While working as Creative Producer at UrbanGrowth NSW, City People’s Michael Cohen became aware of a massive gap in the knowledge base surrounding creative or ‘culture-led’ placemaking.
While we know that adding to place identity with culture-led offerings (events, festivals, installations, cultural destinations) is a good thing, can we point to research that tangibly demonstrates the social and economic returns of this work?
The scarcity and furriness of much research in this field was a worry. Indeed, you’d be hard-pushed to ever find five people who could give you the same definition of the word placemaking.
Given that accountability and evidence are increasingly important in both government and private sectors, Michael initiated some research with tertiary partners via Landcom’s Collaborative Learning Round Table to tackle these very questions. Along with Dr Michael Cohen, the academic researchers in the project are:
- Associate Professor Thayaparan Gajendran, University of Newcastle
- Dr Justine Lloyd, Macquarie University
- Dr Kim Maund, University of Newcastle
- Dr Cathy Smith, University of Newcastle
The study recently published its Valuing Placemaking Literature Review
It’s a thorough appraisal of the field of creative placemaking, its multiplicity of definitions, and some suggestions for how its value can be measured.
In the next six months we’ll formulate an assessment toolkit and then trial it at some live events in Sydney and Newcastle.
City People is delighted to be the industry partner on this important and cutting edge research. Follow us (bottom of page) and we’ll keep you posted with the research findings as they become available.