Ποιειν Και Πραττειν - create and do

Case Studies II

Part 2 of 2

3. The comparative study on how fractalization is initiated and what determines the choice of replicable forms

This needs to be investigated as a way of understanding what is being ‘replicated’ (and perhaps why) versus other possible choices for city form in modern times.” (Sue Tilden, 13.12.95)

The cultural impact of planning methods has not been understood because really of no great public concern nor the impact of specific planning methods upon culture has been evaluated. The latter is really a description of oversights, or else demonstrates inabilities to perceive deeper implications upon life by what is going on. Without any artistic insight, all of this relates to a kind of superficiality stemming from what kind of business people persue, in order to make a living. Value premises of a community are then confused with what is really a business game whether now exercised in the interest of short or long run gains. This fact deprives cities of any self-sustainability because what is decided and planned for at official levels has no relevance for the outcome within this long term strategy of keeping power at a minimum of exposure to the public eye. That is important in terms of legitimisations of decisions made and outcomes evoked as used by the cities within CIED.

The search for a ‘civil city’ has to address the main question as to how needs are identified and responded to not only once, at the beginning, but how this recognition is replicated over time, that is with each practical step translated into motivation and continuity, so that planned events reinforce each other and create as such the gurantee of a self-sustainable project / development. Planning and culture, the making and usage of created spaces, have to conjoin at the level of the ‘imagination’. In that sense, the original working hypothesis on how to link culture and economic development will be validated itself by the efforts (financial, architectual, user study, implementation and operation) undertaken for the following years and subsequent future.

How is fractalization initiated and what determines the choice of replicable forms?






CIED - general

How might this be driven? Selected?






3.1 Purpose of the Pilot Projects in CIED

By carrying through specific Case Studies within the framework of CIED, the aim is to solicit new approaches to understanding and shaping urban / economic development. The latter ought to be governed by the freedom of choice; in reality, the choice is not that free and things are determined more by a struggle for a perspective with various options. They may be called mere variations of the same theme, namely on how to earn money within a market economy determined by a number of factors: history, economic crisis, cultural weaknesses etc.. The question of choice within a search for perspective relates, therefore, to a crucial, equally problematic understanding of ‘economy’.

By adding the cultural dimension, the matter of choice becomes an evaluative answer as to what forms of survival (means by which needs are satisfied) are desirable, equally vital for the well-being of the citizens of that city. By the same token, and in the absence of any comprehensive political economy or ‘philosophy of economy’, requirements of survival can be translated into a need for ‘culturally mediated economic forms’. That is, projects are not singularly defined by money alone nor are mere economic feasibility asked for, when it comes to making decisions. Choice implies always having a chance to do something.

This is why CIED stands for a quality approach to planning. Methodically, it implies the application of a practical philosophy or the governance of wisdom when it comes to dealing with the cultural ramifications of certain economic developments. That has, in turn, consequences for the concept of balance in terms of human practice and means for the improvement of decision making processes to strengthen the know-how as to the limitations of planning itself.

The general interest of CIED in these case studies is to comprehend the ‘system of filters’ used by various actors when coming together, in order to decide accordingly what object of interest shall be implemented. A system of filters exists through the various cultural choices made, e.g. methodology and/or tools used. It is there to guide the component selection of tools/factors in the planning process.

As a matter of fact, the decision making process reflects itself how priorities are set, what constraints are applied out of a general value premise and not because of strict empirical facts (e.g. no one should build at the sea side since part of the collective identity and hence consensus - example of Palermo’s concept) and what is done or not due to fear of negative impacts, e.g. new road system upon the environment.

Subsequently, fractal planning relates to what can be replicated as a result of a start-up event in further smaller steps at micro-levels of every concrete locality. This has to be evaluated in terms of what can be reflected back again at general planning level. One criterion for this is to what extent this manages to satisfy needs and helps in finding some workable consensus at the practical level.

It will be easier at the general level, that is where the Master Plan for the city is being shaped and discussed, to know the degree of reliability and/or agreement with the local levels, including neighbourhoods and especially sensitive areas neglected until now from all standpoints, e.g. poor districts around former active harbours and such areas which have ‘no future’. Especially Dino Trapani (Palermo) is keen to emphasize that without such local consensus nothing will be possible, in particular when it comes to doing public works, e.g. new sewage system.

Hence fractal planning is depicted the way in which rules and laws are understood, that is, how they are used in such cases of development. If used as guidelines to direct and to shape the area in an appropriate way and form, then this shows how the very concept of ‘practicality’ was used in the past, that is when only dependent upon feasibility studies and a simplified notion of empirical reality. The real effort of CIED is to shape the notion of ‘practicality’ according to cultural impact studies, and that means taking into account culture not only as a particular factor, but also as a complexity within which processes can take place, e.g. good discussions, so that the citizens are informed and needs accordingly considered when planning for future developments. Always the key reference shall be the matter of what ‘filters’ are used to shape what by means of a specific selection of variables, system components, viewpoints, identifiable needs, possible constraints (numerical ones) due to a certain or given situation.

The American planner Sue Tilden would, therefore, pose the following questions:

“how could the application of such filters allow only certain replicable components to be accessible as city-building choices? (This differs from actually pre-selecting the components rigidly.)” (from her letter 13.12.95) “how could a ‘natural’ replication be instigated that self-determines and self-reinforces, and is this possible in today’s development environment?” (op.cit.)

Both these questions should become realistic components of the discussion within CIED, and in understanding the implications of them, try to answer them through the various case studies undertaken. For example, does or does not the initiative to rebuild and to restore a certain building appear for even the innocent passer-by to be just another of those

3.2 Values and cultural insights

To repeat, artistic viewpoints of a city are important sources of information. They can help at the ‘image’ making level, but also in terms of substance are they crucial, in order to gauge how the urban conditions affect the lives of people, including their expressions. They reflect more precisely on how can be lived within the confinements of any modern urban setting. The latter is defined today more by cars rather than by children playing in the streets. Urban spaces alter with these developments, leaving ‘imaginary spaces’ often dependent upon where the ‘blue notes’ went as Jazz in New York developed, just as focus of problems shifted away from Harlem and to the Bronx. Consequently when considering cultural and historical maps of cities, then two conjoining points should be of interest:

poetic insights (imaginative maps) information processes until functional

planning level is reached and responses

to changes mark urban policy

Example: James Joyce - his description of Dublin has become today a cultural path for tourists

Main question: “What is liveable, what is humanly replicable, what

resonates with people?” (Sue Tilden)

Problem:Why do we have worldwide replication of ‘modern’

cityscapes and edgescapes which are so inhuman -

why are the outskirts of even small Greek towns much

more like the outskirts of Athens and Los Angeles and

Port au Prince than of their own hinterland?”

(Sue Tilden)

The value ‘human’ can be translated into scale, tempo, communication possibilities and living conditions. Ever since Vincent Van Gogh described the conditions of those living and working in London as people who still carry the good, old stories in their hearts despite most dismal surroundings, the appeal to the senses has not been refreshing enough. The tempo has been forced by technological expansion at the cost of almost anything else, including any natural environment or historical landscape. Important in this regard was the lecture by Peadar O’Dowd at the Galway Conference in October 1997 since sometimes many things go unnoticed although a particular shape of a square surrounded today by modern apartment buildings still reflects the original form existing in the past.

3.3 Solutions - new concepts for urban planning

When poets and planners discussed during the conference “Myth of the City” held in Crete, 1995 the implications of High-Tech Centres like the one of Forthnet outside Iraklion being located in the most beautiful rural countryside, then it was Brendan Kennelly who coined a new concept: ‘rur-urb’. He meant such a place is “further out than a suburb and refers to the rural scape place”.

Indeed, cities by themselves are no longer self-contained entities and their presence spills over into the countryside. That is why care has to be taken that the relationship city-region is considered within the framework of an ‘interactive planning process’, that is equally willing to take into consideration what happens in the countryside.

For example, the Bishop Irinaios of Kissamos, Crete would like to have 100 villages rather than the countryside being emptied of people because everyone moves to the two main growth poles, Chania and Iraklion, if not right away to Athens or even further. This model of the 100 cities can be understood according to him as follows:

“In it we find a distributed system in which every societal component has not been co-opted by a couple of major cities - in which people could distribute themselves according to a more evenly spread population pattern across the landscape (including both urban and rural areas) while still maintaining access to necessary services and amenities.”

This remark raises the interesting question at the general level, but who uses cities and how should they be build (planned) to accommodate the needs of those willing to use these cities? That question might be trite when compared to people who feel they do not merely use a city, but that they have lived there their entire life and would not conceive of having any identity independent of the town they live in. Location plays a big role in concepts of identity, even though there is a non-identity aspect to everything as much a stronger love, at times, of the outsider or stranger to a certain place than what local residents can still conceive to be of importance in terms of need of preserving a place. That imaginary crossing of different intentions, to preserve versus to modernise but two conflict lines, underlines the fact that European history is not only full of examples of displacements, while ‘schools of thoughts’ in terms of architecture, planning and urban development left their imprints over time. There are common elements and distinctive ones as well, and they contribute towards shaping the character of a place.

Thus to develop a notion of ‘harmonious development’ is not to acclaim that is possible to resolve the major conflicts. Rather it would be much more rational to scale down development patterns according to identification patterns of what affects development:

what are disturbances interventions brings about counter-balances and reactions, if not too late?

Given this, there is a need to ask the following question: is it possible to conceive a development which does not lead to the destruction of the rural-countryside (due to negative spill over effects) and does not empty the ‘inner city’? It is a fact that historical cities fragment under increasing pressures to modernise (Andre Loeckx) and turn into ‘edge cities’, while everything else appears to be fringing out. In the end, there is no knowing where a city is beginning, where ending?

In search for solutions, leading models for replication have to be discussed and evaluated accordingly. They can be considered as physical, financial and cultural adaptation patterns bringing forth liveable urban forms fulfilling the highest standards while remaining in their core basically human. Discussions with planners and architects will indicate to what extend the CIED case studies touch upon these three dimensions and manage to distinguish, but also bring together the different levels within a cohesive whole, e.g. the ‘cultural quarter idea’ persued by Cardiff.

The physical adaptation is both an ecological as much as a practical way of shaping things while respecting needs of people living in cities, including greenery and circulation of ‘good air’. Some fantastic ideas in this direction have been proposed by the artist Hundertwasser, while lay-outs of some New Towns in England have been planned in such a way, that children can walk to school or ride their bicycles without ever coming into contact with road traffic. Palermo is interesting in re-introducing agriculture within the city’s borders and hope to re-connect former park-like venues. At general level, this has to mean a development towards a kind of landscape architecture which tries to take environmental and cultural characteristics into consideration when designing new buildings and urban lay-outs. That extends itself into the building materials used, and yet often the comment is made that preserving a cultural characteristic, including building materials, e.g. wood and not cement, may not mean the most appropriate type of building, given local weather conditions, e.g. lots of rain in Galway.

In short, there must be some learning process possible, that is archaeological and architectual heritage kept compatible with technical developments. Of interest, is the attitude adopted by planners like Dino Trapani in Palermo, namely to study with wisdom past public works, e.g. for sewage and cooling buildings, created by the Arabs when active in Palermo, and rather than ignoring this historical feat, re-use that former system with modern improvements. That touches upon restoration techniques where many mistakes can be made, e.g. using nails which rust over time for putting together marble pillars as the case with the Acropolis.

Aside from the physical aspects guiding through cultural filters planners to shape cities accordingly, there is also the dependency upon ‘funding’, that is the financial adaptation. More and more it is becoming apparent, that planners and local authorities need to know what kind of money (public/private/mixture) leads to what impact upon ‘culture’, that is, the living quality within cities and their regions.

At the Galway conference Michael D. Higgins made available such an evaluation sheet for funding of culture under these different premises. That can contribute towards our common parameters (cross-cultural references and impact studies), provided the one parameter pointed out by Phil Cooke, namely the ‘financial engineering’ of a project is understood as an accounting and financing approach under the replicable conditions. Not every architecture of financing makes possible multi-complex interactions with an overall positive outcome, including sustainable jobs and an approach to life which can be described as a positive risk-taking towards success.

Finally, the point made by Jesse Marsh in earlier papers resulting out of discussions with Agate Bazzi and, in particular, his effort to create a complex network linking local enterprises (Small and Medium sized companies) to the regional and global level (the idea of ‘Palazzo Intelligente’), touches upon the necessary infrastructural preconditions for further implementation processes. As a concept this is a part of the cultural adaptation process every city must keep alive, if it is to remain alive, that is competitive. Within CIED Cardiff, Leipzig, Volos and Palermo have gone most recently through a huge crisis linked to the collapse of their former industrial and economical basis, whereby Palermo is an exception as much as Galway so far not named in this context because Palermo has always relied heavily upon being an administrative centre while Galway is experiencing a continuous growth due to many attractions it offers to both visitors and people willing to re-settle from somewhere else to Galway and region.

That makes the case studies important in finding out what replicates or not both the physical and the financial adaptation process. Already a study by the German Ministry of Economy calls for a correction in planning which has lead to so-called investments in retail businesses merely on the outskirts of especially cities of Eastern Germany, that is on the so-called ‘green meadows’, going at the expense of inner city developments. Leipzig is trying hard to correct that mistake, but without a major shift in terms of ‘cultural innovation’ this will not be possible. Cultural adaptation requires really a re-thinking and re-orientation on the part of not only planners, but equally of all involved in decision-making processes. The main problem is to take certain risks or not, for as Sue Tilden would ask repeatedly, if not, then a mere sameness prevailing in cities around the world would be reproduced. That would lead the urban development into a ‘col de sac’ and severe the contact with economic reality in more than one way.

Efforts to keep physical, financial and cultural adaptation together are reflected in such planning concepts as ‘mixed usage efforts’ with various, not entirely satisfactory results precisely because complexity of life cannot be planned on mere presupposed principles. For instance, the very successful urban renewal efforts of Galway with business centre at ground level, parking spaces above and on the second level the start of even row houses works only to a certain extend because instead of having attracted permanent residents, the residential places are rented by long-term tourist dwellers giving the area an artificial time rhythm. At the same time, while free spaces within the city have been used up due to Galway having become a boom town in terms of tourism, the artistic and cultural flavour of all kinds of spaces used for different purposes, e.g. the start of the Galway Arts Festival, has been all but lost. It may mean that too much attention was given to ‘tax bases’ or rental returns when re-developing the city. As expressed during the workshops of the Galway conference, this had the side-effect that the arts and true sources of culture without such proof of being financially capable of providing the city with a stable income, were left out although they had given to the city the reputation by which it could attract so many new people both as residents and as tourists.

These concerns are a part of the thematic agenda as proposed by Palermo for the Galway conference in an effort to continue refining planning methodologies to be used and tested by the case studies. Since the evaluator of CIED echoes fears of the European Commission that too much emphasis is given to ‘studies’, it should be said that case studies can be easily misunderstood if only taken as a theoretical exercise. Yet even decision making processes require monitoring and further reflections, in order to realise that economic categories alone when it comes to making a decision for or against a concrete project are not risk-taking orientated enough because they exclude cultural considerations. The latter means first of all whether people support the idea or not, that is whether the project can be sustained over time, that is culturally speaking for only then can we say that this fulfils preconditions of being replicable or not. To guide the case studies with the help of planning simulation models, including the work with indicators and the know-how how concrete interventions with what expected as opposed to real impact are derived from the Master Plan, the proposal of Palermo is centred, therefore, around four questions:

individuation the categories of significant data for simulation models to allow for comparison between the CIED partners; focus also on the legislative issue, in order to clarify decision making processes of the cultural policies in different cities/regions, so that a new optimal and managerial model can be proposed as part of the ‘Good Practise Manual’ (the final outcome of CIED); build up of archive, usage of WWW page sites, in order to have a rational systematisation approach to materials which prove the cultural activities and objectives as part of efforts to strengthen argumentations for a quality approach to investment decisions in the cultural fields; relate to “real cultural experiences”, in order to avoid the pitfalls of ‘cultural tourism’ or mere imagine promotion of local cultures for tourist purposes alone, since culture and the objective of maintaining at physical level a distinct cultural identity has to do with preserving “environments characterising the cultural experience” in that particular city.

When showing these four thematic fields of possible explorations to Spyros Mercouris, the brother of the late Melina Mercouris, he responded with great interest, but identified immediately the fourth one as the most difficult one. The term ‘cultural management’ does not even cover that completely, although user concepts, if in a cultural sense, relate to that. In other words, the presuppositions in the 5 cases of CIED are that a higher level of cultural activities as linked to a concrete project can be handled both in terms of infrastructural and managerial requirements. It speaks for itself that the first comment made by a hotelier in the city of Thessaloniki about having been 1997 the European cultural capital was really the ‘wish to have a second chance, in order to correct all the mistakes made during the first time around’.

4. Presuppositions transformed through the case studies into Preconditions

Without claiming to be now systematic, cultural refinement of planning methodology must start with a normative description of what is the main development model presently persued and implemented at regional level. This provides ‘orientation’, insofar as it helps to identify ‘criteria of success’ and which ought to be modified by the case studies.

Such normative descriptions link the question what cultural consensus measures to apply to ‘values’ people may have and planning regulations, including practical guidelines. By having a cultural committee define the user group and the guidelines for the user study, usage of an object will depend upon the ability to define kinds of activities which lead to a realisation and acknowledgement of the regional values. Insofar this has to do with ‘cultural identity’ care must be taken to take into account adaptation needs. There is also from a point of view planners may take up following thing to consider as expressed by Sue Tilden in her letter (13.12.95) responding to the wish to bring about CIED:

“The dignity of man living humanely in a harmonious environment is a replicable model eminently compatible with concept of regional integrity, maintenance of culture and tradition and also with the emerging technologies of the electronic frontier.”

The case studies will most likely question ideals like ‘harmonious’ relationships, since in a highly competitive world things can get at times rather rough and tough. Yet it is doubtful that any regional policy would propose a conflictual path of development, for that would absorb too many resources without any ‘positive’ outcome. Again, it is a question of what regional values mean in terms of being successful or not.

Certainly Volos is, for example, in anguish for having lost its former higher status as regional centre to the now booming city of Larissa situated much better, transport wise. Measures which Volos may take, can disqualify themselves very quickly by being merely of compensatory nature, if care is not taken to be very truthful about the search for success. Here the looking at the past and what it can offer as resource for re-creating the regional identity, that seems to have become a major premise in Volos. Still the success of that effort will depend exactly what Sue Tilden describes above on the realisation of the ‘dignity of man’. The latter is more than mere preserving ‘heritage skills’ as a means of keeping both tradition and local developments in tune with what is considered to be the local identity. Indeed, the case study for Volos will have to show that the user concept for the former Brick Factory does coincide with the kind of replicable model, so that the past can be integrated into the ongoing present. In other words, it has to feed into the overall ‘cultural adaptation process’, if to be considered as successful by measures articulated through CIED.

In discussing this replicable model with Sue Tilden, she mentioned that the dynamic character of people is a crucial aspect for local development, provided their ‘anarchronistic, indeed unmodern ways of doing things’ can be combined with demands of modernity. This is the case if the people are ready to be ‘aggressive and energetic enough to embrace new technologies’ and use properly the resources these technologies can make available. The test for Volos will be, therefore, how through the telecommunication means access to the past can be not only provided, but becomes a part of the historical map.

5. Analytical-Practical Questions

As everyone knows, planning components and time table for the implementation process form a conjunct set

The crucial question is whether or not CIED can serve as a leading model to be replicated in other projects? An answer will depend upon whether or not the case studies prove to be capable of combining a filtered fractal development model (from normative descriptions as to what is a desired development to work with indicators, e.g. Palermo) with efforts to redesign the future by becoming a more sensitive replica of the past.

The case studies ought to cover the grounds of city cultures, urbanism and its impact upon regional development. At the same time, it should not be forgotten that there remains a huge difference between availability of technology and on how usage is made thereof, since the negative side of commercialisation is that too many things are equally discarded, thrown away or forgotten before being assessed in their values for the future.

The synthesis of analytical and practical questions are really the critical questions and measurements with regards to ‘sustainability’. Depending on the quality of measurements truly applied of both a quantitative and qualitative kind, the answers to that difficult term of sustainability will vary considerable. Points of references when comparing the outcomes of the case studies can be the following ones:

what self-limiting mechanisms or built-in “stop” points (much like genetic marker proteins) that indicate when a growth sequence should cease and creation of a new centre begin? do the “genetic messengers” have to be legalistic? Here can be examined codification of land-use, studies made so far, development concepts in the area, experiences with other projects, legal planning framework, etc. must they be minutely planned and selected to overcome the counterforce attractors of greed and ‘alien’ development patterns?, or are ‘guidelines’ sufficient - what changes in the ‘planning’ culture are needed when involving ‘local authorities’ struggling to be heard at regional level (what linkages exist, how can they be improved upon?), or do things occur naturally, as the needs of the citizenry dictate? organisation types within the region setting and presupposing a definite value pattern does exist (e.g. image of a place the reality - tough reality), the main question of Sue Tilden is: “Is the hierarchical model of religious organisations’, distribution of services and personnel another valid pattern, one which is more driven by expressed human needs than market or bureaucratic forces?”

These four components touch upon the practical sides of planning, and through the case studies to see (and not only study) what things are reinforced both economically and politically, e.g. Palermo being a bureaucratic centre and with political forces working closely together with the churches, what does that mean in real terms of implementation processes. Overall, there seems to be re-entering the drive towards hierarchical solutions whether now bottom-up or top-down driven. Such solutions are even suggested by the European Town Planning Association wishing to re-draft the Charta of Athens talked about at the beginning of this paper. Needless to say, in philosophy and cultural anthropology the concern for human needs confronts usually the problems arising out of hierarchical distinctions. The latter are considered to be the biggest, still not resolved problems of mankind. For they reflect the inadequacy of information and communication systems when it comes to taking decisions in consideration of the complexity of life as mediated by culture between what people need and what an urban environment can offer.

If the case study ends evaluating what contribution the new project will make to the amenities and services provided by the urban environment, then it is important to recall that cities without culture is like falling back behind any abilities of self-organisation and hence of having no sustainability at all. What is needed, therefore, is a careful cultural built-up based upon consensus about the urban and regional identity. It implies that certain things must be interwoven between culture and economic models of survival, so that the character of the place is answered equally by the social and cultural cohesion. The old town of Palermo was for a long time no longer such a place because of being controlled and equally abandoned or misused by the Mafia. That means quests for integrity and what exists do not necessarily coincide. Therefore, the major encounter with human needs is really at the split between what prevailing needs are satisfied and which articulation of needs the current ‘economic model’ really prevents.

That is a problem of different levels, that is especially when they no longer really communicate with one another, while small events are constantly overshadowed by bigger ones having all the makings of creating an illusionary unity when there is in true terms none whatsoever. The role of spectacles as cultural feasts is also a matter of how media and distractions techniques are used to create such a sensational unity, that everyone wonders after the event is over, where the real sense of the human community has gone to? The questions of social exclusion, poverty, unemployment, living in debts, etc. all lead to the same point, namely of having no sense of ‘human dignity’ and, therefore, but a lack of respect for the other as if life is just a turmoil. It is not by accident that all of these European projects are accompanied by a great deal of mistrust since people are sceptical that something concrete is being done in order to secure ‘positive’ outcomes with benefit to all.

Thus care should be taken to try for an ‘interwoven network’ as basis of any project, so that traditional ways of doing things and technological components can both be relied upon, in order to get things done. From there to a scale of values added to the already existing amenities and services the value of the project can be derived. This has to be articulated in terms of maximum service area / capacity of service centres - health, education, transport, energy, police, administration, postal and communication - to maintain a ‘quality of care’ for all citizens improvements upon local and regional educational facilities especially in the light of telecommunication capabilities libraries and other types of information centres with multi-media possibilities legal system, including access to legal documents, courts and legal advise possibilities municipal services basic resources: water, air, electricity, fuels, food connected with some basic requirments linked to garbage collection, rubbish recycling efforts and other disposal mechanisms, in order to deal with the problem of destroyed resources and quality losses of the environment and the need for new solutions to regenerate ‘natural replica’. sustainable tourism development patterns commercial and residential development, where and how it will be encouraged or allowed?

All these points have to be evaluated in what way they are connected / disconnected with the distinctive cultural and environmental context of a place?

When regarding the identification of needs by the 5 partners of CIED, the answer so far has been much more at the level of image making policy of the local authorities themselves, then an evaluation of plans made so far and what was a real ‘model of success’, as claimed at this image level, when in fact a failure, culturally speaking, as far as being a positive challenge to the increasing commercialisation of life in all of its facets. That means the lessons have to be drawn out of that, and translated into practical guidelines when it comes to re-usage of former industrial buildings, that is the heritage of the recent past.

Sue Tilden’s final comment in this regard of ‘failures’ is an important departure for questioning so-called success stories when in reality things are much more complicated, included the life of artists working within a traditional heritage centre as the case outside of Galway:

“Many times in planning, certain actions or initiatives do not work, the plan doesn’t ‘take’ in a specific situation such as the downtown development plan that doesn’t result in a rejuvenated and lively downtown, or a commercial venture that fails to inspire investment or generate jobs.”

Very often these ‘failures’ are brought about by the politically driven wish for short-term, that is overt success stories. Failures as cultural contradictions are often overlooked by Local Authorities very often because the need to link up with current developments is greater than any other consideration. The drive towards modernisation no matter the costs in cultural terms reflects itself in a lack of know-how on how to generate through ‘cultural activities’ extra values and make use of them.

6. Pilot Projects of CIED

The main question of planning once refined by taking culture into consideration is how to let ‘fractal replication occur’? Sue Tilden’s definition of such a model is:

“Ripple effects are evident in such phenomena as gentrification or some special use development such as an area that seems to ‘attract’ horse back riding.”

Usage in a specific sense means doing something culturally, in order to produce that extra value, and this means not doing something else which would lead to a loss of character of place. The one in terms of the other means really ‘protection’, but how to enforce protective zones when it comes to cultural activities in a certain area? How should the mechanisms look like that discourage other kinds of developments? Volos is confronted by this problem insofar the upgrading of the historical centre (the former castle area) has by now attracted many night clubs and discos for young people to go there, and all of a sudden a quiet neighbourhood has traffic (parking/noise) problems late at night. Thus areas of development defined by the core project itself needs to be understood in terms of the direction local development ought to go and what can be the best guidance for that. Again the outcome seems to depend on the ‘good practise’ followed when implementing the project in the first place.

This is to say, there must be a ‘start event’ of all Pilot Projects and this start must be made known in the areas and regions of the other CIED partners. This must occur in a ‘receptive medium’ (WEB page of Palermo is a start). The project idea must be strong, but not cataclysmic, so that it can be sustained or repeated. The project must have a definite shape and be characteristic of the area, that is made replicable.

How to succeed in encouraging replication, this is a matter of planned reinforcements of the ‘start event’ (part of the cultural consensus measure build-ups and how the event has been disseminated). Things should be talked into existence, if they cannot be sustained, especially culturally speaking. Local Authorities are also very sensitive when budgetary commitments lead only to ‘bad press reports’, since the charge of wastage of money is already enough to jeopardise any possible re-election.

Hence the replication pattern decided upon should be used to filter down and up the ‘start event’, e.g. announcement in Leipzig of its project being the ‘Museum for Work and Industry’, so that this process of communication in public and in private can become in turn a ‘filter component’, in order to distinguish what can and should be planned and what can be an outcome of ‘cultural impulses’ absorbed or responded to in a certain way.

The final outcome shall be evaluated according to what further support shall be needed, in order to continue with the project - the answer to that will depend on how the project has managed already to draw on existing resources or shown the way towards making proper usage of resources. It is a convincing project right from the start.

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