, that bear on the potentiallatory tools and resources to this end. Some cities, Seattle in for cultural activity.particular, have been successful in breaking down the wallsbetween the commercial and nonprofit sectors. Within citygovernment, Seattle’s Mayor’s Office of Film and Music Cultural Districts versus Decentralized Mosaicssupports a full menu of film and music offerings that embrace Should cities and states designate and develop culturalnonprofit, commercial, and community events and actors. At districts where cultural activities are clustered together? Orthe regional level, the New England Council has built a New should they encourage a decentralized mosaic of culturalEngland Creative Economy coalition across private and activities throughout neighborhoods and among a series ofnonprofit sector lines since 1998 (Markusen et al. 2008; small towns in a region? A cultural district is defined as “aMt. Auburn Associates 2000). well-recognized, labeled, mixed-use area of a city in which a Much research remains to be done on constituents’ roles in high concentration of cultural facilities serves as the anchorcultural planning and how the outcomes reflect their interests of attraction” (Frost-Kumpf 1998, 10). Cultural districts oftenand access. Good studies of the politics of urban economic center around large arts institutions and may range fromdevelopment in general are sadly few in number. Exceptions labeled usage in planning and promotional documents to Downloaded from by guest on March 27, 2013
  10. 10. Markusen and Gadwa 387legal designations in zoning ordinances. They often materi- arts (Alvarez 2005; Moriarity 2004). Stern and Seifert’s (1998)alize in creative city agendas without analysis of associated Philadelphia case studies show that new cultural capacityresource use or consequences (Brooks and Kushner 2001; can stabilize and revitalize neighborhoods without displacingEvans 2005; Frost-Kumpf 1998). Downtown development lower income and long-time residents while increasing diver-interests and urban arts coalitions often jump on the cultural sity in participation. None of the many case studies comparedistrict bandwagon (Whitt 1987). The rationales for such dis- outcomes to what might have happened (or has happenedtricts, when stated, include the assertion that concentration elsewhere) when resources have been spatially concentrated.will enable capture of economies of scale and will attract Adequate research for policy making and planning wouldmore tourists from outside the region (efficiency and growth evaluate before and after outcomes across a large number ofgoals) and will revitalize deteriorating central districts, arrest- cases and cities and incorporate other noncultural interven-ing further decline. tions in the model. To definitely detect results within a city Examples of historic U.S. cultural districts include or metro, longitudinal analysis must track waning as well asSan Francisco’s Civic Center, New York’s Lincoln Center, and waxing cultural nodes, comparing public investments andthe Seattle Center. The first of these dates from the City Beau- accounting for other contributing factors in each. To guidetiful era, while Lincoln Center was a major urban renewal city planners and decision makers on cultural versus otherproject and Seattle’s Center is the legacy of its 1962 World public investments, and which appear to be superior culturalFair. In each case, large performing arts spaces are colocated interventions, researchers should engage in comparativein a single destination district, detached from the fabric of research across a large number of cities (or metros), not aneighborhoods and residences. Both audience members and small undertaking.performers must travel by car or public transportation toattend and mount performances. Complementary experiences,including dining or shopping, are either internalized in the Cultural Tourismcultural facilities themselves or require a separate travel Should cities and states invest in cultural tourism initiativesdestination. to attract visitors from outside of the region? Or should pub- The arguments for designated cultural districts have been lic cultural investments be targeted at citizens and residents?questioned on multiple grounds. The labeling and imposing Currently, many larger cities and states are branding them-of cultural districts suggest that other neighborhoods are not selves as cultural destinations, not only in marketing but alsoculturally interesting or vibrant and may simply redirect with large new investments in flagship institutions, ofteninvestments within the city. Jacobs (1961) disparaged large- designed by world-class architects (Evans 2003; Grodachscale urban renewal, celebrating the multiplicity of distinc- 2007; Hammett and Shoval 2003). They aim at well-heeledtive cultural neighborhoods using Manhattan as a case study. visitors who will fly in to attend their new megatheaters,Borrup (2006b) critiqued the bias toward concentrated dis- opera houses, and museums, stay at hotels, and spend consid-tricts, illustrating the potential for smaller scale, dispersed erable amounts on restaurant meals. If the expected patronagecultural development with U.S. case studies. Stern and Seifert does not materialize, nonprofit arts organizations may have to(1998, 2007) have theorized that “natural” cultural districts shrink operations (quite a few regional symphonies have dis-evolve “organically as a result of individual agents’ decisions— banded in the past decade), and city governments must pay offcreators and participants, producers and consumers—to locate bonds for facilities that do not generate the expected revenues.near one another” (2007, 2) and suggest that minimal cluster- An expensive strategy, the case for cultural tourism relies oning and dispersion may be preferable on equity grounds. durable export base theory, which claims that only productionThese researchers emphasize the quality of life and equity sold outside the region will generate net revenues and growth.goals of cultural policy; they do not address the efficiency How reasonable is it to expect that cultural institutionsand growth ambitions. Although a new decentralized cul- will be supported and patronized by outsiders? The best artstural venue might prompt the emergence of several others impact studies have generated hard data on the characteristicsnearby—a theater, for instance, might encourage the creation of attendees to large cultural institutions or centers. In sepa-of cafes and bookstore—it is unclear whether these clusters rate studies on Los Angeles County (KPMG Peat Marwickmerely redistribute economic capacity across the region or 1994), Seattle’s King County (Beyers and GMA Researchadd net increments to local spending and cultural jobs. Corporation 2006), and New York City (Audience Research City planners and leaders would benefit from empirical & Analysis 2006), researchers determined how many attend-research on concentrated versus dispersed investments of ees came from outside the county or city, how many camecultural capital. Currently, the literature on cultural districts expressly to attend the particular public event or venue, andremains descriptive, based on case studies and not evaluative how much each party spent on average during its visit. Thestudies (e.g., Galligan 2008). Decentralized artistic districts share of cultural tourists in each study ranges in the 10 percentin Chicago (Wali, Severson, and Longoni 2002; Wali et al. to 20 percent range. Even these are overestimates because in2006) and Silicon Valley reveal expanded participation in the the Seattle and New York cases, attendees from surrounding Downloaded from by guest on March 27, 2013
  11. 11. 388 Journal of Planning Education and Research 29(3)counties were considered to be out-of-town visitors. Though quasi-experimental models, and at the neighborhood levelthe researchers found that out-of-town tourists spend about with mixed quantitative and qualitative methods.twice as much as local residents when visiting a cultural des- Third, researchers should look beyond developing met-tination, overwhelming numbers of visits were made by rics to gauge whether or not a cultural plan has generatedlocal residents or by visitors who came to the city for other anticipated outcomes to ask how the process influences thereasons (conventions, family) and were as likely to stay product. For instance, can we generalize that varying degreeswith family and friends as at a hotel. Thus, local and regional of different stakeholder involvement translate into differentresidents may be more important as cultural policy targets types of cultural investments? Which local institutional andthan visitors. funding structures are most effective and at what geographic The case for targeting local consumers is based on the scales?hypotheses and insights from qualitative studies that chal- Last, what are the merits and weaknesses of specific alter-lenge export base theory. By providing local cultural capac- native cultural strategies? We presented theoretical argumentsity, a city or region can capture a larger share of existing suggesting that minimal clustering and dispersion may be aresidents’ discretionary income that might otherwise be spent sounder strategy than concentrated cultural districts on bothon imports or leisure and entertainment elsewhere. It may equity and efficiency grounds, but these hypotheses deservealso contribute to the development of new product or service rigorous testing. Past research indicates the cultural tourismlines that begin to be exported, and it may attract new resi- strategies are likely to provide only modest, if any, economicdents for whom the quality of life is more important than development benefits and only for the very largest cities andthe location of their jobs and businesses (Markusen 2007; some highly specialized medium-sized cities. Other culturalMarkusen and Schrock 2009). A strategy of developing a dis- planning tools, ranging from targeted incentives for firms intinctive artistic expertise marketed to locals and the surround- cultural industries to planning regulations, such as zoning,ing region may also attract more tourists in the longer run. low-income housing, rent control, and historic preservation,These competing hypotheses deserve testing. Comparative represent other important research frontiers.studies of outcomes across a large set of cities (that vary in Cultural planners and civic leaders are urgently in need ofthe degree to which they target tourists) would help cultural the answers to the research questions identified in this arti-planners make good decisions. cle. Without this knowledge, many are operating on the basis of “if we build it, they will come” mentalities. Decision makers often favor ephemeral tourists over their own resi-Elements of a Cultural Planning dents as patrons, overinvest in large-scale arts facilities thatResearch Agenda may become expensive white elephants in the longer run,The creative city buzz has jolted cities and smaller towns into focus on particular districts (and the real estate interests thatcompeting on the cultural front. The “Cool Cities” initiative have a stake in them) rather than the mosaic of offerings thatin Michigan, for instance, with state money attached, sent already exist, and fail to build decision-making frameworkstowns of all sizes scrambling to stylize themselves as such where artists, smaller scale arts organizations, and a multi-(Peck 2005). Despite this interest and momentum, cultural plicity of distinctive cultural communities can participate inplanners are functioning without the benefit of evidence of cultural planning. At its worst, cultural planning at the statewhich approaches work and at what urban and regional and local level becomes captive of particular real estatescales. We see four areas of inquiry as crucial opportunities interests, cultural industries, and cultural elites and thusfor researchers to strengthen understanding of cultural plan- fruitful ground for consultants who promise great plans thatning theory and practice. often turn out to be window dressing. In Europe and devel- First, researchers should unpack, critique, and evaluate oping countries, consultants working globally (Evans 2001)cultural planning outcomes according to implicit and explicit as external catalysts on cultural strategies reinforce spatialnorms and goals. For example, do plans for cultural districts divides and social exclusion (Evans and Foord 2003). Theseacknowledge equity concerns? Is the cultural initiative an arguments are themselves subject to the test of rigorousefficient investment, or are public dollars better spent on an research. We hope this call for a broad and interdisciplinaryalternative cultural strategy or an initiative completely out- research agenda will contribute to better knowledge andside of the creative city realm? practice. Second, researchers should also vet the most frequentlyemployed rational for cultural initiatives—the theorized Acknowledgmentscausal link to economic development. Those conducting Special thanks to Karen Chapple, Greg Schrock, Weiping Wu, andeconomic impact studies should acknowledge and estimate several anonymous reviewers for comments on prior versions andthe substitution effect and document the extent of leakages to Mary Lou Middleton for editorial support.from the local economy from a given arts or cultural invest-ment. Past comparative descriptions and correlation exer- Declaration of Conflicting Interestscises could be strengthened at the regional level with more The authors declared no potential conflicts of interest with respect tosophisticated multivariate models, in smaller towns with the authorship and/or publication of this article. Downloaded from by guest on March 27, 2013
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