The relationship between cultural policy and urban planning has been at center stage in several international debates. Despite the problematic issues that have emerged, some public rhetoric tends to offer oversimplified visions regarding complex implications and effects of urban transformation that are linked to cultural life and services. Targeting the rhetoric that refers to museums, one can critically observe and discuss three recurring narratives. First, the “Bilbao effect” interprets the location of a successful museum as a trigger for urban regeneration and economic development. This narrative has been proposed in various contexts, inducing effects that generally do not match with and sometimes are contrary to the policy makers’ high expectations. Second, public-private partnerships are depicted as a means not only for responding to the decreasing resources of the public sector, but also as a panacea for cultural policy making and management. Actual arrangements between different cultural and urban interests reveal the difficulties of cooperating and of sharing high degrees of discretion in decision making. Third, similarly, cultural districts and integrated systems can be instrumental not only for museum management and for the generation of positive externalities, but also for real estate appreciation that is autonomous from relevant cultural policy making. This rhetoric often proposed the idea that cultural policy in general and museums in particular are an engine for urban and economic development. Drawing on the results of the author’s research activity, this contribution will concentrate on these three narratives. It questions this overall rhetoric and it outlines new perspectives for urban and cultural research and policy making.

Museums in Contemporary Cities: Public Rhetoric and Urban Policymaking

PONZINI, DAVIDE
2012-01-01

Abstract

The relationship between cultural policy and urban planning has been at center stage in several international debates. Despite the problematic issues that have emerged, some public rhetoric tends to offer oversimplified visions regarding complex implications and effects of urban transformation that are linked to cultural life and services. Targeting the rhetoric that refers to museums, one can critically observe and discuss three recurring narratives. First, the “Bilbao effect” interprets the location of a successful museum as a trigger for urban regeneration and economic development. This narrative has been proposed in various contexts, inducing effects that generally do not match with and sometimes are contrary to the policy makers’ high expectations. Second, public-private partnerships are depicted as a means not only for responding to the decreasing resources of the public sector, but also as a panacea for cultural policy making and management. Actual arrangements between different cultural and urban interests reveal the difficulties of cooperating and of sharing high degrees of discretion in decision making. Third, similarly, cultural districts and integrated systems can be instrumental not only for museum management and for the generation of positive externalities, but also for real estate appreciation that is autonomous from relevant cultural policy making. This rhetoric often proposed the idea that cultural policy in general and museums in particular are an engine for urban and economic development. Drawing on the results of the author’s research activity, this contribution will concentrate on these three narratives. It questions this overall rhetoric and it outlines new perspectives for urban and cultural research and policy making.
Museum and Design Disciplines
9788887697773
Museo; politiche urbane; politiche culturali
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11311/681219
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