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Cultural planning for local authorities
New report from Istanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts draws evidence from WCCF member cities

How can local authorities make culture an integral part of the planning process? A practical handbook for Turkish local authorities, created by the Istanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts, surveys best practices from six other world cities using the World Cities Culture Forum network.

Published as part of the İKSV’s Cultural Policy Studies series, the report makes the case for the importance of local authorities in the cultural sphere:

In today’s cities, where many cultures are intertwined, local authorities stand out as actors that can play an active part in establishing dialogue between citizens, non-governmental organizations, central government and international networks.

It highlights the idea that “the cultural economy sits at the heart of development strategies with the social and economic values it creates.” Therefore, in order to achieve sustainable development, local authories must include culture within the planning process. A culture-centred approach to planning will also consider “multiculturalism, migration, ethnic diversity and religious belief, which play an important role in establishing social justice and peace.”

The report offers a comparative study of Amsterdam, New York, Seoul, Tokyo, Toronto and Vienna. “All of these cities,” it comments, “adopt culture as an important part of their strategic planning.” BOP Consulting played a key role in this process, helping İKSV to make contact with planners and policymakers in these WCCF member cities.

Although aimed at Turkish local authorities, the report offers a detailed month-by-month ‘action plan’ for the cultural planning process, including methodological resources, which will be useful to local authorities in other world cities.

Photo: The Most Beautiful of All Mothers, Adrian Villar Rojas, 14th Istanbul Biennial © Sahir Ugur Eren; courtesy of IKSV