Key words: Cultural heritage, heritage management, cultural sustainability
Tools for Culture, Italy
Tools for Culture, Italy
This paper focuses upon the relationship between culture and society in the urban environment. The first section introduces the social and urban changes of our time from a critical theory perspective, integrating socioeconomic and urban studies: what emerges the fading of social boundaries and the emersion of new political claims arising from cultural instances; the second section focuses on the discrepancies between such changes and the cultural offer, still anchored to rigid heritage preservation, never meeting new forms of cultural expression. This stern dichotomy needs to be faced through a paradigm shift, which is dealt with in the third section: some best practices across Europe are selected, highlighting the need to focus on cross-sector partnerships, vertical integration, and a public support aimed at favouring the diffusion of culture on multiple social layers. The map of culture is eventually redesigned, and new creative encounters are made by challenging the use of space in the urban scenario.
Methodology of analysis
The first two sections of the present paper will reconstruct the map of the contemporary city, with its idiosyncrasies, and controversial interactions among the new creative vectors, cultural heritage management and the emerging social stances: from a methodological perspective, this is carried out through critical theory and urban studies, which allow for a multi- level, multi-disciplinary understanding, necessary in order to account for the complexity of contemporary scenarios. The lens of critical theory proves particularly precious in that it allows to observe phenomena in the light of the superstructures and societal changes.
A gap exists, in facts, in cultural policy studies and in the analysis of cultural phenomena in general: the notion of embeddedness. Only in recent times an ecological approach is being adopted in both policy and research (Gross & Wilson, 2018; Borin & Donato, 2015) which account for the entangled layers which constitute infrastructures and networks in the city. The paper positions itself within this understanding of complexity and aspires at framing.
“THE MOST DRAMATIC ASPECT OF THE SEPARATION BETWEEN HERITAGE AND THE CREATIVE, DYNAMIC SPHERE OF CULTURAL PRODUCTION LIES IN A PROGRESSIVE DECREASE OF THE CULTURAL STOCK GENERATED BY HERITAGE, AND OF THE CULTURAL VALUE ATTACHED TO IT”
Our investigation and exploration in the delicate area of cultural sustainability has revealed the likely endemic weakness of the cultural system in its still prevailing shape and structure. Although the long, and still lively, debate on culture identifies both the lack of funds and the ignorance of society as the ultimate responsible for the progressive decay and the eventual extinction of culture, facts clearly show the opposite: culture as a varied, multiple, plural and unpredictable approach and content is being shared and di used by wider layers of a sophisticated and complex society, while its conventional containers and rites prove growingly obsolete and certainly unrelated to the ferments and visions of contemporary society. Nobody can anymore assess that the fault is somebody else’s.
Please read the entire article at the following link: https://www.encatc.org/media/5735-issue1_02_francesca-sabatini-michele-trimarchi.pdf