Ποιειν Και Πραττειν - create and do

Cultural Impact Studies

Part 1 of 2

Status: Final Report - Sept. 1999
Dr. Hatto Fischer
CIED Co-ordination


CIED recommends that ‘cultural impact studies’ replace feasibility studies as part of an overall effort to refine current planning practices.
This recommendation is made in face of a growing need to guide pending decisions by local and regional authorities, municipalities, but also other levels of political institutions towards a greater sensibility for cultural needs and cultural potentialities. Cultural impact studies are meant not only to be a corrective of such decisions which would otherwise lead to non-sustainable developments if there were not included cultural considerations. They are also meant to be forward looking by taking a multitude of factors into consideration, in order that viability and sustainability are compatible criteria for decision making process and assessments of the implementation process itself. Indeed, the impact upon an entire culture is needed to be spanned due to the direction modern and in particular global economies are taking. This means nothing can be done in isolation and without any correlation as to what is going on elsewhere. Such ‘cultural impact studies’ grasp the opportunity of a comprehensive viewpoint being needed even before evaluation and self-evaluation sets in as a process of democratic accountability.

In that sense, one of the main findings of the CIED conference held in Leipzig, September 1998 is that city development has to remain related to the very concept of being a European city. This means that the very concept of a city is born out of a cultural governance for things to come. This includes self and collective responsibility for survival within the urban context and on this earth. It means to anticipate and to continuously learn by passing through experiences which only cities can make possible, but which is not a ‘natural given’. Rather the urban context requires quite a different unification of the senses.

Culture stands here for measure in terms of what people not only need, but can support both in the short and long run. This recommendation is thus an integral part of practical guidelines and constitutes the tools to be used in future so as to be able to guide cities and regions - urban centres as carriers of identities for the entire region - towards sustainable development.
For this purpose CIED has worked out a ‘Good Practice Manual’ consisting of three parts: political declarations of the partners synthesised at the overall level through the Palermo principles and made operational by the Leipzig objectives; the framework conditions for the implication are thus a part of an overall creative process in which the five CIED partners have been engaged in over two years; and as a final part of the Good Practice Manual, CIED provides both an overview and in some cases extended and validated tools to be used to further good practice at all levels of urban and regional planning.

Cultural Impact Studies are one of the main instruments the CIED project has been working on and although not complete, the descriptive part of these studies should provide an insight and explanation as to the value of such a methodology that can be shared at European level by different actors and member states.

1. Cultural Impact Studies

It is well known that ‘cultural impact studies’ are most difficult especially if needed to validate and proof that specifically cultural projects lead to the creation of jobs. Since creation of jobs can be reformulated into also a subject of inquiry as to how and what kind of specific economic development leads to the creation of such cultural infrastructures which make in turn more accessible ‘human resources’, then it is not merely a matter of linking direct with indirect impact analysis, but coming to terms with the modern economic world, how it organises itself and on what basis ‘employment’ can be still assessed by conventional statistical methods. Clearly the move towards ‘working with indicators’, but also what the improvement for the question of labour is implied by the difference between the Maastricht and Amsterdam treaty, this ought also to be taken into account. Thus CIED wants to refocus local and bottom-up approaches to democratic accountabilities when it comes to using all kinds of resources to create jobs within the context of not only day-by-day living processes having a cultural imprint and setting, but to make the question of culture and economic development out of the perspective of planning into a main issue for future deliberations at European level and hence also as to how to locate resources. Insofar CIED was a pilot project financed by DG XVI, this means that the recommendations wish to underline the tentative nature of these recommendations and the need to stress a very careful, equally practical deliberation must secure equally a progressive learning process as outcome as much as some very concrete outcomes. The latter are constituted within CIED by its case studies linked to the reconversion of former industrial sites and buildings as part of the urban development in need of being resolved before the viability and sustainability of these cities are secured.

CIED departed in 1997 from a given situation marked by break-down in ‘cultural consensus’ within cities, e.g. Galway, due to not only rapid urbanisation and fragmentation, but also because the original source of development was a cultural one while ongoing practice was more and more destroying the very source of inspiration the city had obtained from such cultural activities, e.g. Galway’s Arts Festival and its open ended venues with each year being a new one, so that the very process of empty spaces being used up more and more lead to the institutionalisation of the Arts Festivals which lost thereby the positive interaction between content and space - a multiple way of experiencing urban space and discovering the city every year anew. For that reason one of the main objectives of CIED has become “learn to use, but not abuse culture” and as such explains the specific nature of the practical guidelines making up the recommendations.

Subsequently it is the case that the practical guidelines of CIED for ‘cultural impact studies’ point in a different direction, that is away from purely economic driven types of development. By including cultural considerations, they direct towards such a type of planning that can be considered as an overall ‘learning process’. This means planning has also to do with listening and recording what people say about the place where the planning intervention is to take place in order to deduce and to interpret from this such practical guidelines as they can be used for the planning intervention. That means, CIED recommends that planning decisions must be based above all on well-founded and through impact studies substantiated anticipation’s as to the ‘cultural sustainability’ of any future project.

Cultural sustainability as prime criterion means answering the question, will the project have upon people and upon city development in general such an impact, that the support and the possibility of participation in the ‘learning process’ is guranteed over a long period of time. It means securing the ‘continuity of identity’ while including different standpoints so as to ensure both cultural identity and economic activities are compatible with the need to safeguard ‘cultural diversity’.

In financial terms, this means looking into such schemes as the willingness or not to operate the project on cost-sharing terms with the local population, while public and different types of private investments ensure that local, regional and international demands for the local products and services are secured on the basis of retaining the meaning of place while not growing over dependent upon any one of these three types of demands. For the meaning of place is related to independence, or as Michael D. Higgins put it, on the complementarity between the ‘sovereignty of the imagination’ and the ‘integrity of memory’.

The examination and the validated use of ‘cultural impact studies’ as demonstrated here by CIED took place within the premise of the European Commission’s wish to know the impact of culture upon economic development, that is what potentialities culture has to create jobs, while heeding the Commission’s worry about the increasingly negative impact of recent economic developments, marked mainly by ‘over commercialization threatening or destroying cultural identities’ and ‘the meaning of places’ in Europe.

1.1 Stations of Reflections in the CIED Project:

4th Steering Committee meeting in Cardiff, March ’98

The possibilities of making ‘cultural impact studies’ were discussed by the CIED partners when they met for the fourth Steering Committee meeting.

Phil Cooke said with reference to the still in the planning stage conversion of the former Coal Exchange at Mount Stuart Square into a Multi-Media Centre within the context of a ‘Cultural Quarter’ “that only when the project is completed, then there can be made cultural impact studies, that is an assessment how many jobs of what category or nature this project has brought about!”

The key word is, therefore, ‘anticipation’ as understood by philosophers like Adorno, Bloch or others who think of the ‘imagination’ like the sense of touch which the blind man knows best when advancing through streets.

a. Intuitive Logic for assessment - the term ‘cultural impact’

It was as a matter of fact one of the early recognition’s by Galway what shall make CIED work, namely that its partnership and formulation of working hypothesis to initiate a learning process is based on an ‘intuitive logic’. This relates directly to what interpretation is given to reality in order to be validated by what people support in the end to be the core elements of any project. Hence impacts can be also described in terms of enriching the locality or else abstract suspensions means disregard of all the potentialities inherent in any project which allows for participation.

Cultural impact is thus a two-way relationship: what impact a particular culture has upon economic development and in turn what is the impact of a specific economic development if based no longer on industrial production, e.g. coal exporting industry as the case in Cardiff, but on technology, multi-media but one outstanding example of a branch of industry in need of linking culture and new forms of business enterprises. The two cases connect through the term ‘culture’ as a dimension of participation, that is who has a right and a chance to participate in the process of change? It is still the unfolding nature of personality which counts in this endeavour to secure not only jobs, but enriching contributions to the ‘society of man’. That is why the measure of ‘impact’ upon everyday life underlines the need to understand conditions of work, culture and memories of communities as something to be linked through a conscious ‘cultural policy’ (Michael D. Higgins), so as to ensure that ‘values’ are not driven out by economic forces - another way of describing negative impacts of one sided economic developments.

b. Examples of negative impacts

There are numerous examples of negative impacts, one of them being that of the ‘cultural industry’, or Hollywood upon the mentalities and dispositions of many people. By seeking but one form of entertainment linked to fame or prominence, the superficiality of life as connecting with places and people becomes more than apparent. If one adds to this the growing gaps between locality and networks in terms of seeking alternative sources of income, then all the changes in the urban structure become apparent - no longer down town cinemas dominate, but home videos, but also work places are levelled at by shrewd calculations having nothing to do with entities linking culture and work.

Thus it would not be sufficient to know what vast cultural impacts have been felt in the seventies and eighties, for the undefined nature of the nineties is really what perplexes the present discussion. For lack of any bearing, many seem to return to the nationalist fold of defining culture as identification tool. It becomes most evident in a cruel manner in forms of ethnic cleansing, as if the inability to share very easily values with the other would justify a violent form of exclusion. How is this break-down of culture to be explained, that is the return to some primitive set of categories as if no mediation, no coming to terms with the complexity of man is needed, in order to live in this world? If the latter is marked by a search for an exit from impasse labour markets, declining industries and modern developments based on cultural tourism, technology and mega projects, then “les affaires” encompass new forms of hostility against any kind of cultural refinement having to do with sophistication of language and cultural consensus as a way to uphold democratic accountability.

CIED discussed right at the beginning a major thesis about the cultural impact of Hollywood and Coca-Cola as making the world look everywhere the same, on hand of James Clifford’s book called ‘A Predicament of Culture’. Many valuable discussion points can be found in that book, including how Indians have to define themselves as Indians in front of a court trying to settle their interpretation of common land holding procedures via the private ownership association wishing to have law based on just that, private ownership.

For a long time now this trend seems to have been confirmed by the spread of McDonalds and other fast-food ventures outpacing the time needed to consume things, even though more time is spend on consumption than on productive activities. Lately it seems, however, that this trend has been reversed a bit. The general opinion is no longer working in their favour, that is the modern new is no longer desired as much as some more refined way of eating out. This has to do with efforts to build up locality a ‘continuity of identity’.

1.2 Cultural issues: hard and hardened realities

It is not only consumption which has altered cultural needs covered today more by multi-media productions then by a refined sense, even though in some cities more than others cultural traditions of a greater diversity are kept alive, e.g. Leipzig and the church choir, but also the conditions of work have changed ‘outlooks and insights’ into cultural needs.

Thus the real issue at stake is something beyond consumption and ‘production’ under old conditions (as described by Marx and Marxists), since modern workers redefine their own work places and organisations, while being rather hard in the face of reality having to do with earning your income. For example, people working at a bank dealing daily with how to earn money out of money, have attained already a level way beyond sentimental feelings for the unemployed or exploited. They are a part of the social cosmos underlining the fact that there are many different realities any effort to reach cultural sustainability has to face up to. Reasoning to them is only possible within a very strict set of assumptions, including way of modern life having to do with business and private life set apart. It is difficult to reach this cliental if not their attitudes are taken into account. ‘Strictly business’ means that they have negated a long time ago other possibilities of leading their lives in a vague hope for some other meaning, for what counts is the steady income and a high one at that even if earned under very enduring and hard conditions. By not being easy, they do not make it easy for anyone else to convince them of anything else. They live the impact and the fortitude is that such attitudes prevail throughout society making into an adventure if one tries to speak about alternatives, that is how to face up to the overall impact of such a way of life related to business practices and their exploitative dispositions of given situations.

1.3 Cultural Interpretations

Despite a constant shift of focus, loss of details, flood of meaningless objects - tourists’ souvenirs have hardly anymore the capacity to retain and to recall things of the past. This means things are open to any kind of cultural interpretation, and even more so to a loss of image-making capacity to interpret other cultures. This may be why local authorities despite their attempts to attract more tourists or different kind of tourists fail as offers decline due to an arbitrary weariness. The decline has also to do with the tourist sector dominated at times so much in restricted localities suffering under over demand during the high season, that the negative impact of building expansions, tourist developments in the direction of sameness, is overseen. And while some hotel owner expands, his needs in turn mean that an island has to have an airport for jets so as to be able to tap in on charter flights while this in turn means the costs of that island are increased tremendously. Building co-efficient and high demands undercut, however, efforts to reach a sustainable tourist development.

1.4 Cultural Indicators

a. Forms of Alienation not only of the individual, but entire groups - Michael D. Higgins

What appears to be then the open wound or what is missing in all of this, and why it has people complaining more than what they could interpret themselves of such a reality stumbling under such impacts, that is a loss of sense of orientation. Generally speaking, they feel this loss, but cannot name it as a loss of culture.

The existentialist philosophers named this not ‘alienation’, but as an absence of experiences of life. Jean-Paul Sartre formulated it as the need for “le vecu” in order to exist - the lived through experiences. This means not only experiences are being made, but also lived through with open questions in mind. Reflections thereof are not piece-meal like explanations of reality, but it shows a belonging to reality on account of decisions made. Here enters the entire dimension of responsibility. It can also explain those things deduced out of experiences by which people attach meaning to a place, e.g. the place of study making a difference due to the existence of a good library used even on Sunday.

There needs to be added that what allows for reflections about life, they are the experiences made, although they are also the consequences of decisions made by the individual. Here begins the self responsibility for how the order of things in the world are being perceived. Only then differences are felt and articulated when it comes to reach out to the others despite their differences.

b. Friendliness and Hospitality: making others feel at home - visitor, guest, tourist

For no where is felt more the cultural impact of things than in the streets and cities people live in: either afraid of the others or else drowned in the masses of people, they live through such impacts daily. One writer could say, ‘gone are the friendly smiles of the neighbours and instead the advertisements scream at everyone suggestions about an eternal life: “stay young with Pepsi”’, but then it is one viewpoint. There are many other ones related to equally different suggestive principles as to what constitutes reality or not.

c. Claims of the past: industrial heritage and industrial archaeology

Cities face increasingly many in-between spaces: no longer truly of the past, but due to being converted into something else, they have a different claim upon reality. Convert Garden in London is such a case. It started to convert itself from a former vegetable market and a famous opera place to something Orwell would describe as the place of nostalgia for the past.

This need for the simple the American planner Sue Tilden coined as the place of the low-touch, in order to off-set the world of the high touch, that is where merely technical gadgets and remote controls dominate. Places in former historical centres are then meant to be what they are: off-setting or counter balancing what people appear to have lost elsewhere due to their one-sided efforts to gain privileged places in this world of competition and consumption.

The principle of counter-balancing things has governed really in the end many new urban designs trying to reinvent the past by renovating and making accessible once again historical shrines. Connected with new kinds of business - restaurants, hotels, money exchange, various forms of entertainment’s - this has not necessarily brought people closer to ‘cultural heritage’ as a distinctive element of their own cultural identity, but as a form to make business possible, it has taken on almost that bitter taste of salt on the lips when entering as the saying goes, a “God forsaken country”.

2. Philosophical premise for cultural impact studies

Why then start a philosophical discussion about ‘cultural impact studies’ at the end of a two year project which appears to have failed in making really known what is the methodological use and form of such studies? Is it like in the past, that philosophy comes then when everything else has been in vain or else things have collapsed. The reasons of failure become interests of inquiry. Philosophy can be understood as being needed to console the soul or to rationalise such failures.

Despite this CIED made some attempts to overcome resignation and such attitudes as ‘working only according to the amount being paid’, as if there existed a clear-cut accountability and not a co-financing arrangement where the one side contributed all in cash, that is the European Commission side, and the other but things in kind to match the funding, but not necessarily the potentialities offered as a result. Here the objectives became crucial in order to give the project the time to mature around them. Out of the five objectives of CIED, it meant quite clearly the one linked to ‘cultural impact studies’ to follow up “the need to re-evaluate the role of culture in planning”. Without this linkage, the purpose and methodology being advocated by CIED would not be understandable, that is as a prerequisite for urban and regional planning when it comes to dealing with ‘tensions in space’.

However, there is one admittance which should not be left unsaid. When the city planner Mr. Daldrup of Leipzig spoke at the CIED conference held in Leipzig, September 1998, he described the problem out of his position being responsible for major decisions as follows: ‘he underlined the fact that he did no know any longer what impact mega projects like a multi-cinema/shopping centre would have upon the city development, and in the absence of cultural impact studies, he expressed really the fear that the concept of a European city was being challenged by these kinds of developments because they would stop altogether the playful interaction between small and big building stones.’

In other words, the need for impact studies ceases once only the big dominates and creates an entity by itself. Impacts can no longer be estimated or evaluated, if there is no longer any interaction with the immediate environment and locality. Over and again that can be observed on hand of those huge development projects where one wonders on what sort of impact studies in terms of real human needs the investments in them were justified, and how it came about that such mega projects were accepted by experts, politicians and even simple secretaries typing the documents for the meetings to finalise the building contracts? The wonder is silent since there seems to be a total disregard for any kind of adverse impact.

These problems of city development are to be faced even though authorities and experts may wish to avoid looking at the real impacts caused by these projects. For example, in Athens the most recent dispute about the underground garage planned to be constructed underneath Kolonaki square, one close to the parliament and hence a highly privileged place, confirms unfortunately this negation of a real need. For the protest of the residents close-by due to the feared impact upon their immediate lives is already negated by the overall development trend of Athens, namely to make the inner city become a hollow space to be used only during day-time, while those working for the Greek parliament and all other related offices - embassies, firms, ministries, shops down-town, travel agencies etc. - reside outside the city centre. In brief, Athens is becoming uninteresting, that is a typical commuter city like all others due to loosing its quality of complexity for which it was famous in the past. As more parking garages go up and residential apartments become unbearable, offices move in and people living in the city centre move out. It is a common trend and means the cultural impact has to be re-addressed as a city becoming a disenfranchised region. The same applies for the city of Leipzig.

Due to a lack of name, people no longer know what they are doing except that, what they are meant to do within the system, namely to consume all sorts of things, including space and time. Locality or the place itself means little, as formulated by Bart Verschaffel in a very clear manner at the EU CIED conference, and therefore the fight for it is at odds with any common development trend.

Thus the need for cultural impact studies is undisputed, but the lack of anticipation means the system undermines any cultural evaluation of measures undertaken in the name of people when meant really to accommodate many other things. To facilitate but the given is itself a sign of a heavy resignation in the light of a governance knowing little but the arrogance of power via reality. Instead of improving situations, the only options politicians seem to have at hand is like the rest of society: a huge deficit in understanding the real cultural impacts and in knowing but conformity to believe only in actions which consume even more space, time and resources. It is a copy of what everyone else believes the others are doing in order to gain some advantage.

Unfortunately, income earning assets is what everyone seems to aim for, but the real costs are yet to be named not only in financial, but also in cultural terms. This seems most difficult because it comes close to teaching a lesson which no one is really prepared for and which causes but resentment if attempted, namely to draw some practical consequences out of this entire mess.

CIED has tried to counter this overall negative trend by setting positive examples of ‘cultural investments’ in people and in sustaining a development which does fulfil the demands of ‘cultural governance’. Of importance are here the political declarations of the five partners, developed further into the Palermo principles and made operatively at the EU CIED conference by the Leipzig initiatives.

The overall concept of a ‘Good Practice Manual’ cannot be understood without inclusion of an effort to use culture and in particular cultural impact studies to refine planning and, therefore, decision making processes at all levels of governance. The purpose of this paper is to draw some conclusions out of the learning process which became possible through the CIED partnership and what discussions around these key issues guided the work. This then is but a first attempt at a synthesis.

2.1 Initial ideas: knowledge base of any locality

Initial ideas about ‘cultural impact studies’ relate to following key concepts:

Back then in August 1996, that is before the start of the project, especially in discussions with Kamilari, Crete (a partner which left due to not being able to use funds of the project for direct construction of their cultural centre, and which was replaced by Volos), there were discussed the ‘impact’ of modern developments upon the life of the villagers. This discussion took on later in the project a multi-levelled notion of what can be sustained in the light of difficulties local authorities have to face and which makes their ‘cultural governance’ so crucial, that is how they preserve the character of the place while still open to changes.

Within that human dimension of Kamilari, some starting premises for CIED became evident. For people of the villages described clearly one impact of recent changes, namely the alteration in their knowledge base: “twenty years ago our village was still without running water and electricity; now we have these things, but we know no longer what products we buy in the supermarket - we used to know from whom we took our olive oil, our food products.”

2.2 Knowledge base

It is of interest to observe that recent trends in European programmes is towards wishing to improve the knowledge base of societies, that is a knowledge dealing with what is going on. The recent food scandals, and other sorts of interventions, indicate that knowledge relates very much also to how mass production and over feeding can disrupt quality and tasteful nourishment’s. If cultural diversity is destroyed at local levels, then also the knowledge between what can be produced and what real needs exist of people known to the producer. It is something else to produce for the anonymous consumer. All sorts of mistakes in the agricultural sector and disruption in sustaining small and local producers due to favouritism working for the sake of large scale distributors have left the honesty in terms of quality of food at odds with health considerations. The need of Coca-Cola to remove many of its bottled products is, therefore, a first healthy sign that things become critical once people do not accept just any rubbish kind of food in order to satisfy their basic needs. Thus of interest is the loss of words due to disproportionate allocations of resources for agriculture in comparison to the cultural sector within the European Union. While almost 46% of the overall budget goes to sustain agriculture, culture receives less than 1%. It shows that the leading decision makers do not understand anything about the necessities to sustain life in a qualitative way.

One thesis about this kind of impact was discussed then in Cardiff with regards to small shops, including bars and restaurants, which have to oblige to certain regulations concerning opening hours and especially whether or not they can serve beverages or not. One crucial argument in all of this is that the law is of great disadvantage to small producers who can only distribute their commodity quasi by themselves, by hand as it were, in relation to those shops serving local customers. Instead the big companies with their distribution systems dominate the entire market. This reaffirms the saying of the people of Kamilari, that they can purchase at their local supermarket olive oil but they no longer know who produced it, or where it came from. The absurdity of not knowing has more dimensions than what is being referred to in public debates about cultural diversity and local markets. It appears as if there is no wisdom in keeping things small for it appears that only the bigger, ever growing in size are the successful ones and everything is done to reach the global market scale. Even though in cultural terms that is utter nonsense, nevertheless the impact of global strategies upon local markets has been most detrimental, culturally speaking.

2.3 Impact in terms of movement (mobility) of people

There are several aspects in need of being defined in terms of impact upon development and vice versa what impact this specific development can have upon the character of the village, or for that matter upon a place.

To take but one example, people in Kamilari wanted to move out of stone houses because they became identified as symbol of poverty and therefore wished to move into modern neutral apartments. The latter are crude buildings made out of cement and look the same everywhere else. With it goes loss of cultural identity.

This leaving behind the past for many reasons became a challenge. Finally some changes were introduced by some young people who wished to show to the elders that they were wrong in refuting stone houses, indeed that they are preferred especially by tourists wishing some special flavour of the locality. In reflecting this need in ways of aesthetics, it meant equally upkeep of stone masons and their work as much as preserving the character of traditional villages despite all pressures created by modernisation.

Indeed, in Ireland there is a law that every house in the country site has to have a stone wall constructed around its plot of land. It is a law designed to secure jobs needing that traditional skill.

and being cooler in the summer and warmer during the winter than cement buildings. The lines of conflict focused on an additional problem within that village as seen by young people: there were few rental spaces available, so that either one had to stayed at home, with one’s own parents or else one had to buy a new house, something not every youngster could afford. The result was that many left the village until the same ones who initiated a return to using stone houses decided consciously to stay rather than leave the village. With that example it becomes clear that models of existence interrelate and are developed out of movements of people and what sort of mobility they have in comparison to their needs.

2.4 Some CIED observations

something of this pattern indicated by village people in Kamilari was repeated by inhabitants in Leipzig, for already when East Germany still existed, that is prior to re-unification, to many a house became a symbol of a burden, while progress was identified with one of those apartments in those high rise buildings. The latter promised to have heating and no bother about having to shovel snow, something every house owner had to do. Today Leipzig has a reverse situation with house owners able to upgrade their living qualities while those in apartments suffer under all sorts of conditions, and yet the depopulation of the inner core of the city has become a huge problem. The problem of movement and mobility has been aggravated in Leipzig since re-unification due to urbanisation, unemployment, fragmentation and sheer wish to negate the past have led to all sorts of population movements which reinforce the trend towards decentralisation, that is the spreading out rather than wishing to keep work, living and leisure closely together within one and the same neighbourhood.

In-between migration movements of people became also an issue in Palermo in terms of duration of stay in the historical centre by migrant or endogenous people, e.g. coming from Arabic countries but staying only for some time before being able to move on North.

Another kind of movement was observed in Galway where people moved out of town during the influx of the heavy tourist streams which led to the question at the Galway conference, October ’97, but how can a tourist concept work if based on a Gaelic speaking local population which would flee rather than face the impact of heavy tourism?

In Cardiff, the main aim was to both keep and attract people in terms of the Cardiff Bay area run down after the collapse of the coal mining industry. Here Cardiff Bay Development Corporation showed what cultural impact anticipation’s can do to design and to shape any large scale planning intervention insofar as the needs of the local inhabitants within the bay area were considered as a vital linkage between place and future development prospective. Hence school with a special design, public art, road building (tunnel underneath the village rather than cutting through), improved housing were taken care first prior to major investment activities allowed to be started. There were also considerations given to environmental impacts.

Volos faced also problems of three kinds of movements: people from the village into the city as long as a striving, job providing industrial town; people moving from Volos to Athens due to wishing to have a larger market and better services; tourists passing through Volos, or if they would be staying then but for one, maximum two nights. Within the city invisible borders between various areas meant also exclusion of certain parts of the population, in particular of those living in the run down areas near the harbour and close to the historical centre, but neglected by the new town developments of the sixties and seventies.

Read the Rest of this article: Cultural Impact Studies II

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