Articoli taggati con ‘one company town’

Tafterjournal n. 91 - NOVEMBRE DICEMBRE 2016

Taranto: a Social Innovation Lab

di Giovanna Sonda

Since many years European policies have acknowledged culture as a key factor for the development of cities and regions and as a pillar of innovation and social cohesion (ECIA 2014; EU 2013). Nonetheless, it is not yet clear how to measure the impacts of cultural initiatives, especially with respect to intangible aspects such as sense of belonging, social capital, empowerment, and quality of life in peripheral neighbourhoods and post-industrial cities. The evaluation of the impacts of cultural policies usually refers to economic indicators, such as the increase of employment and the wealth produced by the so called ‘Cultural and Creative Industries’ (CCI) (Symbola 2015; Ernst&Young 2014; KEA 2012), or the contribution of big events, such as the European Capital of Culture (ECoC) to urban regeneration (Garcia e Cox 2013; Palmer et al. 2012, Garcia et al. 2010; Johnson 2009). There are several examples of industrial cities that experienced an economic renaissance and a redefinition of their identity and image thanks to specific cultural policies. Liverpool, Turin, Bilbao, Marseille, Genk are well known cities where culture played a strategic role becoming a real economic sector and a pillar of the new development model. If the results in terms of wealth, attractiveness and tourism are more evident and measurable, it is far more difficult to understand the role of culture as an agent of local development processes. This implies the observation of phenomena when they are still emerging and thus cannot be labelled within traditional classification frameworks or measured by means of statistics. Accordingly, the number of new cultural and creative enterprises or the increase of tourists are not useful indicators to measure the innovative potential and social impact of such initiatives. Instead, it is crucial to map the spontaneous clustering dynamics bringing local actors to aggregate, to develop projects and to cooperate with institutions and public administrations (Comunian 2011). This means to investigate what happens in the backstage to identify the preconditions enabling or impeding the emerging and strengthening of a creative milieu.

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