1st Edition

The Routledge Handbook of Urban Cultural Planning

Edited By Rana Amirtahmasebi, Jason Schupbach Copyright 2025
    560 Pages 63 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    This book provides a manual for planning for arts and culture in cities, featuring chapters and case studies from Africa, the Americas, Australasia, the Middle East, South and East Asia and more. The handbook is organized around seven themes: arts and planning for equity and social development; incorporating culture in urban planning; the intersection of creative and cultural industries and tourism planning; financing;  public buildings, public space and public art; cultural heritage planning; and culture and the climate crisis. Urban planners are often tasked with preserving and attracting new art and culture to a city, but there are no common rules on how practitioners accomplish this work. This handbook will be an invaluable resource for city planners and designers, cultural workers, elected officials, artists, and social justice workers and advocates seeking to integrate creativity and culture into urban planning.

    Foreword:Culture is our Super Power

    Justine Simons, OBE

    Introduction: Urban Cultural Planning Now: Some Thoughts and Executive Summary

    Rana Amirtahmasebi and Jason Schupbach

    Section 1: Belonging in the City: Arts and Planning for Equity/Social Development

    1.1. Cultural Planning, Cultural Policy, and the Civic We

    Roberto Bedoya

    1.2. Creative Placemaking’s “Long Tail”

    Anne Gadwa Nicodemus

    1.3. The Importance of Storytelling to the Individual, the Community, and its Implications for Public Mental Health

    David O. Fakunle, Nymisha Herrera Nimmagadda, David Feldman, and Arjun Chanmugam

    1.4. Place, Cultural Planning, and Immigration in Australia

    Deepti Silwal and Carl Grodach

    1.5. Civic Imagination: An Artist Offers Ten Proposals

    Michael Rohd  

    Section 2: Planning For and With Culture in Urban Planning

    2.1. Cities for the Imagination (Or, Seven Provocations on Potential Futures for Urban+Creative Practices)

    Gabriella Gómez-Mont

    2.2. Reflections on NYC’s First Cultural Plan: A Conversation Between Eddie Torres and Tom Finkelpearl

    Tom Finkelpearl and Eddie Torres

    2.3. Cultural Districts and Cultural Policy

    Adrian Ellis 

    2.4. Cultural Asset Mapping in Urban Communities

    Julie Goodman and Andrew Zitcer

    2.5. Identity and Place Attachment in Cultural Planning

    Tom Borrup

    2.6. Transforming Communities: Addressing Housing Instability through Art, Advocacy, and Collective Action 

    Jules Rochielle Sievert and Miso Kim

    2.7. Painting a Strategy, Dancing a Meeting: What Can the Arts Lend to Transit Planning?

    Katherine Dirga

    Section 3: Creative and Cultural Industries and Global Tourism Planning

    3.1. The Creative Economy So Far in the 2000s

    Edna Dos Santos-Duisenberg

    3.2. A Glance in Brazil: Creative Economy Policies Aimed at Mitigating the Effects of the Pandemic

    Christiano Braga

    3.3. Night Time Economy: From Cinderella Policy to a Global Movement

    Laia Gasch

    3.4. The Making of a Music City: Catalysts, Approaches, Benefits and Challenges of Enactment

    Christina Ballico

    3.5. From Wellington to Wellywood: Mapping the Emergence of a Global Screen Production Hub

    Alfio Leotta

    3.6. World Design Capital 2024 San Diego – Tijuana: Preparing a Region for a Global Designation by Owning Your Foibles, Warts and Scars

    Jonathon Glus

    Section 4: Financing Arts and Culture – For What Goal?

    4.1. The Eight Pillars of American Cultural Policy 

    Randy Engstrom and Jasmine Mahmoud 

    4.2. Artists as Allies in Economic Justice

    Laura Zabel

    4.3. Financing A Diverse Future through Community Ownership

    Angie Kim

    4.4. Culture, Community, Equity, Belonging

    Caroline Woolard and Natalia Linares

    4.5. Cultural Land Trusts as an Emerging Solution to the Arts Space Crisis

    Erika Hennebury 

    4.6. Reimagining the Cultural District: From Economic Transaction to Collective Cultural Thriving 

    Jen Cole

    Section 5: Cultural Institutions and Buildings, Public Space and Public Art

    5.1. The Future is Promised to No One: On Museum Precarity, Adaptability & Sustainability

    nico w. okoro

    5.2. Museums: Growth, Crises and Prospects

    Gail Lord

    5.3. Transformative Urban Regeneration in Victoria Yards

    Brian Green

    5.4. Case Study: How We Created the World’s First Publicly Accessible Art Storage Facility 

    Winy Maas and Rory Stott

    5.5. “Practicing in Public”

    Jane Golden

    Section 6: How the Past Informs Our Future: Heritage Planning 

    6.1. The Preservation of Urban Heritage. A New Frontier for the Governance of Cultural Assets. Lessons from Latin American World Heritage Sites

    Eduardo Rojas

    6.2. Site-Based Pedagogies: Connecting Heritage Education and Critical Heritage Practice 

    Jayashree Bardhan

    6.3. Heritage as a Way to Interpret and Inhabit the Territory

    Catalina Valencia Tobón and Pedro Eliseo Sánchez Baracaldo

    6.4. Urban Heritage Conservation and Revitalization on Japan’s Shrinking Society: A Challenge to the Picturesque Historic Port City of Onomichi

    Yushi Utaka

    Section 7: Culture and the Climate Crisis

    7.1. Sustainable Development in Cultural Districts, a Research Report Exploring Practices of Ten Cities Around the World 

    Helen Kearney

    7.2. Integrating Culture and Disaster Risk Management in Urban Planning for more Resilient Societies

    Barbara Minguez Garcia

    7.3. The Cultural Dimensions of Climate Change: An African-Indigenous Framework

    Denise Fairchild

    7.4. A Feral Commons: Methodologies for Commissioning Sustainable Public Art

    Tairone Bastien

    7.5. Conservation Regulations and Urban Planning in Climate Change Era 

    Poonam Verma Mascarenhas

    Section 8: In Closing

    8.1. Communities Deserve Creative Outlets: A Conversation Between Chair Dr. Maria Rosario Jackson and Senior Advisor Jen Hughes of the National Endowment for the Arts on Artful Lives and Equitable Community Development

    Maria Rosario Jackson and Jen Hughes


    Rana Amirtahmasebi is an economic development and cultural planning strategist and researcher. She is the Founder of Eparque Urban Strategies in New York and previously worked at the World Bank, Aga Khan Programme on Islamic Architecture at MIT, and several other entities.

    Jason Schupbach is the Dean of the Westphal College of Media Arts and Design at Drexel University. He is a nationally recognized expert in the role that arts and design play in improving communities.

    "This is the first book to map the emerging field of Urban Cultural Planning through an international lens. With a global perspective, urban designers and community leaders from six continents share their on-the-ground experience and insights about how to mobilize the power of culture and the arts to transform urban spaces, enrich community engagement and develop their creative economy. It is an invaluable resource for planners and policymakers as they work to design and sustain more vibrant, creative,equitable and livable cities."

    Joan Shigekawa, Former Acting Chair of the US National Endowment for the Arts

    "Over the past three decades, culture has emerged as a critical component in strategies for human, social, and economic development. This book contributes to the ongoing conversation about the impact of cultural policies on urban management by showcasing a wide range of case studies from across the globe. It explores how cultural heritage, the arts, cultural institutions, and districts, as well as the creative sector, assist planners in preserving urban identities, landmarks, and places, while creating economically attractive areas that mirror local identities. This book offers planners, citizens, and professionals a wealth of examples of successful cultural integration in urban planning and management, providing an essential toolkit to navigate future challenges."

    Francesco Bandarin, UNESCO Assistant Director-General for Culture (2010-2018)

    "Amirtahmasebi and Schupbach have deftly collated perspectives that challenge our imagination about making cities solely through the material artifacts of architecture and physical infrastructure. The voices in the book remind us that culture, the implicit rules in any society, is continuously being made and remade, and is in fact dynamic. The book reminds us that through planning for cultural production, we can facilitate addressing a range of issues from economic growth, public health, the arts, and design to questions of equity, participation, justice, a sense of belonging, and, finally, how we collectively mold our future on the planet."

    Rahul Mehrotra, Professor in Housing and Urbanization, Harvard University Graduate School of Design