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Culture in, for and

as Sustainable

EDITED BY Joost Dessein, Katriina Soini, Graham Fairclough and Lummina Horlings
Culture in, for and
as Sustainable
Conclusions from the COST Action IS1007
Investigating Cultural Sustainability

Edited by
Joost Dessein, Katriina Soini, Graham Fairclough and Lummina Horlings

First published 2015 by University of Jyvskyl

Editors: Joost Dessein, Katriina Soini, Graham Fairclough and Lummina Horlings

Main authors: Katriina Soini, Elena Battaglini, Inger Birkeland, Nancy Duxbury,
Graham Fairclough, Lummina Horlings and Joost Dessein

Authors of the stories:

Story 1: Christiaan De Beukelaer, Julija Mateji, Lummina Horlings and Nancy Duxbury;
Story 2: Theopisti Stylianou-Lambert, Marina Mihailova, Paola Spinozzi,
Annalisa Cicerchia, Jenny Johannisson, Anita Kangas, Miloslav Lapka, Milena Sesic
-Dragicevic, Katriina Siivonen and Astrid Skjerven;
Story 3: Inger Birkeland, Katarzyna Plebanczyck, Goran Tomka, Oliver Bender, Maria Leus
and Hannes Palang;
Story 4: Constanza Parra, Robert Burton, Claudia Brites, Jenny Atmanagara,
Elena Battaglini, Mari Kivitalo, Nina Svane-Mikkelsen and Katriina Soini;
Story 5: Nathalie Blanc, Raquel Freitas, Maria Cadarso, Svetlana Hristova, Marion Lang,
Roberta Chiarini, Eva Cudlinov and Mario Reimer.

Authors of text boxes are specified in each box

Graphic Design and Artworks: Minja Revonkorpi | Taidea

This publication should be cited as:

Dessein, J., Soini, K., Fairclough, G. and Horlings, L. (eds) 2015. Culture in, for and as
Sustainable Development. Conclusions from the COST Action IS1007 Investigating
Cultural Sustainability. University of Jyvskyl, Finland.

All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reprinted or reproduced or utilised in any
form or by any electronic, mechanical, or other means, now known or hereafter invented,
including photocopying and recording, or in any information storage or retrieval system,
without permission in writing from the publishers.

ISBN: 978-951-39-6177-0
COST Action IS1007
Investigating Cultural

COST Action IS1007
Investigating Cultural Sustainability
Investigating Cultural Sustainability is a Eu- Action Investigating Cultural Sustainability in
ropean research network focused in a mul- its four years organised eight workshops or
tidisciplinary perspective on the relationship symposiums hosted by its members across
between culture and sustainable develop- Europe, and a cross-cutting meeting was or-
ment. During its four year period (2011-2015) ganised in Brussels for stakeholders in or-
its main objective was to highlight European der to collate and produce new knowledge
research across its members countries in with the help of external experts, scholars,
order to provide policy makers with instru- policy-makers and practitioners. Over 30
ments for integrating culture as a key ele- research missions between the research in-
ment of the sustainable development. Ac- stitutes were carried out by members of the
tions network was composed of around 100 Action, and two training schools were organ-
researchers from 25 countries within the EU, ised to strengthen the topic among the young
with participants as well from Israel, New researchers working in this field. A key out-
Zealand and Australia. It held a wide variety come of the Action was the establishment of
of disciplines and fields of research, rang- a new series of books that establish culture
ing from cultural, humanistic and social sci- and sustainability as an important emerging
ences, through political and natural sciences and active field of research. Published as
to planning. These were organised in three Routledge Studies in Culture and Sustain-
thematic clusters Concepts, Policies and able Development, the series has been in-
Assessments which are broadly reflected augurated by three volumes of papers drawn
in the structure of this document. from and representative of the work of the
Action itself.
The work of the network was supported by
the European COST Association (COpera- The results of the work including the pub-
tion in Science and Technology) and funded lication of the present document, Culture in,
within the European Commissions research for and as Sustainable Development - were
programme Horizon 2020. COST Actions are shared and discussed in a final public confer-
designed to build new knowledge by bringing ence in Helsinki on 6-8 May 2015, Culture(s)
together researchers to cooperate and coor- in Sustainable Futures: theories, policies,
dinate nationally-funded research activities, practices.
and to build up new transnational and inter-
national research co-operation. The funding
provides an opportunity for researchers to www.culturalsustainability.eu
develop their competences, share experi- www.cost.eu
ence and expertise with colleagues in other
countries, and improve their research career
through workshops, training and exchange

Pictures by Joost Dessein 7
It should be obvious that culture matters to sus- into a framing, contextualising and mediating
tainable development. Yet almost 30 years af- mode, one that can balance all three of the
ter the Brundtland report Our Common Future existing pillars and guide sustainable develop-
the incorporation of culture into sustainability ment between economic, social, and ecologi-
debates seems to remain a great challenge, cal pressures and needs. Third, we argue that
both scientifically and politically. There have there can be an even a more fundamental role
been some recent attempts to bring culture into for culture (culture as sustainable develop-
sustainability, by trans- and inter-national or- ment) which sees it as the essential foundation
ganisations and by cross/trans-disciplinary sci- and structure for achieving the aims of sustain-
entific endeavours, but they continue to swim able development. In this role it integrates, co-
against the prevailing current of conventional ordinates and guides all aspects of sustainable
sustainability discourses rooted in environmen- action. In all three roles, recognising culture as
tal and economic perspectives. at the root of all human decisions and actions,
and as an overarching concern (even a new
Culture, sustainability and sustainable develop- paradigm) in sustainable development thinking,
ment are complicated concepts that are not al- enables culture and sustainability to become
ways easy for scientists, policy makers or prac- mutually intertwined so that the distinctions be-
titioners to grasp or apply. In the course of our tween the economic, social and environmental
four-year (2011-15) COST Action, IS1007 In- dimensions of sustainability begin to fade.
vestigating Cultural Sustainability, we explored
all three concepts and learnt to embrace their Our second chapter, Culture at the crossroads
multiple meanings and connotations. In this fi- of policy, identifies a number of different top-
nal report from the Action we present their di- ics, fields or themes that are commonly or
versity and plurality as a meaningful resource should be addressed by policies, and the
for building a comprehensive analytical frame- streams or flows of thought and action that
work for the structured study and application of they follow; we liken them to scripts that guide
culture and sustainable development. Our con- the performance of sustainability. These scripts
clusions are presented in three chapters, after reveal the broad contours of a new type of pol-
a Prologue to set the scene and followed by a icy landscape. We explore eight overlapping
reflective and forward looking Epilogue. themes: the negotiation of memories, identi-
Our first chapter offers our view of key con- ties and heritage; the relevance of place, land-
cepts, and presents the three important ways scape and territory; the complexities of social
we identify for culture to play important roles life, commons and participation; the centrality
in sustainable development. First, culture can of creative practices and activities; culturally
have a supportive and self-promoting role sensitive policies for economic development;
(which we characterise as culture in sustain- nature conservation; the importance of increas-
able development). This already-established ing awareness and knowledge of sustainability;
approach expands conventional sustainable and finally, policies aiming at transformations.
development discourse by adding culture as a Our analysis reveals that culture is not just the
self-standing 4th pillar alongside separate eco- subject or object of cultural policy; it should
logical, social, and economic considerations also inform and be integrated with all other
and imperatives. We see a second role (culture policies, for the economic, the social and the
for sustainable development), however, which environmental, and for the global and the local.
offers culture as a more influential force that All the best and most successful policies are
8 can operate beyond itself. This moves culture (although not necessarily consciously) culturally
informed. Policies dealing with education, tour- low cultural statistics to be consistently con-
ism, research, cultural diplomacy, social poli- structed and made useful, although we also
cies, and city and regional planning, as well as recognise the historical and local specificity
other areas, can integrate culture in the core of of indicators they must be fit-for-context. We
their policy-making to various degrees. offer suggestions for the way forward, includ-
ing the importance of joint learning processes
All these scripts are interlinked and over- and participatory development of indicators, the
lap, of course, but they can be viewed in the need for the collection of good examples and
framework of the three roles that we have just practices (notably of qualitative indicators, with
summarised. In the first role, policy strengthens illustrations of how they can be used and com-
the key intrinsic values of culture, and tends bined with quantitative indicators) and above all
to focus on creativity and diversity of cultural the acknowledgment in indicator construction
expressions and the contributions of artistic/ of the three different roles of culture in, for and
cultural activity and expressions to human-cen- as sustainable development.
tred sustainable development trajectories. In
the second case, when culture is understood In our Epilogue, we reflect on the intellectual
as having a mediating role, the policy extends and cultural journey and exchanges that the
to influence, share and shape the aims of other Action has afforded its many participants. We
public policies, like livelihood, industries, social have explored new territory between disciplines,
and environmental well-being. In the third case, between cultures and between the convention-
policy will promote broader transformations to- al three pillars of sustainable development.
wards more holistically sustainable societies, A major lesson is how little is actually known
for example through increased awareness and about the current and the potential inter-oper-
behaviour changes that can provide catalysts ability of culture and the sustainability tripod,
and enablers for grassroots collective actions, and we therefore conclude by looking forward.
and through the development of the capacity We suggest lines for future research in four cat-
and capability of individuals and communities egories - concepts, methodologies and prac-
to adapt and carry on more sustainable ways tices, evidence bases, and selected topics that
of life. seem us to be currently key. With new European
and global funding streams becoming available
Assessing the impact and effects of both pol- to address sustainability issues (for example
icies and politics is a crucial aspect of sus- within the ERA and through Horizon 2020), and
tainability. There are several methodologies for supported by our extensive webs of cross- and
carrying out assessments and communicating inter-disciplinary collaborations, we can see the
their results, but indicators are perhaps the necessity and the advantages for everyone of
most commonly used, and we turn to these in culture gaining a more central and transforma-
our third chapter. From the complexity of every- tive role in sustainable development discourse,
day life, indicators select a few representative and in action. We envisage that the insights of
threads, headlines or leverage points that can this COST Action will help to ensure a strong
be distilled into more easily comprehensible cultural stream in future research and policy.
evidence for the impacts of events and trajec-
tories, the effects of different courses of ac-
tion, and the quality and direction of change.
Existing culturally-sensitive indicator sets are
limited, and in this publication we therefore fo-
cus on specific challenges. These include the
availability, standardisation, aggregation and
ranking of data, all of which are required to al- 9


Story 1 Cultural Industries for Sustainable Development? 18



Thriving on complexity 20
Culture 20
Development 21
Sustainability or sustainable development? 22
Social and cultural sustainability: same or different? 24
Policy 25

Story 2 - The Stories Museums Tell 26

Multiple contributions of culture to sustainable development 29

Supporting Sustainability A self-standing role for culture
in sustainable development 29
Connecting sustainability The mediating role of culture
for sustainable development 30
Creating sustainability The transformative role of culture
as sustainable development 31
Three roles, but many applications 33

Story 3 - Surviving Post-Industrialisation 34


Defining policy 38
Policy scripts for culture and sustainable development 39
Policies negotiating memories, identities and heritage 39
Policies on place, landscape and territory 40
Policies dealing with social life, commons and participation 41
Policies encouraging creative practices and activities 42
Culturally sensitive policies for economic development 42
10 Policies of nature conservation 43
Policies to increase sustainability awareness 44
Transformations 44
Conclusions and reflections on policy 45

Book series and book introductions 48



Informing and shaping policy 50

Existing indicators 51
The challenges of assessing culture in sustainability 52
The way forward 53

Story 4 - Reconstituting Culture 56


Dwelling in No Mans Land 58

Returning with new ideas: future research lines 61
The end of an Action, the beginning of action 64

Story 5 - Greening the City, Cultivating Community 66


List of Text Boxes

Culture as a topic in international policy framework: selected landmarks 15

On bio-cultural diversity 16

The mantra of Our Common future and its cultural vision 23

Seven storylines of cultural sustainability 28

Interaction between cultural activities and sustainable

regional landscape development 32

Bridges as Places of Divisions in local communities 40

Mapping Sense of Place 41

Sustainability and legitimacy of the Tanyaszinhaz theatre community in Serbia 43

Developing indicators in a participatory way 52

Cultural mapping as a way to involve communities to make assessments 53

On inter- and transdisciplinarity in culture and sustainability 61

International pilot online course on Cultural Sustainability launched 64


Culture matters in sustainable development. the conventional discourse and action of the
Many if not all of the planets environmental three pillars: the economic, the environmen-
problems and certainly all of its social and tal and the social. To pursue sustainability
economic problems have cultural activity and through the framework of culture therefore ur-
decisions people and human actions at gently requires new approaches, which cross
their roots. Solutions are therefore likely to the sectoral and disciplinary boundaries.
be also culturally-based, and the existing
models of sustainable development forged Few can have fully foreseen the success of
from economic or environmental concern the idea of Sustainable Development when
are unlikely to be successful without cultural it was introduced to a broad global audience
considerations. If culture is not made explic- in 1987 by the Brundtland publication Our
it, discussed and argued over explicitly within Common Future. Almost 30 years later, the
the sustainability debates, it does not have idea is still increasingly being presented as
power in the decision making. a pathway to all that is good and desirable
in society, widely adopted and frequently
Yet incorporating culture in the sustainability called-in-aid. This was clearly illustrated at
debates seems to be a great scientific and the United Nations Conference on Sustain-
political challenge. The scientific challenge is able Development (Rio+20), held in Rio de
that both culture and sustainability are com- Janeiro in June 2012. One of the confer-
plex, contested, multidisciplinary and norma- ences main outcomes was the agreement
tive concepts. The policy challenge is that by member states to set up sustainable de-
a broad understanding of culture requires velopment goals, which could be useful tools
cross-sectoral or even transdisciplinary pol- in achieving sustainable development and to
icies, and innovative, at times even radical be linked with United Nations Post-Millenni-
modes of implementation that involve re- um Development goals. The concept is also
examination of broad spectrum issues such frequently used by local governments, prac-
as governance, democratic participation and titioners, educational sector, and it has also
social equity. Crossing into both sets of chal- been taken as a tool for marketing. The pop-
lenges is the manner in which bringing cul- ularity of the concept among scholars is il-
14 ture into the sustainability debates questions lustrated in the number of journals or articles
that deal entitled sustainable development publications introduce a number of ways cul-
or sustainability. More than 108.000 peer ture drives and enables development, the
reviewed papers that deal with sustainabil- conditions of sustainable development in re-
ity or sustainable development have been spect to various aspects of culture, have not
published. been thoroughly analysed.

Yet at the same time the concepts contin- Cultural aspects have also been embedded
ue to be critiqued by scholars and policy- in a number of other recent closely-aligned
makers for their anthropocentrism, vague- research lines, theories and frameworks,
ness and ambiguity. The mainstream way is which in one way or another aim at a
to discuss and implement sus-
tainable development in terms
of ecological, social and eco-
Year Agency Event or Publication
nomic pillars as confirmed
at the Johannesburg Summit 2003 UNESCO Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage -
ratified by +150 countries
of 2002, but often labelled in 2004 United Cities and Local Adoption of Agenda 21 for Culture
2005 Governments (UCLG)
UNESCO Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of
more or less symbolic ways, Cultural Expressions - ratified by +130 countries
such as people-profit-planet. 2007 UN UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples
2007 Fribourg Group Fribourg Declaration on Cultural Rights
However, attempts to keep 2009 UN Human Rights Council Established a post of Independent Expert in the field of cultural rights
for a 3-year period (extended)
these three dimensions in bal- Resolution re: connection between culture and development -
2010 UN General Assembly
ance and to make sustainabili- adopted
United Cities and Local Policy statement on Culture: Fourth Pillar of Sustainable
ty a win-win-win solution for all 2010
Governments (UCLG) Development - adopted

three, seems to remain unsat- 2011 UN General Assembly Resolution 2 re: connection between culture and development -
isfactory or in many peoples Adoption of new UNESCO Recommendation on the Historic Urban
eyes a grail to be sought but Landscape
UN Conference on Sustainable Outcome Document of the UN Conference on Sustainable
never found. 2012 Development, endorsed by UN Development
General Assembly/High-level
UNESCO International Congress Final declaration Placing Culture at the Heart of Sustainable
We argue that the three pil- Culture: Key to Sustainable Development Policies, the Hangzhou Declaration
lar model is proving to be UN Conference on Trade and
Creative Economy Report 3: Special Edition Widening Local
2013 Development (UNCTAD), UN
fundamentally flawed by the Development Programme (UNDP)
Development Pathways

absence of culture. Sever- and UNESCO

International Federations of Arts
al transnational and inter- 2013
Councils and Culture Agencies Culture as a Goal in the Post-2015 Development Agenda
(IFACCA), Coalitions for Cultural published. The #culture2015goal campaign launched
national organisations like Diversity (IFCCD), Agenda 21 for
Culture and Culture Action Europe
UNESCO, United Cities and Lo- 2013 UN General Assembly Resolution on Culture and Sustainable Development A/RES/68/223 -
cal Government and the Coun- Thematic Debate on Culture and Sustainable Development in the
cil of Europe have recently ad- 2014 UN General Assembly Post-2015 Development Agenda (NYC); Panel Discussion The
power of culture for poverty eradication and sustainable
vocated culture as an explicit development
3rd UNESCO World Forum on Forum concluded with the adoption of the Florence Declaration -
aspect of sustainability, but it 2014 Culture and the Cultural Industries: recommendations on maximising the role of culture to achieve
Culture, Creativity and Sustainable sustainable development and effective ways of integrating culture in
has also been introduced im- Development the Post-2015 Development Agenda.
United Cities and Local Culture 21 Actions: Commitments on the role of culture in
plicitly in many other policy 2015
Governments (UCLG) sustainable cities (approved in Bilbao, first UCLG Culture Summit)
publications from global to lo-
cal. However, although these (Nancy Duxbury, Jordi Pascual, Jyoti Hosagraha)

holistic, cross-disciplinary and transdisci- This publication presents conclusions emerg-
plinary integration of human systems with ing from a four-year (2011-15) COST Action
ecological ones. Examples include land- IS1007 Investigating Cultural Sustainability,
scape research, bio-cultural diversity, the attempting to strengthen and more solidly
actor-network theory or capability frame- ground sustainability by integrating culture
works. These concepts and approaches and cultural perspectives into it. The Action
all with significant cultural dimensions in their aimed to strengthen sustainable develop-
own right - can perhaps help to integrate cul- ments conceptual framework, suggest ways
ture explicitly into sustainable development of operationalising the new perspectives
frameworks. But this has not been done and insights, and to locate culture in sustain-
comprehensively, and the essence of culture ability policies and assessments. This publi-
in sustainable development research and cation offers ways forward to harness culture
policies therefore tends to remain ignored. to the sustainable development goals. The
first chapter after this Prologue (Three roles
ON BIO-CULTURAL DIVERSITY for culture in sustainable development) touch-
es on concepts, frameworks and the various
The intricate relations between biodiversity and culture can be cap-
tured by the concept of bio-cultural diversity, defined as the diver- roles played by culture in sustainable devel-
sity of life in all its manifestations (biological and cultural forms) opment. The second chapter Culture at the
which are all inter-related within a complex socio-ecological adap- crossroads of policy turns to the type of poli-
tive system [33]. Bio-cultural diversity emphasises the adaptive
cy (or politics) that might be able to put those
connections between nature and people and thus the significance
of hybrid landscapes. Moreover it is a way to analyse these land- concepts to practical use. Assessing culture
scapes as an integrated value-practice system. in sustainability considers the issues of as-
sessments and indicators: how to know what
The biological and cultural value of the environment grows from
actions to take, how to measure and if need-
practice, action and behaviours. This definition of environment
thus exceeds the spatial understanding that the term is most often ed modify their effects. Thereafter, an Epi-
given, for example when it comes to assessing biodiversity, garden- logue formulates some future research lines
ing or quality of habitat. It establishes instead a complex approach in this field and sums up the lessons learned.
which takes into account both scientific knowledge as a medium
Finally, people who actively contributed to the
towards an understanding of social ties or cultural practices associ-
ated with a given space [34]. Biodiversity was first seen in cities as scientific work of the network are listed.
the manifestation of the diversity of species mainly in a genetic or
ecosystemic sense. Bio-cultural diversity however is a way to read The publication is illuminated by five real life
the diversity of urban landscapes, as well as narratives and atmo-
stories that are presented as a running thread
spheres, in relationships to socio-cultural groups and the quality of
places. Bio-culturally significant places are mainly green places such in parallel to the main text; they are support-
as community gardens and multifunctional parks that accommodate ed by many smaller examples, symbolised in
needs of different socio-cultural groups. the text as . These stories and examples
illustrate the possibilities that exist, and are
(Nathalie Blanc)
already being exploited, within the rich, diverse
and challenging practices offered by culture.
They give some idea of the kind of knowledge
that is and will be needed to be able to un-
derstand the interrelation of culture and sus-
tainable development, and to be able to apply
these insights in science, policy and other
sustainable development-practices. They will
16 provide inspiration for moving forward in the
proposed new framework.

Culture as expression and mediation in
Burkina Faso
Policy documents that highlight the impor- events, festivals and heritage sites that attract
tance of cultural industries are becoming in- tourists) is one of four sectors (alongside agri-
creasingly common throughout the world, culture, mining and small / medium businesses)
even though culture is almost invisible in the identified as key to driving the economy through
Millennium Development Goals. This is also entrepreneurship, tourism, the production of cul-
the case in countries that are in the low hu- tural goods and services and cultural and artistic
man development category, such as Burkina creation. Second, BBEAC (2012) Study on the
Faso, positioned by the UNDP at 183 out of Impact of Culture on Social and Economic Devel-
187 countries. Its population of approaching opment of Burkina Faso (published by the Bu-
20M contains more than 60 ethnic groups, and reau Burkinabe` dEtudes et dAppui-Conseils for
studying policy here offers a compelling view the Ministry of Culture and Tourism, funded by
of the creative economy debate in a cultural- UNESCOs International Fund for Cultural Diver-
ly diverse context, and highlights local-global sity) - deals more widely with culture and (sus-
policy interaction. tainable) development, and focuses not only on
the cultural sector but also on culture perceived
Two key policy documents from Burkina Faso il- more broadly as a way of life, a key aspect of the
lustrate how culture is linked to sustainable de- social fabric, and as a traditional mechanism of
velopment. First, SCADD (2010) - Stratgie de mediation.
Croissance Acclre et Dveloppement Durable
(Strategy for Accelerated Growth and Sustainable The two documents use different views of cul-
Development) - has a general objective of achiev- ture, however, which sometimes conflict with
ing accelerated and sustained economic growth each other. Cultural industries are prominent
and improved quality of life. Culture (specifically in both (although in the BBEAC study culture is
crafts, cultural industries and tourism, in practice also taken to mean the broader social fabric), and

Boromo Giants at the opening ceremony of FESPACO 2013 | Picture by Christiaan De Beukelaer
provide greater economic justification for cultur-
al industries. They additionally valorise culture
(both quantitatively and qualitatively) for its in-
strumental capacity towards social and econom-
ic development: as a way of life culture is rec-
ognised to have transformative power, whether
towards or against change.

Policy formulation in Burkina Faso is inspired

by debates at a local level but is also coloured
by ideas from global fora such as the UN and
UNESCO; like anywhere now, the country is part
of wider networks, influenced by multi-scale dis-
courses and debates. Critical questions remain,
not least to ask how culture can play a role in
balancing economic growth and sustainability,
especially, crucially, in so-called developing
countries. How to bridge the gap between cul-
tural patterns, practices and traditions on the
ground, and more abstract concepts and policies
which often come from elsewhere? How to de-
culture features explicitly. Yet the term remains velop sustainable enabling policies to support
ill-defined, and actions and aims can be conflated cultural products and practices?
if, as in SCADD, culture and cultural industries
are used interchangeably. The actions are also A key lesson is that, in whatever form, whether
disjointed because in BBEAC the relation between expressed in routines, unspoken rules, humour,
artistic creation in the cultural industries is not relations or practices,
connected to culture as social fabric. So far, the culture can indeed act as
most common use of culture as a separate fourth an integrating factor in
pillar of sustainable development mainly treats it society. It makes a cen-
as a product (the cultural sector, arts, events and tral contribution to the
cultural industries), whereas using culture as a social fabric, contributing
mediating force, to regulate and shape develop- both to unity and to an
ment more broadly, recognises culture as a sig- appreciation of cultur-
nificant contributor to social cohesion. Examples al diversity, which is a
include the process through which agricultural valuable insight for any
activity is driven by cultural context and inher- country currently facing
ited practices, or the function of kinship jokes in ethnic difference or con-
inter-ethnic communication to mediate conflict flict. At a time when the
and tension. Taking culture beyond mediation to culture-light Millennium
become a generally-transforming element, how- Development Goals are
ever, would embed it more deeply in grassroots about to expire (in 2015),
aspirations and activities, such as community there is a growing con-
farming and anti-desertification initiatives, which sensus that culture needs
are not central to the current policy documents. to be more prominent in
These policy documents create higher visibility the next set of Goals to
for culture, potentially encourage greater public emerge from the global
support and funding for cultural activities and development agenda. 19
Thriving on difficult ideas that underpin culturally-
focused and culturally-informed sustain-
complexity ability. This involves reconsidering apparent-
ly familiar ideas such as culture, and even
development. It is also necessary to explore
Few things in human life are more what lies behind the two terms sustainability
powerful than ideas and concepts, and sustainable development: are they inter-
and culture is one of the most changeable, complementary or in conflict?
influential in all walks of life. And where do social and cultural sustain-
(Graham Fairclough) ability intersect, interact or overlap?

Both culture and sustainable development

are broad concepts, covering different Culture
spheres of life from past to future. Trying
to define the roles of culture in sustainable As Raymond Williams now-famously said,
development opens up questions about what culture is one of the two or three most com-
we mean by culture, how it is related to var- plicated words in English usage [1]. There
ious types of development and how it lives have been, and will continue to be, many at-
with diverse interpretations of sustainabili- tempts to list all the things the word embrac-

20 ty. In this chapter we examine some of the es. Whilst used in different ways in several
distinct intellectual disciplines and distinct style-based concept referring to all domains
systems of thought, culture is additionally also of human life, which is akin to Williams way
an everyday concept, it has public meanings of life, an anthropological-archaeological
and understandings, and is used in many dif- interpretation, and on the other side, a nar-
ferent ways and contexts. Its meaning has row, art-based culture referring to both the
changed through time as well, from early general process of intellectual and spiritual
ideas of culture as action in real life-worlds or aesthetic development and its results [2].
and its interaction with nature, which are es- Many policy conventions and declarations
sential aspects for anthropological use of define culture in a broad way, but in politics
the concept even today, to culture as the cul- and in public discourse culture is often treat-
tivation of the human mind and behaviour. ed in a narrower sense. In addition to these
two formulations, we can bring in the symbol-
We define culture as a loosely ic dimension of culture: culture as semiotic,
integrated totality of practices, drawing on symbols as vehicles, arguably as
the broadest view of all, including as it does
institutions and mechanisms that
both intentional and unconscious behaviour.
deal with the production, distribu-
In this publication we settle on a usage of
tion, consumption and preservation the term culture that encompasses all these
of collectively shared meanings, as perspectives, whilst recognising the possibil-
well as the explicit and implicit rules ity, indeed necessity, of both subdivision and
that govern the relevant processes. overlap.
The cultural system is only relatively
organised and embraces the
tensions and internal contradictions Development
of the social and spatial world, in Development - perhaps more precisely
which it appears, perpetuating and qualified as human development usually
subverting its norms of behaviour entails intentional as well as unintentional
and power relations, as well as processes of change and evolution towards
providing loopholes for escape from a new situation that is better in social, cul-
its everyday routines to imaginary tural, and environmental terms. This can for
example be expressed through high level
values such as democracy, health, food and
(Hannes Palang)
water security, equality of opportunity and
access to resources, social equity, justice
Williams came up with three main meanings or economic prosperity. The latter is some-
of culture that have become popular both in times foregrounded to the partial exclusion
research and policy: culture as the general of the others, but such a focus on economic
process of intellectual, spiritual or aesthet- growth, especially if accompanied by social
ic development, culture as a particular way and cultural inequalities, or without regard
of life, whether of people, period or group, to environmental balance, cannot move to-
and culture as works and intellectual artis- wards sustainability.
tic activity [1]. Often, however, two distinct
higher level distinctions are drawn, broad- Development has been described, in the UN
based and narrowly-defined: a broad, life- Development Programme (UNDP) first Hu- 21
man Development Report in 1990 as a pro- ditions, tastes or ways of thinking discourage
cess (the enlargement of relevant human change or adaptation to new technologies or
choices) as well as an achievement (the ways of life? It is possible in some circum-
compared extent to which, in given societies, stances to question how far every aspect of
those relevant choices are actually attained) a particular culture can be valued. As already
[3: 17]. It will generally also involve specific mentioned, development can be defined in
goals of the type emphasised in sustainabil- terms of achievement as well as of process,
ity, notably equity, justice and responsibilities taking various directions, and potentially for-
within and between the generations. This can ward and backwards. It is also common for
entail a spontaneous evolution towards such development to be seen as a continuous
goals, without self-conscious or intentional evolutionary path; but the trajectory can be
actions, or it can refer to (social) processes changed, or even broken, for example by po-
that are deliberately designed to transform a litical, social or technical ruptures.
social environment and which may be insti-
gated by institutions or actors not necessar-
ily belonging, or deriving from, the place or Sustainability or sustainable
community in question. development?

As well as recognising this broad spectrum In our work we have taken the Brundtlands
of development, we are also in this document report on sustainable development and the
strongly aware that the concept of develop- pillar-approach to sustainable development
ment cannot be objectively defined but is value as one of our principal starting point. The
-laden in ways that are specific to culture, Brundtland definition of sustainable devel-
context and history or time. It is therefore a opment is world-famous: development that
continuously (re-)negotiated concept. Wheth- meets the needs of the present without com-
er a situation, context or place is regarded promising the ability of future generations to
as being more developed than another, or meet their own needs. Although the defini-
not, or a particular development proposal is tion talks about sustainable development,
regarded as being good or bad, depends sustainability has also become popular. The
on the viewpoints and agenda of those as- two terms are often used interchangeably;
sessing the changes. The introduction of a are they therefore synonyms? Presumably
new crop variety in a farming system, for ex- not - a number of governments and global
ample, might be an improvement for some business corporations are prepared to dis-
people because of its better production and/ cuss policies for sustainable development,
or better social and economic conditions, but pull back from sustainability. It may be
but others might consider this as a decline that for such governments sustainable de-
through, for example, its impact on biodiver- velopment is safe in its implication that any
sity or landscape character, or through loss type of development can go ahead as long
of economic independence; both viewpoints as it is mitigated usually in practice envi-
may be culturally-informed assessments. ronmentally, occasionally in theory at least
socially. Sustainability, in contrast, with its
Culture is often considered as a positive implication that an association with further
cause or result of development. But might development is not essential, can seem
it sometimes be a hindrance or obstacle to threatening to those sectoral interests for
22 development, for example if entrenched tra- whom growth (usually defined as economic
growth) is the only way ahead. This would culture and leading to sectoral rather than
suggest that sustainability is a term with cross-sectoral/disciplinary thinking), we also
a more reaching set of objectives and val- recognise their value as metaphors in sus-
ues, one that can support de-growth and no tainability debates, as relatively well-accept-
growth agendas as well as growth, one that ed and understood tools, and therefore as
might have social equity and justice not eco- means to explore the role of culture in that
nomic prosperity as its goal. framework and bring it to the policy debate.

Sustainable development or sustainability is

usually seen as a win-win-win solution be-
tween ecological (protection), social (justice)
and economic (viability), hence the wide-
ly-used model of the three pillars, or axes
[4]. Other pillars like institutional, cultural
and other dimensions of sustainability have
been proposed [5]. Our position is that, whilst
acknowledging some shortcomings related
to the pillar model (reduction of reality and


Almost three decades since its publication, the report Our Common Future, popularly known as the
Brundtland Report (1987) has become a cornerstone of the conceptualisation of sustainable develop-
ment and is today still one of the most cited documents in sustainability discourses. Its introductory
statement has acquired the status of an indisputable definition turned into a mantra: Sustainable de-
velopment ... meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to
meet their own needs. However, taken out of its context, this statement sounds ambiguous. It may be in-
terpreted at least in two ways: as a need to save resources for the next generations, and as recognition of
the presents limited possibilities to solve the sustainability problems that will be left to our successors.

To cope with this ambiguity, it is worthwhile to re-contextualise the vision of sustainable development
that the report offered:
(1) It is based on a new holistic developmental model, denying the narrow preoccupations and compart-
mentalisation of national economies, characterised by three important aspects: the imperative of
limits, a changed developmental aim, and differentiated approaches to achieve these ends.
(2) In this vein, the report suggested in the name of our common future a global redistribution of the
causes, consequences, benefits, and responsibilities of development.
(3) Our sustainable future can be guaranteed only by a drive for new type or form of development, one
beyond the motivation of purely economic profit: the necessity to satisfy human needs and aspira-
tions, declared to be the major objective of development.
(4) The report suggests resetting the direction of urbanisation, by taking the pressure off the largest
urban centres and building up smaller towns and cities, more closely integrating them with their
rural hinterlands.
(5) Although culture is not especially accentuated in the report, its role is crucial as a new value promot-
er and pattern maker: it begins in chapter 1 by stating that To successfully advance in solving global
problems, we need to develop new methods of thinking, to elaborate new moral and value criteria,
and, no doubt, new patterns of behaviour.
Thus the report marked the cultural turn to a new developmental path.
(Svetlana Hristova)

Some scholars think it less a problem to The undefined needs mentioned by
define sustainability than to find ways to the Brundtlands definition are not
achieve it, and this has been explored in a
on the whole consistent across the
number of ways. Perhaps some of the most
familiar is the spectrum from (very) weak to
globe, through all levels of society,
(very) strong sustainability [6], or the distinc- or at different stages of life, or even
tion between broad and narrow sustainabil- when filtered through ideology or
ity [7]. Such concepts are important, in par- faith. One persons need is another
ticular when the substitution of various forms persons excess or dearth; when one
of capital (social, human, natural, economic) set of needs is fulfilled, another
are being negotiated in the face of devel-
(often someone elses) is denied.
opmental change. Another relevant discus-
(Constanza Parra)
sion concerns the intrinsic and instrumental
values of both culture and nature, and how
they should be understood, balanced and
treated in a sustainable manner. This is an Social and cultural
important issue when culture is used purpo- sustainability: same or different?
sively as an instrument in development (e.g.
to boost creative industries). Questions such Until now the cultural aspects of sustainable
as which and whose culture is used, and for development have mainly been discussed or
what purposes, are deeply founded on issues elaborated as a part of the social pillar of
of power. sustainable development, or else combined
with social sustainability (socio-cultural sus-
Sustainable development does not mean the tainability). In the former case cultural issues
same in all parts of the world, and current are solely considered as part of the social di-
meanings are subject to change over time. mension; in the latter there is recognition that
Nor can it be understood independently of culture is different from social but the diffi-
cultural context(s). There is no single defi- culty of separating them in practice or ex-
nition of sustainable development or sustain- isting policy means that they are kept linked.
ability that works for all circumstances, and Only a very few researchers (e.g. [11][12])
it is necessary to acknowledge the diversity or policy documents have tried to separate
of these meanings. Meanings are shaped by them, yet not necessarily with a proper way
diversity in human life-modes and by adap- to make a difference between them. Are they
tations to living conditions that vary around the same or different? Are cultural issues, as
the world; even more so by aspirations and many actors consider, a part of the realm
needs or wants. Consequently the key ideas of social issues, or (as implied above) does
and values of sustainable development, in- culture act through societal frameworks and
ter- and intra-generational equity, justice, mechanisms? How to separate the cultural
participation and gender equality, and eco- and the social in sustainability?
logical quality vary from culture to culture,
and within them [8][9]. These questions lead us to discuss the re-
lationship between society and culture.
In its broadest sense culture covers all
spheres of life, and therefore also of society.
Defining culture in this way, however, makes it Policy is in fact highly plural and highly di-
so full of meaning (conceptually obese) that verse. It can be created at any scale from
it may cease to be a concept with practical the smallest community or municipality,
use. Yet, much research in the social scienc- through business or industrial corporations
es (particularly since the so called cultural and all levels of municipality up to and includ-
turn) recognises not only the separateness ing a World City like London, to regions and
but also importantly the interlinkedness of upwards to nation states, federal states, and
culture with society and/or social structures. supra national communities such as the EU,
In Habermassian thought, for example, the NATO or global multinationals such as Shell,
constituents of the life-world are seen as in- Rio Tinto or Google. Policies can be bottom
dividuals, culture and society; many commen- up or top down; in both cases they may be
tators have also added concepts of power, democratic or participatory, or not. They may
and emphasised the symbolic as well as ma- be mandatory rules or optional guidance,
terial importance of all these things. bedded in law or in custom, or ideologically
-based. Whilst increasing attention is being
In this document, we assume that culture given to integrated policy and planning pro-
and society have to some degree an iter- cesses, and to holistic thinking about devel-
ative and reciprocal relationship, in which opment, policies still usually arise from par-
culture constructs society but society also ticular sectoral groupings, or specific areas
shapes culture. To make an analogy, people of governance, or particular government de-
have for thousands of years designed their partments. These different origins, and their
architecture to contain their specific, cultur- relationship (or lack of) to each other, may
ally constructed lifestyles and economic ac- prevent successful functioning or lead to un-
tivities; yet once built, the architecture in its intended consequences.
turn shapes and changes how people live, so
that their future ways of living, their culture, In this document, in the next chapter we
fit into the (by then) pre-existing structure. focus mainly on the various fields in which
Whilst society and culture are in many ways policies operate and the scripts they most
interlinked and constitutive of each other, commonly follow. Then we consider ways
however, their different constituencies never- to monitor the effect of policy, as of other
theless allow for distinctive social and cultur- planned or prospective changes, for exam-
al dimensions in sustainability. ple by monitoring through indicators. Before
moving into those areas, however, it is nec-
essary to describe the ways in which we see
Policy culture operating and functioning through
Policy can be almost as challenging a word
as culture. It has so many actual or potential
meanings that it can be overloaded, impos-
sible to use without qualification. It is often
taken to refer to public policy defined by
governments at various levels, but individuals
and social groups have policies as well, ex-
plicitly or not.
Politics and uses of the past: Varied
narratives in the museums of Cyprus
Any museum usually integrates two
parallel narratives, such as global
and local, or nation and community.
It is however not clear whether mu-
seums can succeed in sharing multi-
ple narratives and acknowledging its
relations with a variety of stakehold-
ers. In Cyprus, museums in the south-
ern part of the island (Greek-Cypriot)
tend to celebrate the islands classi-
cal Greek past. On the other hand, in
the northern part (Turkish-Cypriot)
the more recent, medieval and Otto-
Cultural heritage is well known to be dynamic, man past takes its place, yet paradoxically with
controversial and able to generate heated de- space given, for example, to the culture of Greek
bates. There are many arenas in which this can orthodox icon painting. How are heritage and cul-
happen, but one of the most common is the ture used in museums? Whose culture is it? For
museum, an institution created and maintained what aims, and why? And how does this relate to
to preserve and look after objects, stories and xenophobic or nationalist movements?
memories from the past, a task which can never
be politically or ideologically neutral. Museums, This is relevant as culture is the object of social
as places where heritage is not only preserved conflict. It also represents the interplay of poli-
(with issues of what to select) but also present- cies and politics of memory and forgetting. As a
ed and interpreted (with issues of which stories result, power relationships may shape a muse-
to tell, which narratives to create) are often used ums content and practices. Museums may exhibit
as tools for shaping national, local or community politically desired narratives and exclude or mis-
identities in the context of particular policy dis- represent the heritage of others. Museums run
courses. In some cases, they are even involved in the risk of merely reflecting officially accepted
political battles. This story deals with Cyprus, a identities or the dominant ideologies of those in
country divided in two, amidst unresolved politi- power. A crucial question for the future is how
cal conflict, with a long history of cultural change to ensure that those museums which keep local
(Greek, Roman, Venetian, Ottoman, British etc.) heritage and cultural diversity alive become more
and a currently rapidly-changing economic and self-sustainable and not dependent on political
social environment. It serves here as a good case priorities.
study to discuss the potential of museums to en-
gage in social dialogue in the face of xenopho-
bic and nationalistic movements throughout the
The Faro Convention strongly suggests that com- imperatives that promote exclusion and to be
munities engage in active communication with ethically responsible, not only about museologi-
museums to define the content and multiple cal issues but also in relationship to all its stake-
uses of cultural heritage. Democratically-rooted holders, users and visitors, the communities, local
in such a way, museums would serve society as or otherwise, which they serve, their audiences,
places of inspiration, knowledge and expertise, and society in general.
and as safe places to (re)negotiate heritage. They
can be key actors in the negotiation of its com-
plex multicultural values and traditions within Cultural policies should encourage the inclusion
society. By collecting individual and family mem- of multiple voices and perspectives and the en-
ories they can function as gateways of communi- gagement of diverse communities and experts
cation, offer interpretations, and transmit them to in defining and interpreting heritage and culture.
a growing collective social memory, thus contrib- This is not just a responsibility for sector based
uting to a new culture of shared memories. Mu- cultural policies but requires a wider culture-
seums might even help cultural heritage to play inclusive policy approach. Policies dealing with
the decisive role that the Faro Convention identi- education, tourism, research, cultural diplomacy,
fies of conflict reconciliation and the bridging of social policies, and city and regional planning, as
deeply politically divisions. To do this however, well as other relevant public policies, can inte-
requires museums to be independent of political grate museums in the core of their policy-making.

The Cyprus Museum, southern part of Cyprus, inaugurated in 1909 (left page) and the Canbulat Tomb and
Museum, northern part of Cyprus, inaugurated in 1968 (rightpage); Pictures: Theopisti Stylianou-Lambert

Multiple contributions of culture to
sustainable development
The overall issue is a need to make In this publication, we recognise that culture
culture more explicit in the academic is capable of being integrated within sustain-
and policy debate on sustainable able development in three more-or-less sep-
arate but never fully distinctive and indeed
development: I refer here to a view
often interlocking ways, or roles. These are
of culture in and for sustainable derived from a literature review of scientific
development which is understood articles using the concept of cultural sus-
in dynamic interaction with nature. tainability [13] . Each role is discussed in
Culture, as an ensemble of tangible more detail below, but to summarise:
vectors of social life, comprises a
natural dimension. It is this dimen- First, a supportive and self-promoting role
(characterised as culture in sustainable
sion that should be resurrected in
development), which simply, and fairly un-
order to strengthen and make more
controversially, expands conventional sus-
tangible the role of culture in sustain- tainable development discourse by adding
able development. culture as a more or less self-standing
(Constanza Parra) or freestanding 4th pillar. Culture stands,
linked but autonomous, alongside sep-
SEVEN STORYLINES OF CULTURAL arate ecological, social, and economic
SUSTAINABILITY considerations and imperatives of sus-
In their paper in GeoForum [14], Exploring the scientific
discourse of cultural sustainability, Soini and Birkeland
Second, a role (culture for sustainable
reported on their analysis of the diverse meanings that
were being applied in scientific publications, at that stage
development) which offers culture as a
in the development of this field of study, and as the COST more influential force that can operate
Action began its work, to the concept of cultural sustain- beyond itself; this role moves culture into
ability. The study showed that the scientific discourse on
a framing, contextualising and mediating
cultural sustainability could be organised around seven
principal story lines or narratives: heritage, vitality, eco-
mode, that can balance all three of the
nomic viability, diversity, locality, eco-cultural resilience pillars and guide sustainable development
and eco-cultural civilisation. between economic, social, and ecologi-
cal pressures and needs (which of course
Some of the storylines referred to culture as the fourth
pillar of sustainability, while others saw culture as con-
grow out of human cultural aspirations
tributing to achieve social, economic or ecological goals and actions).
of sustainability, or culture as a necessary foundation for
a transition to a truly sustainable society. Moreover, al-
though also interlinked and overlapping, the storylines
were relatable to four different contexts, ideologies, at-
titudes or ways of thinking that can be labelled conser-
vative, neoliberal, communitarian and environmentalist.
These contexts provide further perspectives on the di-
verse political ideologies and policy arenas in which cul-
tural sustainability must operate.
28 The overall issue is a need to make
(Katriina Soini, Inger Birkeland)
Third, a role (culture as sustainable de- SUPPORTING SUSTAINABILITY -
velopment) which sees culture as the A SELF-STANDING ROLE FOR CULTURE
necessary overall foundation and struc- IN SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT
ture for achieving the aims of sustainable
development. By recognising that culture First role supporting. Culture as a sepa-
is at the root of all human decisions and rate aspect, a free-standing or self-standing
additional pillar, the 4th pillar, a role as an
actions and an overarching concern (even
independent and autonomous dimension
a new paradigm) in sustainable develop-
alongside the others.
ment thinking, culture and sustainability
become mutually intertwined, and the dis-
Seeing culture as a fourth pillar of sustain-
tinctions between the economic, social
able development, alongside the ecolog-
and environmental dimensions of sustain-
ical, social and economic pillars is already
ability begin to fade.
a well-established view [14]. It is a relatively
straightforward and thus practical approach.
The diagram below shows the relationship
It risks being a limited approach however, fo-
of these three defined roles to sustainabili-
cused on protecting assets deemed cultural
ty and to each other. They are not mutually
that are valued (giving culture a voice of its
exclusive, but rather represent different ways
own and an equal value); it is sometimes too
of thinking and organising values, meanings
easily limited to a narrow definition of cul-
and norms strategically and eclectically in
ture as the arts and creative-cultural sector.
relation to discussions on sustainable devel-
It is also open to allowing culture to be un-
derstood only qualitatively as that which is
considered excellent or only through its so-
cio-economic contribution to a nation or oth-
er imagined community.

Furthermore, because of the way culture is

often popularly understood today as art and
creative activities, and as a separate sphere
of public policy, the 4th pillar role can obscure

Culture in sustainable development Culture for sustainable development Culture as sustainable development

The three roles of culture (represented in orange) in sustainable development (the three circles represent
the three pillars). Culture added as a fourth pillar (left diagram), culture mediating between the three pil-
lars (central diagram) and culture as the foundation for sustainable development. The arrows indicate the 29
ever-changing dynamics of culture and sustainable development (right diagram).
cultures relationship to nature, and can un- ability would imply, for example, with regard
derstate its connections to broader societal to aesthetic valuation of public art, cultural
issues. This encourages the view that culture heritage, natural and built environments. The
is a marginal concern in sustainable develop- qualitative concept of culture is thus very
ment, not the equal of the other three pillars. important whenever we want to evaluate
Through the historical construction of culture, and judge quality and develop indicators for
art and aesthetic processes have become assessing the effects of a particular practice
ranked above other more earthly activities or program. This is also why culture can use-
like agriculture, and other primordial areas fully be understood and used as a 4th pillar of
of life like nursing and caring. Modernitys sustainability.
expansion of scientific thinking and reflexiv-
ity helped to establish art and culture as a
separate sphere, and deserving its own do- CONNECTING SUSTAINABILITY THE
main in public policy. Now, at a time when all MEDIATING ROLE OF CULTURE FOR
divisions of knowledge (disciplinary boundar- SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT
ies) are being re-examined, and when holis-
Second role connecting and mediating.
tic solutions of which sustainability is of
Culture as driver of sustainability processes;
course one - are being seen as necessary, it
this transcends the drawbacks and benefits
is clear that a 4th pillar approach for culture
of ecological, economic and social develop-
cannot be the only way forward, useful and ment. Economic, social and ecological sus-
powerful though it is proving to be. tainability afforded by culture.

The 4th pillar role nevertheless offers many Since all human beings both have culture
possibilities for relating culture to sustainable and are cultural human beings, we need a
development. The key issue here is the un- broader conceptualisation of culture that in-
derstanding of art and creative activities in cludes the diversity of human values, subjec-
terms of particular qualities, which makes it tive meanings, expressions and life-modes,
very possible to define the qualities of sus- and that allows us to distinguish between
tainable development within the arts and differences in culture and between cultures
culture sector. Values can be set in policy- in a fruitful way, without making judgments
making, operationalised in strategies and about qualities of art and culture. Culture is
carried out in practical action at different po- the meaningful content of human societies
litical levels, within arts and cultural organisa- and communities. It is made by individuals
tions and within business and economic en- within societies whilst simultaneously also
terprises. Artistic and creative qualities can shaping their lives and existence. In terms
be introduced for example through the setting of sustainabilitys three pillars, culture can be
of criteria for judgments about how sustain- the way to balance competing or conflicting
able a particular policy, organisation or com- demands and work through communication
pany is. Criteria can be defined for valuing or to give human and social meaning to sus-
assessing the contribution to sustainable de- tainable development. Culture can be a go-
velopment of a particular process, product between or intermediary to connect the vari-
or image. ous dimensions of sustainability, as shown in
the second part of the diagram.
Furthermore, artistic and cultural qualities
30 are relevant when asking what sustain-
(s)ustainability is cultural by being contextual, his-
torically and geographically concrete; everything
human beings do is woven into culture in terms of
webs of meaning created by human beings. Culture
appears and is understandable through narrative
organisation, and cultural sustainability can emerge
as a social process created through narratives that
connect the past with the future, and the local with
the global. [15: 165]
Culture processes and translates into a com- CREATING SUSTAINABILITY THE
mon language the ecologically-, environmen- TRANSFORMATIVE ROLE OF CULTURE
tally- and socially-founded reactions to pro- AS SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT
posed development or imminent avoidable
change. Generally speaking however some Third role creating sustainability. Here cul-
ture takes on its evolutionary, holistic and
sort of lens or filter is required to understand
transformative role, providing a new para-
how culture mediates the relation between
digm to the question of sustainable devel-
society and environment. One might be the
concept of landscape , for example, anoth-
er might be the context of territorialisation,
Culture can be viewed at a more profound
a third could be ecosystems services, and
level of society as a core issue for a tran-
creativity might be fourth example. All require
sition towards sustainable development. We
a cultural context and an understanding and
can for example insist on a co-thinking of en-
welcoming of diversity of cultural expres-
vironmental, social and cultural sustainability,
sions, and most importantly some level of
and an insistence on how social life is em-
co-production rooted in human intentionality
bedded in particular places and situations. A
expressed in practices, i.e. culture. The fact
truly evolutionary culture, or an eco-cultural
that the potential of cultures mediating role
civilisation, involves practicing a new under-
has rarely been exploited perhaps explains
standing of the human place in the world, and
why sustainable development has proved to
recognising that humans are an inseparable
be so elusive.
part of the more-than-human world. Crucially,
this means that every human action is always
relative to and influenced by the situation at
hand. It allows new values, new ways of life,
and (perhaps) utopian visions of a sustain-
able society.

Culture represents and creates wider relations be-
tween human and nature, past, present and future,
the materialised and the imagined world. [16]
Culture thus becomes the matrix for particu-
SUSTAINABLE REGIONAL LANDSCAPE DEVELOPMENT lar ways of life. In this sense, culture is more
than a descriptive or analytical tool, and of-
Many rural areas in Europe have undergone a sustained depopulation fers an ideal of doing things well, of culture
of urban centres over a long period, whereas others have experienced
as cultivation and sustaining life, but without
positive renewal through in-migration and population growth. Can cul-
ture positively influence such developments?
making things well at the cost of something
or somebody else. Culture in this approach
The University of Bern undertook case studies in six protected areas refers to a worldview, a cultural system guid-
of four European countries within the framework of a project entitled
ed by intentions, motivations, ethical and
The cultural dimension of sustainable regional and landscape de-
velopment (SRLD). These studies revealed that culture is generally
moral choices, rooted in values that drive our
a significant driver of SRLD, in that it promotes social cohesion and individual and collective actions [17], and to a
can delay or even reverse depopulation of rural areas. One example is process and communication of transforma-
the French National Regional Park (PNR) of Monts dArdche, a region
tion and cultural change. This makes it pos-
boasting a high diversity of cultural activity, a high density of people
engaged in the cultural sector, and numerous cultural associations
sible to think of sustainability and sustainable
and activities. Furthermore, there are many efforts to promote the ar- development as processes, ongoing and in-
eas rich cultural heritage, particularly its dry-stone terraces. This high the-making, not as fixed states.
level of cultural activity is self-energising and works to attract further
inward migration of those interested in spaces for creative living. In
the case of the Ardche, the diversity of cultural activities enhances
Sustainabilities imply making connections
quality of life and adds value to the economy; culture can be seen to between people and the worlds they inhab-
play a significant role as a driver of SRLD. it and use. In this approach, ecoculture is
deeply related to social learning by working
Even a single flagship project can contribute to regional cultural re-
vival and consequent positive economic and social benefits, including
with place-conscious and place-responsive
counteracting depopulation. The internationally-renowned thtre du teaching, sharing and learning, and engaging
peuple, for example, has endowed the village Bussang in the Vosges humans in discussions of what kind of world
with a prominence above and beyond commercial success: its vibrancy
we want to live in now and in the future. This is
and long tradition has become central to regional identity. The newer,
but already widely acclaimed Theater Origen in Switzerlands Parc Ela
applicable in policymaking and even in wider
may engender a similar effect over time. politics: engaging citizens in discussions of
what kind of world should be a basic prem-
These examples demonstrate that culture can contribute significantly
ise of public policies. Culture refers here not
to sustainable regional and landscape development and can also posi-
tively influence the demographic development in rural areas.
to particular types of knowledge, but to fun-
damental new processes of social learning
(Bettina Scharrer, Marion Leng, Thomas Hammer) that are nourishing, healing, and restorative.
Sustainability exists thus as a process of
community-based thinking that is pluralistic
where culture represents both problem and
possibility, form and process, and concerns
those issues, values and means whereby a
society or community may continue to exist.

Three roles, many applications

Depending on circumstances and objectives, Acknowledging all the challenges related to

all three ways of using culture in sustainable the concepts of culture, sustainability and
development will be relevant in particular con- sustainable development, we suggest that
texts, whether theoretical, political or practi- this framework can work as a first system-
cal. The three roles should not necessarily atic attempt to analyse the role of culture
be seen in the sequence presented here, and in sustainable development. We also argue
they do not necessarily form an evolution- that given the broadness, vagueness and
ary path. Nonetheless, within the three-role complexity of culture and sustainability, there
framework one can observe trends, trajec- will still be space for interpretations and flexi-
tories, dynamics and gradients. In comparing bility. Thus - although a number of issues re-
the third to the first (4th pillar) role, the eco- main to be resolved - this framework may be
logical emphasis, but also (thanks to the in- used both in research and policy concerning
tegrating power of culture) the integration of culture and sustainability as a tool to find
cultural, social and ecological aspects, and ones position in the field.
the overall dynamics, diversity and openness,
hence the overall complexity, increases.
Similarly, policies become more diverse, nu-
anced and multilayered, and more dialogue
and interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary
communication is required. These trends are
obviously related to the broader definition of
culture, which allows, perhaps sometimes
demands, a systemic approach including as-
pects from both natural and human worlds.
We should also realise that there can be
complex dynamics even within the simple
4th pillar model. Although most clearly based
on disciplinary and sectoral approaches,
this use of culture is also encouraging new
modes of governance to emerge.

Resilience and transformation:
Post-industrial landscapes, place and
living futures in Norway
The protection and uses of industrial heritage nomination consists of four components associ-
raise many problems. Some (whose heritage, ated with technical-industrial heritage: the tangi-
what to protect and how, who is in control?) are ble and man-made remains for power production,
common to all heritage, although often exac- the factories and industrial buildings, the trans-
erbated by scale and recentness. Some on the port systems and urban communities of the com-
other hand are more distinctive to industrial her- pany town type.
itage. So-called industrial heritage is normally
actually post-industrial: it is the material remains The nomination emphasises the human creation
that have been left behind that we grapple with, of society as an expression of modernisation
and often in the context of communities affected through industrialisation. But what should be
by the withdrawal of employment and prosperity, sustained and protected and why? Is it the build-
who have the need to not only preserve the re- ings with machines, and the trains and ships? Is
mains but to ensure they take on new economic, it the town and the workers housing areas? Or is
cultural and social life. The uses of these remains it the whole landscape? Industrial development
are therefore an aspect of heritage that is par- at Rjukan and Notodden was highly dependent
ticularly relevant to discussions of culturally-in- on the physical landscape. Why not sustain the
formed sustainability. whole production system, the physical and the
man-made landscape? Or is it the intangible her-
The towns of Rjukan and Notodden in Telemark itage, the ways of living of population with all
became in the early 20th century the birthplace their customs, skills and backgrounds, that also
of Norway as a modern, industrial nation, thanks should be sustained? The human features will
initially to the use of hydro-electricity drawn change and vanish if they are not protected. This
from local waterfalls in large-scale industrialisa- is also a question of how to protect. It concerns
tion, notably the production of chemical saltpe- the way in which factory buildings are turned into
tre. From 1900 to 1920 their populations grew nice, sanitised and safe surrounding for families,
from almost nothing to several thousands. After children and visitors of any kind. Are factories fun
a short period of rapid growth, the area has ex- places to play? Are hard working conditions, long
perienced a prolonged period of de-industrialisa- hours, dangers, etc. from the beginning of twenti-
tion, and since 1945 in particular technological eth century being forgotten in the process? Sus-
development and the changing global economy taining industrial heritage is also a question of
created social and economic challenges as facto- the image of the landscape, not only the physical
ries closed and large scale industrial employment landscape.
fell away. The two towns have met the need for
economic restructuring in different way. In 2014 The protection of cultural heritage has to be
the Norwegian government submitted a proposal evaluated in the context of current discours-
to nominate the industrial heritage at Rjukan and es in media, policy, education and the arts, in

34 Notodden for UNESCOs world heritage list. The order to understand the varied meanings of
The Saaheim power station in Rukjan (picture: Inger Birkeland)

sustainability and culture, and to be clear whose culture an object of discourse can be relevant
cultural sustainability is being described. These as the relation between culture and sustainable
meanings are multiple, but include (as adapted development is emotional, cognitive and ethical;
from [14]): values (as in the content of landscape people have a sense of place or belonging to
and/or heritage), processes (identifiable through their place. Policy-makers can include this sense
practices and participation) and affordances (in of place in policy-making via collaboration and
terms of those living there and visitors, such as networking. This can even change the political
sense of place, identity, locally -defining events culture itself.
like the sun festival).
The key lesson is perhaps that cultural sustain-
The stewardship of a post-industrial landscape ability can be achieved by maintaining links with
involves, like any aspect of heritage, a process the past through an understanding of heritage
of selection of what is to be sustained, re-used as a social and cultural process, especially in the
or adapted, protected or memorised. When de- case of recent, still deeply felt heritage such
industrialisation remains, as in Rjukan, more or as industrialisation. Recently de-industrialised
less within living memory, local interests, tastes, complexes and landscapes, amongst all types of
identities and powers come to the fore. They are heritage, offer great opportunities via protection,
also usually foregrounded by the sheer scale of use and re-use to absorb elements from diverse
the industrial remains and the imperative to find cultures, so that post-industrially-challenged lo-
new economic uses. A more reflexive policy ap- cations once again become enlivened places.
proach to culture would be helpful here. To make

Defining policy
We discussed the complexity and plurality interaction involving multiple stakeholders in
of policy in the previous chapter. Here, we decision-making processes, based on val-
use the word policy to refer to formal plans, ues and principles such as local democracy,
actions and strategies, and how they are transparency, citizens participation, cooper-
implemented in regulations and institutions. ation and exchange [19].
Policies include principles, documents, rules
and guidelines that are formulated or adopt- Due to all this complexity, policy is a thread
ed by collectives or organisations to reach running through all the discussions and de-
their long-term goals, and more specifically, bates on culture and sustainable develop-
strategies, decisions, actions and other sys- ment. These discourses emphasise how
tems of arrangements undertaken to solve it is necessary always to root policies and
a collective problem with the help of human, their implementation into the specific cir-
financial and material resources. The word cumstances of their existence, and how pol-
also applies to coordinated actions under- icies should be specific and appropriate in
taken to modify a structural or a temporary particular social, geographic or cultural
situation in order to attain predetermined ob- terms, not be generic. This is valid at any
jectives [18]. Policy also incorporates in its level, from international to local, and helps
scope formal and informal practices linked to explain why some worldwide policies en-
to operationalisation and implementation. counter difficulties of implementation in
Governance is an important issue as well; some areas, or why some countries choose

38 we consider it here as processes of social not to ratify international conventions.

Successful policies will normally be those We discuss here eight such contexts in which
that take into account the specificities of the policies are commonly devised, although we
cultures relevant in their context. appreciate that these can overlap and be
mutually supportive. They form a nexus of
memory, heritage and identity, place, land-
scape and territory, social life, commons and
Policy scripts for participation, creativity, economic develop-

culture and sustain- ment, nature, awareness, and transforma-

able development
In reviewing existing policy areas, we have Policies negotiating memories,
found it useful to identify a number of differ- identities and heritage
ent scripts that policy formulation and im-
plementation can be seen to follow, the con- Cultural sustainability in this context is about
texts in which policies are commonly devised maintaining links with the past, whilst recog-
and used. These scripts can be character- nising that heritage is about much more than
ised as the theme that policies address, or preserving materiality or even keeping the
the steams or flows of thought and action past alive. It is dynamic, controversial and
that they follow. They each frame specific can elicit heated debates. Policies relating to
goals, often even using specific languages, heritage and memories seek to protect and
disciplinary assumptions or ideologies. For preserve but also, and as importantly, to use
our purposes they provide a means to ex- and develop non-material as well as material
press the particular ways in which policies heritage, such as folklore, cultural practic-
are informed by and shaped with culture. es and attitudes, events and traditions and
They differ at many levels, such as the geo- buildings or artifacts. Such policies should be
graphic scale at which they are applied, the capable of absorbing ideas and supporting
type of actors who are involved and the sec- the aspirations from a variety of groups in-
tors concerned, the institutional, legal and volved in the heritage and contemporary life
financial tools that are used, and the ethics, of a place. In this context it is helpful to rec-
assumptions and values by which they are ognise distinctions between the diverse man-
inspired. The scripts can be observed at the ifestations of heritage, the values people as-
local level within diverse settings, embedded sign to things, and the processes and means
within dynamics of local living, collective so- (practices and participation) that they apply
cial dialogues, and planning and policy pro- to them. Heritage policies involve both the
cesses of cities and communities. These on inclusion of the perceptions of people who
the ground discussions and often innovative shaped the place, as well as wider imagining
practices are developed for particular con- and discussions on how development possi-
ditions and circumstances, but they are of- bilities can be created in the future. In this
ten informed by multi-level policy frameworks way, heritage does not result in a derelict site
and overarching sets of guiding principles or a museum but, like landscape, becomes a
and commitments negotiated at supra na- living environment.
tional levels.

Culture is complicit in signifying that partic-
ular places of memories or identity bench-
marks serve as touchstones. These places
may be sites of solemn remembrance or, Bridges are functional public spaces, and spaces used for fes-
in contrast, significant places of celebra- tivities, and everyday social and cultural practices. They also
have great significance as evidence of human achievements.
tion. Some may be marks of deep antiqui-
In the collective memory of the Balkans, bridges are also
ty and have an ancient history, while others symbol-bearers of attempts to make connections between
are more recent; some still live in collective communities on both sides of a divide.
memories of local or national communities,
Throughout history, bridges have been a symbol of territorial-
such as locations constructed in the context
isation and state power. Remarkable examples are the Otto-
of European Capital of Culture designations man bridges in Bosnia and Hercegovina, such as the famous
or important historical events. Some memori- Old Bridge in the city of Mostar, or the Latin Bridge over the
al sites remember and deal with a shameful River Miljacka in Sarajevo.

or sad pasts, others commemorate or cele-

All of these bridges have multiple narratives and function as
brate the foundations of society and identity. symbol- bearers of their cities. People attach different mean-
Either can be subversive or dissonant in the ings to this heritage. Many of these bridges are heritage
sense of both uniting and dividing, carrying which divides. The bridge on the Drina for the Bosniak (Mus-
lim) community, as do other bridges of the Ottoman period,
different meanings for different communities.
contributes to a much wider sense of cultural identification,
Heritage functions as a key means to facili- as symbols of the greatness of the culture they wanted to
tate social communication, and can also be participate in, and the importance of the Ottoman Empire. The
a platform for unheard voices and to allow destruction in 1993 of the Old Bridge in Mostar by Croatian
forces had no strategic or military purpose, but led to a de-
tensions (sometimes suppressed) to be ne-
crease of self-confidence and respect and created a feeling of
gotiated publicly, for example where there is hopelessness among the Bosnian community.
a lack of dialogue between ethnic groups,
social groups, races and nations . (Milena Dragievi, ei M. Ljiljana, Roga Mijatovi)

Policies on place, landscape

and territory

People are involved with places via loca- action as a response to unwanted spatial
tion, ecological participation, socio-territorial and sometimes unsustainable developments
belonging and cultural conformity or com- even beyond the local scale [21][22]. Terri-
monality. Memory, heritage and identity are torialisation is a closely-connected concept,
also relevant. They attach subjective cul- too, that refers to a framework within which
tural meanings to place, often described as to facilitate the role of culture to mediate
a sense of place, but the concept of land- intentions and practices in spatial develop-
scape is a close synonym. Sense of place ment at multiple scales [23].
has frequently been linked to sustainability,
suggesting that the construction of socially The construction of identities is often linked
-sustainable (and in the case of landscape to particular places. To enhance the sym-
approaches, also environmentally-sustain- bolic identity of a place, and contribute to
able) communities can be facilitated through residents connecting with a place, atten-
a shared (re)connection with a place they tion is increasingly paid to the importance of
40 call home [20], inspiring people to collective everyday markers such as architecture,
public art, street benches and light standards,
paving designs, plantings, and other aspects
of urban design as well as improvised uses Although a perceptual, literally sensed thing, there are ways to
of public space that help mark the identi- describe or map sense of place [35]. Without pretending to be
comprehensive, these ways include:
ty of a place and collectively contribute to
the sense of place experienced by its res- - Sense of place has been spatially mapped. The growing empha-
idents and visitors [24]. Capturing, indeed sis on place-based and value-centred meanings urges social
defining, such resources and values though scientists involved in natural resource management to think
in spatial terms, and to facilitate the integration of personal
place-specific cultural mapping is becoming
place-based values data into resource-based decision models,
more popular. These mapping exercises are as has been done in the context of forest management and
often focused on the arts and creative sec- planning.
tor, but there is also growing interest in cap- - Perceptions of residents towards their place have been mapped
as part of community assets mapping in the context of partic-
turing more intangible elements and broader
ipative action-oriented community development. Assets refer
aspects of sense of place and place identity. to what inhabitants value, perceive and experience as being
qualities of their communities.
Just as there is a need to be sensitive to - The mapping of values has also been implemented in the con-
text of the complex and contingent sphere of the multiple, co-
and acknowledge the multiple histories and
existing space-time trajectories that make up landscape. Deep
memory-based perspectives on a place, mapping, as applied in place-based research, or processes such
or the distinctive ways in which a place as landscape biography occupying generally larger scales, refer
connects people to the natural world, so to processes of engaging with and evoking place in temporal
depth by bringing together a multiplicity of voices, information,
there are multiple and overlapping lines of
impressions, and perspectives in a multimedia representation
experiences and meaning-making in a place. of a particular environment.
Culture-sensitive policies can help ensure
that all citizens can see themselves reflect- Alongside their range of scholarly research techniques and ap-
proaches, all methods but particularly the latter method, should
ed in their city and can contribute active-
draw upon a wide set of participatory tools to retrieve data, build-
ly to its development, its continuity, and its ing on conversational exchange, fieldwork, performative actions,
changes. ans sound and image work.

(Lummina Horlings)

Policies dealing with social life, old concept of commons which is current-
commons and participation ly being revived in a wide range of spheres:
that of natural resources, access to and use
This script is about how to live together in of which is shared by a community within a
ways that supports the co-existence of dif- set of socially-agreed rules that ensure fu-
ferent ways of life and values and makes ture sustainability, and governance for the
space for equal participation. It highlights cul- benefit of the whole community. Commons
tural diversity within society and the inclusion presents an alternative to the notions of
of varied groups in decision making, as key enclosure and privatisation that have been
issues in the move towards cultural sustain- growing since the early modern period. The
ability. It embodies the principle of respect- concept of landscape, for example, already
ing the rights of all citizen groups, including mentioned, or even of heritage, can be seen
cultural rights. Participation and social cohe- as a universal commons [25].
sion in communities are conditions for devel-
opment and transformational change. There The inclusion of different groups in society
are powerful connections here to the age- into participative decision-taking and action 41
has its own challenges, of course, especially and dynamic character of local cultures, as
in the context of large scale demographic resources for sustainable development.
change, problems with social equality, and
widespread mobility and migration. Moreover, The second main dimension concerns the
with policies directed towards these issues, art and cultural sector and related creative
unexpected side-effects and complexities practices in a more narrow sense. Culture
can occur. Culture can function here as a here focuses mainly on art as an activity and
way of communication between different on the products of art, that is, for example,
groups but also may express officially or po- theatre performances, music, literary works,
litically desired narratives, excluding the nar- visual arts, museum and heritage sector, vi-
rative of others. sual and digital sector, and any cultural idea
or product that can be placed within artistic
Cultural diversity calls for culture-specific un- and creative sectors. It also involves sustain-
derstandings of development at all scales, able design: not only environmentally, cultur-
and taking a variety of values and worldviews ally and socially sustainable products, but
of different cultural groups into account. This products in everyday settings and designed
is a reason why ethnographic and anthropo- environments that can promote more sus-
logical methods are useful in research on tainable ways of life and shifts in thinking and
cultural diversity. From a planning and poli- behaviour.
cy development perspective, the diversifying
populations of cities and regions are leading Arguments for the multiple ways in which ar-
local authorities to emphasise culturally-sen- tistic and creative activity as well as design
sitive and culture-inclusive planning process- contribute to societal well-being and holistic
es, involving extensive consultations and real sustainability are grounded in a long stream
participation in decision-making processes. of evidence-based research concerning the
These principles are also reflected in the role of arts and culture in society . The
many initiatives to encourage and support in- focus on artistic and creative activities in the
tercultural dialogue that are being developed context of sustainability relates both to their
throughout Europe [26]. central role in developing meaning and nar-
ratives that structure the way we think about
and act in the world, as well as the various
Policies encouraging creative dimensions of sustainable actions embed-
practices and activities ded within their artistic, organisational and
creative industry practices.
One of the main dimensions of a creativity
-focussed script for policy is the recognition
of everyday creativity. It acknowledges Culturally sensitive policies for
the diversity of practices, values and under- economic development
standings of a world shaped by interactive
processes between human beings and their Creative economy and bio-economy are
surroundings. It highlights ordinary residents key dimensions in sustainable economies
as active contributors of grassroots agency discourse. This sphere of policy-making is
to gradually and iteratively contribute to a interested in the role of culture in policies
place and its development. The challenge for aiming for sustainable economic develop-
42 policy is to take into account the diversity of ment. Cultural and creative industries are
bedded in and supported by routines, unspo-
TANYASZINHAZ THEATRE COMMUNITY IN ken rules, humour, interpersonal relations,
SERBIA and other practices that are integrating and
dynamic factors in the society, and these
Tanyaszinhaz (loosely translatable from Hungarian as vil- important elements of culture in a broader
lage theatre) is a theatrical community base in a tiny vil- sense may be left in the shadows. The ex-
lage in the province of Vojvodina (north of Serbia) that has
plicit recognition of culture beyond economic
been performing in dozens of villages across the province
for almost 40 years. Most of their members are ethnic Hun- terms both requires and deserves more at-
garians living in Serbia, performing almost exclusively in tention within the creative industry debate.
Hungarian for local audiences. While changing directors and
actors - in total some 260 actors have collaborated in their
Within the bio-economy discourse the prob-
productions - their mission remained the same: bringing
theatrical experience to small and remote villages in Serbia. lem is not the over- or mis-use of culture, but
As such, Tanyaszinhaz is a rare form of travelling theatre in rather the ignorance of the significance of
South-East Europe which has survived many social and po- culture. Bio-economy encompasses the sus-
litical systems, including the turmoil of the war-saturated
tainable production of renewable resources
years. Without any doubt, these trailer-based performers
not only sustained, but also built from scratch rural cultural from land, fisheries and aquaculture environ-
life in places they are visiting. ments and their conversion into food, feed,
fibre, and bio-energy as well as related pub-
The theatres organisational model as well as its programme
lic goods such as well-being services de-
orientation is valuable because it runs against the grain of
the current national cultural field in Serbia, in which govern- rived from nature. Within this debate, there
ment funding of institutional theatres, and an orientation is a strong belief in the exploitation of knowl-
towards urban cultural-elites, are regarded as the standard edge-based technology and innovation. But
in professional art circles. The existence of the Tanyaszin-
bio-economy is also based on the conserva-
haz troupe has been neglected, however, by all relevant
theatrical circles, media reports and cultural policy debates. tion and preservation of biological diversity
It is usually discounted as folkloric or amateurish even at all scales, which, in turn is based on the
though it is not vernacular culture, and its artists are profes- cultural diversity of local ways of lives and
sional academy-educated artists. Yet it is a shining example
locally developed livelihoods. It is also de-
of how self-governed communities, despite a lack of wider
public attention to the topics they deal with (rural cultural pendent on citizens values and knowledge,
life for example), can successfully sustain forms of cultural for example their invention and adaptation
expression. It shows that sustainability can be non-institu- of new technologies, products and ser-
tional, and that marginalised and de-legitimised actors can
vices. It can be argued that policy to foster
also build sustainable and vital cultural networks.
a bio-economy is culturally-informed and em-
(Goran Tomka) bedded, but until now an explicit understand-
ing of culture in bio-economy debate is very
based on individual and collective creativity, limited, if not absent.
skills and talents that have a potential for
wealth and job creation through, for example,
the development of products, services, tour- Policies of nature conservation
ism and place branding. A focus on the eco-
nomic dimensions of cultural and creative It is commonly known, although not always
activities tends to provide economic data to practiced, that to be successful nature con-
lift culture higher up the policy agenda, cre- servation activity should take into account the
ating a wider understanding of the roles of cultural values of people and their livelihoods.
culture in society. But the rich social fabric If not, there will be conflicts between actors
of a society and its functioning is also em- or a decrease in well-being, and the aims 43
of nature conservation will not be reached. Three key tools of transformation are high-
Traditionally, nature conservation policies lighted in this script: sustainability education,
were largely based on public policies, using communication media, and artistic practices.
legislation as the main instrument, which has Sustainability education engenders greater
not left much space for voluntary activities awareness and informed practices. Environ-
or participation. As far as livelihoods such as mental education, both formal and informal,
agriculture or forestry are concerned, finan- aims to raise childrens awareness of envi-
cial subsidy systems have been introduced to ronment and sensibility towards nature. Yet
make practices more environmentally sound. education is not only formal school-based,
Yet these financial support systems are not but also informal life-long learning among all
sustainable in a sense that they are not nec- age groups. Moreover, it should include all di-
essarily able to change the attitude and be- mensions of sustainable development from
haviour in the long term [27]. environmental to social and cultural ones.
There are examples of better recognition of
Cultural sustainability within nature conser- culture as heritage, multiculturalism and way
vation policies will instead seek to change of life in the curriculums of schools. Com-
human and social behaviours and practices munication media such as newspapers, mag-
or find alternative ways to treat or use nature. azines, television, radio, and social media
Culture is a key factor in the adaptation and can be engaged to extend this dialogue into
learning new practices. Another, more often the wider society, to play important roles in
mentioned point is the use of traditional eco- public education about sustainability issues,
logical knowledge and know-how in nature and to serve as key platforms for information
conservation and restoration which should be exchange and social dialogue in communi-
acknowledged alongside the expert or sci- ties. Artistic works aimed at bringing envi-
entific knowledge; neither is sufficient alone. ronmental issues to the publics attention or
using the arts to improve the environment are
growing. They can serve as insightful cata-
Policies to increase lysts for rethinking our daily habits and mod-
sustainability awareness and elling new ways of working and living. There
knowledgeability are growing calls to invent strategies to more
deeply involve artistic and cultural actors in
Awareness has been considered to be an fostering more sustainable cities and ways
important accelerator for change towards of living and grassroots examples of civic
sustainability, referred to as change from the imagination and artivism (art-led activism) in
inside out [28], which is linked to peoples many cities [37] .
values, world-views and motivations. Culture
and cultural values matter in the context of
environmental concern and peoples motiva- Transformations
tion for action. Most of the various attempts
to uncover intrinsic value in nature have in Transformation to a more sustainable soci-
common a search for ways to use such an ety calls for new ways of thinking and act-
ascription of value as a basis for a system ing. Many modes of innovations are need-
of non-anthropocentric duties toward nature. ed: technological, social, cultural, systemic
and informal. The role of policy is not only
44 to provide institutional (or market) structures
and education for supporting innovations, seems evident. Yet culturally sensitive policy
but also to enable citizens awareness and structures to guide our societies and, col-
engagement in culture and social life, which lectively, the world into the future are still
can contribute to an emergence of innova- the exception.
tions in a remarkable way. Engaging in dy-
namic grassroots movements animated, Until recently, cultural sustainability has been
for example, by artistic communities can advocated most strongly by actors associat-
lead to a joint spirit, collaboration, and result ed with the artistic and creative sectors, but
in multi-actor dialogues, new networks and the realisation of the importance of culture
institutional arrangements. for human-centred sustainable development
is steadily gaining traction among nations
Bottom-up and participatory approaches can (e.g., the Group of Friends of Culture and
help to create ideas and actions leading Development, launched in September 2013
toward sustainable local communities, but by 15 UN Member States), cities (brought
without systemic support from the local gov- together through the United Cities and Lo-
ernment such initiatives cannot be sustain- cal Governments organisation and guided
able in the long run [37]. It is therefore crucial by Culture 21: Actions, approved in March
to recognise the complexity of multi-stake- 2015), and international agencies led by
holder processes in policy-making, and con- UNESCO. However, we realise that the
sciously cope with this complexity. Enabling struggle to develop and implement policies
policies and planning processes are needed that more fully and more strongly relate to
to support these grassroots initiatives, in- the integration of culture with sustainabili-
cluding recognition and power to grassroots ty and development continues. The field is
innovation actors and processes and involv- challenged by multiple definitions and per-
ing them within an inclusive, multi-scale inno- spectives about these relationships, which
vation politics. characterises its complexity and multidimen-
sional character.

In closing this chapter, we emphasise again

that culture is not just a topic of cultural pol-
Conclusions and icy. It should also inform and be integrated
within all other policies. Increasingly it is ar-
reflections on policy gued that all the best and most successful
policies are culturally informed, although not
In the context of international negotiations necessarily consciously. Yet many policies
to develop the post-2015 global Sustainable and programs have been traditionally im-
Development Goals, and amid internation- plemented only in a top-down one size fits
al efforts to incorporate explicit mentions all manner, with too little regard for the cul-
of culture within this agreement, the policy tural specificities of the people and places
scripts described here reveal the broad involved. Experience has shown that such a
contours of a new type of policy landscape. practice is problematic and generally not ef-
A wide range of research and policy efforts fective. And while the idea of a cultural lens
is striving for greater articulation and clarity, on all public policies and plans to ensure lo-
and the need to generate a greater action- cal development proceeds in harmony with
ability of culture in sustainable development local cultural contexts has been discussed 45
for well over a decade, it is only rarely a sys-
tematic practice. However, we contend that
policies dealing with education, tourism, re-
search, cultural diplomacy, social policies,
and city and regional planning, as well as
other areas, can integrate culture in the core
of their policy-making to various degrees.

Although the scripts policy is (or in some

cases should in future be) following, as pre-
sented in this chapter, are interlinked and
overlapping, and are definitely not mutually
exclusive, they can be viewed according to
the three roles of culture introduced in the
previous chapter, that is, culture having sup-
portive, connecting and transforming roles in
sustainability. In the first case, the policies
strengthen the key intrinsic values of culture,
and tend to focus on creativity and diversity
of cultural expressions and the contributions
of artistic/cultural activity and expressions to
human-centred sustainable development tra-
jectories. In the second case, when culture is
understood as having a mediating role, the
policies extend to cover/share and shape the
aims of other public policies, like livelihoods,
industries, social and environmental policies.
In the third case, policies are promoting
broader transformations towards more ho-
listically sustainable societies, for example
through increased awareness, behaviour
changes providing catalysts and enablers for
grassroots collective actions, and develop-
ing individuals and communities capabilities
to adapt and carry on more sustainable ways
of life. All three models of cultural interven-
tion in sustainable development are valid and
resonate in different circumstances.


Routledge Studies in Culture and Sustainable Development
Book series A major outcome of this COST Action is a new
book series Routledge Studies in Culture and
Sustainable Development aiming to analyse
Theory and Practice in Heritage and
Sustainability. Between past and future
Edited by Elizabeth Auclair and
the broad and multiple roles that culture plays in Graham Fairclough
sustainable development. It takes as one of its
starting points the idea that culture in sustain-
ability serves as a meta-narrative for bringing
together ideas and standpoints from a diverse
body of academic research currently scattered
among different domains, disciplines and themat-
ic fields. Moreover, the series responds to the call
for inter- and transdisciplinary approaches which
is being strongly felt, as in most other fields of
research, in the field of sustainability and sustain-
able development. By combining and confronting
the various approaches, in both the sciences and
the humanities and in dealing with social, cultural,
environmental, political, and aesthetic disciplines,
the series offers a comprehensive contribution to
the present day sustainability sciences as well as
related policies.

The books in the series take a broad approach to This book views heritage as a process that con-
culture, giving space to all the possible under- tributes through cultural sustainability to human
standings of culture from art-based definitions well-being and socially- and culturally-sensitive
to way-of-life based approaches, and beyond. policy. By examining the interactions between
The essence of culture in, for, and as sustainable people and communities in the places where
development will be explored in various thematic they live it exemplifies from a broad interdisci-
contexts, representing a wide range of practices plinary perspective the diverse ways in which
and processes (e.g., everyday life, livelihoods and a people-centred heritage builds identities and
lifestyles, landscape, artistic practices, aesthetic supports individual and collective memories.
experiences, heritage, tourism). These contexts
may concern urban, peri-urban, or rural contexts, With theoretically-informed case studies from
and regions with different trajectories of so- leading researchers, the book addresses both
cio-economic development. The perspectives of concepts and practice, in a range of places and
the books stretches from local to global and cov- contexts including landscape, townscape, mu-
ers different temporal scales from past to present seums, industrial sites, everyday heritage, or-
and future. These issues are valorised by theo- dinary places and the local scene, and even
retical or empirical analysis; their relationship to UNESCO-designated sites. The contributors
the ecological, social, and economic dimensions of demonstrate in a cohesive way how the cultural
sustainability will be explored, when appropriate. values that people attach to place are enmeshed
So far three books in the series have been pub- with issues of memory, identity and aspiration
lished. These have been edited by members of and how they therefore stand at the centre of
the COST Action and with most of their the au- sustainability discourse and practice. The cases,
thors being participants in the Action. More books drawn from many parts of Europe, illustrate the
and book proposals are on their way. If you are in- contribution that dealing with the inheritance of
terested in publishing a book in this series, either the past can make to a full cultural engagement
an edited volume or monograph, contact Katriina with sustainable development.
Soini and Joost Dessein, the editors of the series.
An introductory framework opens the book, and
www.routledgetextbooks.com/textbooks/ a concluding section draws on the case studies
sustainability/culture.php to emphasise their transferability and specificity,
and outlines their potential contribution to future
www.routledge.com/books/series/RSCSD/ research, practice and policy in cultural sustain-

48 ability.
Cultural Sustainability in European Cities. Cultural Sustainability and Regional
Imagining Europolis Development. Theories and practices of
Edited by Svetlana Hristova, territorialisation
Milena Dragievi ei, and Nancy Duxbury Edited by Joost Dessein, Elena Battaglini and
Lummina Horlings

European cities are contributing to the develop- Meeting the aims of sustainability is becoming
ment of a more sustainable urban system that is increasingly difficult; at the same time, the call
capable of coping with economic crises, ecologi- for culture is becoming more powerful. This book
cal challenges, and social disparities in different explores the relationships between culture, sus-
nation-states and regions throughout Europe. tainability and regional change through the con-
This book reveals in a pluralistic way how Euro- cept of territorialisation. This describes the dy-
pean cities are generating new approaches to namics and processes in the context of regional
their sustainable development, and the special development, driven by collective human agency
contribution of culture to these processes. It ad- that stretches beyond localities and marked-off
dresses both a deficit of attention to small and regional boundaries.
medium-sized cities in the framework of Europe-
an sustainable development and an underestima- This book launches the concept of territorialisa-
tion of the role of culture, artistic expression, and tion by exploring how the natural environment
creativity for integrated development of the city and culture are constitutive of each other. This
as a prerequisite to urban sustainability. concept allows us to study the characterisation
of the natural assets of a place, the means by
On the basis of a broad collection of case stud- which the natural environment and culture in-
ies throughout Europe, representing a variety of teract, and how communities assign meaning
regionally specific cultural models of sustainable to local assets, add functions and ascribe rules
development, the book investigates how partici- of how to use space. By highlighting the time-
pative culture, community arts and, more gener- space dimension in the use and consumption of
ally, creativity of civic imagination are conducive resources, territorialisation helps to frame the
to the goal of a sustainable future of small and concept and grasp the meaning of sustainable re-
medium-sized cities. gional development. Drawing on a range of case
studies from all continents, the book addresses
both conceptual issues and practical applications
of territorialisation in a range of contexts, forms,
and scales.

Informing and
shaping policy
Assessments are an important part of both cult task to devise and use qualitative in-
policies and politics. There are several meth- dicators by means, for example, of general
odologies for carrying out assessments and descriptions, anecdotes and observations,
communicating their results, but indicators narratives, images and perhaps even perfor-
are perhaps the most commonly used. Indi- mance.
cators select threads, headlines or leverage
points from complex and non-linear phenom- While indicators reflect policy
ena, and reduce them to more easily com- options, they can also shape them,
prehensible evidence in order to provide in-
since very often policies, or at least
formation about the impacts of events and
trajectories, the effects of different courses
activities are defined by what
of action, and the quality and direction of outputs can be measured. This often
change. Usually indicators are quantitative, leaves behind the less quantifiable
statistical and numerical, which for some areas of cultural sustainability and
topics can be a simplification too far, and which are a great many.
it becomes necessary a far more diffi-
50 (Raquel Freitas)
Efforts to develop sustainability indicators into the field of culture and humanities. We
have strongly increased since the beginning find however that indicators, whether quanti-
of the 1990s, often led by intergovernmen- tative or qualitative, provide important tools
tal processes of organisations (such as the for making culture more tangible in the policy
OECD, EU or UNESCO) and supported by arena. The essential question for us is not
large research projects as well as by region- whether or not to have indicators, but rather
al and local initiatives. Indicators (such as to find or create indicators that are capable
GDP) also serve as a tool of communication of accurately and fully pinpointing the partic-
and can raise awareness (for example eco- ular and characteristics attributes of culture
logical footprints). Thus, although indicators within sustainable development, not whether
are used to indicate and measure change, but what sort and how to construct or to
they may also generate it, and in that sense use them.
they are powerful policy tools. Indicators re-
late not only to the production of scientific
knowledge, but also to a political norm cre-
ation [29]. The design of sustainability indi- Existing indicators
cators constitutes a challenge to scientists,
however, given the multidimensionality and There are presently a number of social and
value-laden nature of sustainability, and this cultural statistics from international to local
difficulty is only exacerbated in the context of level that offer data about cultural phenom-
culture which can less easily than, say eco- ena and human well-being. There also exist
nomics or ecology, be quantified statistically. sets of sustainability indicators that include
socio-cultural aspects alongside their en-
vironmental and ecological ones. But what
Social, cultural and environmental
kind of indicators are there that explicitly
contexts are time and space specific.
target the interconnections between culture
To attend the purposes of reducing and sustainable development? What is char-
complexity, correlate one another acteristic of these indicators?
phenomena that seem untidy and
chaotic and facilitate handy The existing indicators are often sector
communication for policy arenas, based serving a certain type of policies.
the assessments often may They usually concern practices and process-
es such as the consumption or the supply of
flatten and trivialise the
services or the availability of resources, but
phenomenas complexity or crush they are rarely able to measure and interpret
a concept on the indicator and quality change in society. They also often
masking or even hiding paradigms, suffer from confusion between cultural activ-
ideologies and assumptions. ities and impacts [30]. Overall, it seems to be
(E lena Battaglini) difficult to take into account the full diversity
and complexity of our cultural reality, and as
Indicators, and more broadly evidence-based a result existing indicators tend to follow a ra-
policies, are often criticised as representing tionalist and econometric logic. Moreover, al-
a techno-rational/economic view of society though these indicators are labelled as being
and of decision-making, and there are some cultural, they seem to measure phenomena
arguments for not expanding this approach that could rather be considered as social (for 51
example, participation, equity or education)
or economic. They also seem to assume that
The challenges of
the impact of culture on development is al-
ways sustainable.
assessing culture in
Indicators may also suffer from scalar prob-
lems. The scale of the measurement does There are several challenges to finding or
not necessarily meet the scale of the actual creating indicators that measure the rela-
activity or practice or their impact (e.g. use tionship between culture and sustainability .
of national level indicators in the assessment First of all a clear understanding of the link-
of tourism at the destination level), or they ages between culture and sustainability is
are simply designed to target certain type required at the conceptual level. Here, our
of societies (such as, developing countries). identification of three different but comple-
There are also challenges related to their mentary and overlapping roles for culture
operationalisation arising from a discrep- in sustainable development might facilitate
ancy between objectives (the vast aims of the collection of data and evidence that is
the sustainable development project) and more suitable for the evaluation of the role
resources (including the normal funding mod- and meaning of culture in sustainable devel-
els, which make truly long term assessment opment. Second, however, come questions
difficult) [31]. related to the availability, standardisation,
aggregation and ranking of data, all of which
are required to allow cultural statistics to be
consistently constructed, and therefore use-
While working in the Institute for Sustainable Development ful.
in Belgrade, I directly cooperated with non-governmental
organisations that were implementing various communi-
ty-related projects starting from education, culture, human
Assessment should be more than
rights or corruption, for example. NGOs lacked quality and a collection of indicators. It should
cultural indicators that would enable the measurement of include methodological
desired change. Together with the NGOs, I developed a tailor
made capacity building program for every NGO partner. We considerations that go as far as
jointly revised existing quantitative indicators, added ade- proposing the inversion of top-down
quate cultural indicators and developed relevant quality in-
dicators. Newly defined log frames contained indicators that
structures that compartmentalise
were measuring processes, performance, immediate output and pre-define policy areas, into
of the implemented projects but as well mid-term quality
alternative frames for guiding
impact. Logical frameworks also contained different indica-
tors that focused on measuring social, cultural, educational decision-makers through bottom-up,
and if applicable environmental indicators. By incorporating contextualised decisional processes.
quality and cultural indicators into their reports NGOs were
familiarising donors with other aspects/dimensions of their
(Raquel Freitas)
work that they were not aware of. This led to improvement
of donors standards i.e. requirements related to assessment Those developing cultural sustainability indi-
of quality change that they might in future impose to their
cators may also encounter other problems.
other partners and programs.
Professionals and practitioners working in
( Jasmina Kuka) the sector of culture are not necessarily fa-
miliar with quantitative (or any other) assess-

52 ment methods, an issue also with variation

between countries, and without interdisciplin- CULTURAL MAPPING AS A WAY TO INVOLVE
ary co-operation they cannot essentially con- COMMUNITIES TO MAKE ASSESSMENTS
tribute to the process of designing indicators.
Decisions makers, on the other hand, might Cultural mapping [36] is a systematic tool to involve
rely on measurable, tangible quantitative indi- communities in the identification and recording of local
cultural assets, with the implication that this knowledge
cators whilst seeing qualitative indicators as
will then be used to inform collective strategies, planning
being flawed by their perceived subjectivity. processes or other initiatives. It promises new ways of
To achieve cultural sustainability, both types describing, accounting for, and coming to terms with the
are needed, and must be combined into inte- cultural resources (both tangible or quantitative and in-
tangible or qualitative) of communities and places.
grated ways of monitoring and understanding
Key issues in the highly interdisciplinary field of
change, which will require new approaches cultural mapping include the questions of what to map,
and long-term planning. There is an urgent how to map, and to what purpose the findings should
need for good examples that show the op- be directed. Issues of power, resistance, alternative per-
spectives and knowledge, and the question of what con-
portunities of new participatory approaches
stitutes important cultural elements and meanings are
such as cultural mapping or counter-map- situated at the centre of the field. The process of making
ping, and co-production of various sorts . implicit knowledge explicit, and mobilising the symbolic
forms through which local residents understand and com-
municate their sense of place, also have ethical and politi-
cal dimensions.

The way forward Cultural mapping encompasses an array of tradi-

tions and trajectories. For example, since the turn of the
millennium the rising prominence of so-called creative
In the light of shortcomings in existing indica- industries internationally has meant that cultural policy-
related mapping research has tended to focus on defin-
tors and acknowledging the challenges fac-
ing, measuring and mapping the presence and spread of
ing the development of better indicators, we the economic dimensions of the cultural and creative sec-
suggest the following steps to proceed. tors. At the local level, as culture became more integrat-
ed within strategic development and planning initiatives,
there has been a growing number of initiatives to identify,
The development of indicators that more
quantify, and geographically locate cultural assets such as
usefully reflect culture should be considered facilities, organisations, public art and heritage.
as a joint learning process. This implies that This comprises only a part of the field, how-
the importance of incorporating cultural as- ever. Cultural mapping also encompasses artistic and
counter-mapping traditions that prioritise the qualitative
sessments in sustainability programmes
and the intangible, valorise alternative perspectives,
needs to be revealed to a wider range of and broaden the ways in which we understand cultural
stakeholders, participants and research- resources within community systems, relationships, and
ers. Relevant stakeholders from policy and fields of meaningful interaction. In these ways, cultural
mapping aims to recognise and make visible the ways lo-
decision makers to researchers and practi-
cal stories, practices, relationships, memories, and rituals
tioners, with their different worldviews and constitute places as meaningful locations.
paradigms, should be involved in the design- An important trajectory of cultural mapping
ing process of new indicators, and where fea- involves the tradition of community empowerment and
counter-mapping. Counter-mapping refers to a map-mak-
sible to modify (broaden) existing ones, and
ing process in which communities challenge the formal
their capacities and knowledge of indicators maps, appropriate official techniques of representation,
in the design and use of indicators should be and make their own maps. Both the alternative mapping
increased. Collaboration between the actors process itself and the visualised map that results are
viewed as acts of resistance, and in contexts of uneven
at different levels and sectors is also needed
power relations can serve to articulate and promote mar-
to critically reflect on the existing statistics, ginalized voices and perspectives in society.
taking responsibility for the costs of their
(Nancy Duxbury)
development and operationalisation. Collab- indicators that can be used to measure (for
oration may also contribute positively to the example) changes in the environmental-
bias that may arise from political objectives ly-sound behaviour or human and societal
related to the indicator work. wellbeing that is culturally embedded. The
challenge is rather to consider these as in-
The second imperative is that good exam- dicators of culturally sustainable transforma-
ples and practices are urgently found and tion, and to develop new indicators to mea-
shared. What is needed for example is quali- sure this change.
tative indicators, examples of different types
and formats, illustrations of how they can Finally there is the question of time and rel-
be used, and ways for them to be combined ative perspectives. As far as the overall pro-
with quantitative indicators. There already cess of indicators from design to use is con-
exist approaches, frameworks and proce- cerned, it should be noted that assessments
dures which might be exploited as a starting related to the interrelationship between cul-
point or work of reference when developing ture and sustainability concern underlying
indicators for culture. This includes cultural processes that are not necessarily percepti-
ecosystem services [32] and the principles ble in the short-term. Moreover the process-
and practice of sustainable design. But there es may be perceived differently depending
seems to be need for many different and on the subject and on the object of analysis.
parallel assessment methods and types of Therefore, the long term and issues of in-
indicators, instead of one. ter-subjectivity and different perceptions and
interests concerning cultural sustainability
The acknowledgment in indicator construc- are necessary points of departure for analy-
tion of the three different roles of culture in, sis. They must be included in the picture that
for and as sustainable development, as elab- is taken through assessment. This is useful
orated in this document, is a third require- not only for the policy design, but also for the
ment of future research. As far as the first policy implementation and policy evaluation
role, the 4th pillar approach, is concerned the phase. Assessment tools and indicators, just
indicators may mostly concern the cultural as the concepts that underlie them, should
policy sector, and there are both good sta- also not be seen as static entities but as
tistics, as well as already ongoing work, in contextualised and evolving realities, which
this field. Lessons from this field, however, in- the policy-maker has to constantly take into
clude the need for a more critical elaboration consideration in order to maintain the rele-
of sustainability and a more critical stance to vance of policy and resultant action.
economic development. In cultures second
role, where culture is considered as a con-
necting or mediating force between the other
dimensions of sustainability, the assessment
becomes more complex, due to the role of
culture in different processes. Moreover, the
assessments are extremely context specific.
However, (participatory) methodologies in
landscape research and place attachment
have been shown to be helpful. Finally, in
54 the third role of culture, there are already

Social and cultural sustainability:
Re-connecting urban humans with the
land in Paris
Since the publication of the Brundtland Report pre-occupation with important matters such as
and Agenda 21, interest in urban nature has the health of the soil and the air, rights of access
grown, and for social, cultural as well as environ- to land and soil as a public good, the preservation
mental reasons. For many decades, nature within of old species, the right to reproduce and distrib-
cities has been civilised, relegated to a decora- ute seeds, access to healthy local food and the
tive role, and appreciated at best for relaxation implementation of alternative economic models,
and recreation. This position has been challenged guerrilla gardening touches through culture on
by recent enthusiasm for community gardening all three of the traditional pillars of sustainable
and the more radical guerrilla gardening. These development, the environmental, the social and
activities reflect on the place and role of inhabi- the economic. The gardeners occupy public and
tants engagement with nature in the context of private space as public goods, for example via
urbanisation. shared use and open access to city public ame-
nities, self-sustained food production, and green
Although guerrilla gardening varies around the art. They question the conventional urban way of
world, there are fundamental aspects in com- life, remind citizens that natural resources such
mon, notably social and political dimensions, and as land are not endlessly renewable, and offer
above all the desire to begin to transform the alternative, more sustainable, pathways through
relationship of humans to nature. Guerrilla gar- the urban world and lifestyle.
dening is interconnected with local cultures and
based upon ordinary everyday creativity closely Culture is a dynamic concept; through initiatives
linked to nature. The initiatives function as com- such as guerrilla gardening it creates openness
mon ground for people to express basic universal to innovation and change in terms of personal
concerns on issues such as participation, democ- behaviour. Guerrilla gardening also touches and
racy, responsibility, trust, personal health and modifies perspectives such as identity, the shape
aesthetic concerns. and importance of (perhaps dormant) local cul-
tures with historical roots; it provokes new cul-
Guerrilla gardening in Paris and its suburbs illumi- tural experiences. It leads to experiments with
nates the new understandings and roles begin- self-sufficiency and sharing, so that guerrilla gar-
ning to be given to nature by city dwellers, sug- dening in Paris is also a social movement which
gesting fundamentally new cultural patterns are symbolises its transformative power and the cul-
being created. By means of direct action and the tural shift it is bringing about, in which participa-
changes it brings to the quality of the everyday tion and civic empowerment are crucial aspects.
environment, it challenges both the perception of It has socially innovative outcomes, too, because
what urban nature could be and the governance participants have an opportunity for social learn-

56 mechanisms that contain both nature and use of

the land; taken together this underlines a desire
ing; actions such as this, not requiring a code of
rules, can, as Evans Prichard says, create a good
by citizens for a more enlivened milieu. In its ordered anarchy.
There are obstacles. The occupation of pub-
lic space can create tensions between con-
trasting perspectives and varied societal
claims on how best to use the public space.
Furthermore, because it brings into ques-
tion models of society and economy based
on private property and profit-led economic
development, the possibility of integrating
its perspectives into public policies is limit-
ed. Finally, whilst most guerrilla gardening
initiatives have started as self-governance,
with participatory approaches (radical civ-
ic engagement) and a marked tendency
towards horizontal decision processes, in
some cases gardens or growing yards have
been institutionalised and are now promot-
ed by governments and local municipalities,
leading to a change in the existing policy

Some key lessons can be learned. Guerrilla

gardening has already developed a rich cul-
tural pattern that alters meanings of com-
mon space, self-identity, or even language,
encouraging a new political perspective and
approach. It proposes not only an alterna-
tive economic model, but alternative mod-
els of sustainable development more gen-
erally which question private property and
promote the common use of public space. In
a cultural perspective, guerrilla gardening
leads to the de-institutionalisation and the
re-institutionalisation of existing routines
and ways of doing things. This is a precon-
dition for change, as without impetus from
inside, change would not happen.


Growing food along a disused railway; Pictures: Emeline Eudes

Dwelling in No Mans Land
On 8th May 2011 in the COST Association
No Mans Lands are places that do not belong exclusively
offices in Brussels a group of 30 researchers to one person but are shared and used by many people as a
met together for the first time to start work common good. They were once firmly rooted in shared and
on the newly-initiated COST Action Investi- collective community activity, indeed in sustainability and
gating Cultural Sustainability [COST IS1007; the long term husbanding of common resources governed
by mutually-agreed social and cultural rules of behaviour ad
www.culturalsustainability.eu]. Our four-year-
practice. Their most familiar meaning today may well be that
dwelling in the No Mans Land of culture and of the land between the trenches in 1914-18. This reflects
sustainable development had started. a much deeper meaning of lying between neighbouring com-
munities, because such common lands for a thousand years
In stepping into the gap between culture and have been located at the edges of village, township and
parish lands. What makes No Mans Lands most interesting
sustainable development, participants in the
for us, however, is a contradiction within their meaning. As
COST Action (their numbers rapidly growing a place of complex resources shared in common, they reflect
from that initial 30 to about 100) were aware community and collectivity, but at the same time they lay
of entering a metaphysical No Mans Land. outside and challenged many norms of society. By virtue
We called it cultural sustainability, a place of their liminality, their location at the edge of communities,
at the edge indeed of everyday activity and of the cultivat-
with challenges but also resources and les-
ed (cultured) area, sometimes extending beyond even the
sons to offer to its surrounding neighbours. It outfield, places only occasionally visited and used, No Mans
lay between large reasonably defined disci- Lands came to be seen as being beyond as well as between;
plinary territories of environmental and social strange, eerie and queer, indeed potentially dangerous plac-
sciences, arts and humanities, but its own es, a place of outlaws and of otherness, a place from which
radical ideas could come.
boundaries were badly drawn and its heart-
lands hardly explored. It was most frequently (Graham Fairclough)
visited and crossed by cultural policy and by
artists of many kinds, bringing new ideas from
other places, but also sometimes crossed standpoints. The actions and thoughts that
by people interested in political ecology or took place in our notional No Mans Land
democracy or human identity and wellbeing. were as diverse (and superficially unconnect-
Some concepts were already explored, but ed) as in real world No Mans Lands. But we
58 usually from relatively narrow or focussed suspected we had simply not yet found the
right set of mutually-agreed rules and shared As the group expanded, it accumulated, ex-
or mutually-respected attitudes that all suc- perienced and shared a huge diversity in
cessful commons needs. Approaches to ways of dwelling as well as of understanding
cultural sustainability had been very diverse, of the key concepts, culture and sustainabil-
reflecting the different aims, aspirations and ity. The group embodied social and cultural
disciplinary backgrounds of the many dif- as well as disciplinary diversity. Its members
ferent types of actors, artists, researchers, travelled from 25 different countries across
practitioners, policy-makers and politicians Europe, and three in Australasia, bringing
who haunted these outfields of what was be- experience of having worked in and with a
coming mainstream, conventional sustain- wide range of social and cultural problems
able development. Not enough voices called and contexts, and often too at internation-
for new research lines; not enough critical al level which even further broadened our
mass yet existed to establish different policy world view. This diversity, similar to multi-
contexts or frames of discourse. As in the disciplinarity, enriched the content of the
real historical world, the shared commonali- work. Even the challenges that it brought of
ty of No Mans Lands had been fractured by finding a common language, conceptually as
sectoral difference. COSTs endorsement of
the cultural sustainability action provided an
opportunity to (re)discover this unexplored
land, now abandoned at the edges but po-
tentially central to everything.

Photo: Maurizio Sajeva

Our key task was to embed in various ways
cultural sensibilities and culture in all its
forms into existing sustainability frameworks.
We therefore packed the Brundtland Report
on Sustainable Development as a guide-
book, albeit possible outdated, and carried
the three pillars of environment, society and well as linguistically, helped us to sharpen our
economy in our toolbox, for want of anything questions and strengthen our conclusions. In
more modern. Acknowledging the challenges and around our vaguely-defined No Mans
and some shortcomings of this set of ideas Land, we began to perceive smaller, better
and implements, we also noted their applica- defined territories that started to emerge as
bility in research and power in policy making. our comprehension grew. Our maps became
They gave us signposts, directions and oc- more detailed and in the untracked waste
casionally maps. we began to find pathways. Our No Mans
Land began to resolve or dissolve into a set
The network itself witnessed and of places each with their own character and
identity, problems and needs, resources and
represented a diversity of European
wealth. Some of these were populated by
cultures and different perceptions
experts interested in arts and cities, cultur-
of sustainabilities. This was a great al participation; others were covered by ge-
resource for our work, but also a ographers who were interested in planning
challenge for the co-ordination. and the maintenance of sustainable places;
(Katriina Soini) others were interested in how heritage and 59
memories make the future; some aimed book, as stories or as smaller texts; many
for cultural, attitudinal and indeed political others went towards the making of three
change. edited volumes in a new book series, Rout-
ledge Studies in Culture and Sustainable
Development, which will continue to offer a
place to publish the best of ongoing cultural
sustainability research and practice.

In the final year we returned from our No Mans

Photo: Joost Dessein

Land back into the centres of our communi-

ties, and started to build a common house,
an interdisciplinary framework, the ground-
work of which was based on three different
roles of culture in sustainable development.
The walls started to grow. Time was too short
We began to understand and appreciate for such a network to complete the interiors
others viewpoints and ideas, whilst neverthe- or even to cover the house with a roof, but
less still keeping our own. No Mans Lands in nevertheless No Mans Land had been ex-
the real world belonged to no single person, plored, and has been found to be a fruitful,
but they were used by many. Such shared ar- rewarding and revealing place. This publica-
eas and resources commons afforded tion serves as a first map for way-finding in
many different things to many people, even No Mans Land and for returning to it in order
conflicting things as long as their exploita- to harness its intellectual and practical as-
tion was well and sustainably managed. In sets for broader common and cultural good.
our metaphorical No Mans Land, therefore, We may also see that, although we covered
we saw that, agreeing on single, exclusive most of the No Mans Land with different
key concepts, definitions or methodologies knowledge and expertise, there were areas
- ways of dwelling - was not an option. We that remained unexplored (cultural minorities,
wished to benefit from the diversity of per- cultural economics ... but the list is long). The
spectives and methods that existed in our No Mans Land, although explored now, is still
research community, and to profit from the open for new travellers, visitors or residents;
otherness that lies within any No Mans so is the field of culture and sustainable de-
Land. A decrease in intellectual and practi- velopment open for further development. We
cal diversity would, we felt, limit our under- end this book with our suggestions for next
standing of our No Mans Land, and reduce steps and new journeys, expressed through
its value to others, as when mosaic farmland future research lines.
is converted to agri-monoculture.

So instead (or as well as) framing definitions

and identifying policies and tools, we started
to tell stories about our different experienc-
es, our contexts whether urban or rural, about
agriculture, territorialisation, arts, both on
conceptual as well as practical levels. Some
60 of these stories have been offered in this
ideas: future
The integrative search process of sustainability, with its
research lines 4+1 dimensions (ecological, economic, social, cultural, +
personal) requires a learning culture. Engaging with cul-
ture enables contributions to be made to shaping systems
Despite growing interest in culture as an ex- of meaning in society, and connections to be made to
plicit aspect of sustainable development, the worldviews, values and things that speak back to humans.
number of research programmes covering the The symbolic universe that we build and inhabit is both
part of the ecosystem of sensory realities, and a product of
issue remains small, and in most cases re-
inter-subjective agency. Learning-able and response-able
search is concealed in a variety of other the-
cultures of sustainability, infused with understanding
matic projects. Raising the profile of cultural and respect for life in all its complexity, empower humans
sustainability as an independent but integra- to change and re-invent their lives. The search for social
tive research field is therefore a priority if it is justice requires not only the development of certain eth-
ical values but also the enrichment and diversification of
to be more deeply recognised in current and
skills, competences and ways of knowing reality, embed-
forthcoming research programs. ding these into shared practices.

The insights gained during our Action, which Transversal learning is possible through an expanded ra-
have been only briefly summarised in this doc- tionality, striving for unity in complexity of knowledge,
integrating different ways of knowing without simplify-
ument, allow us to identify major gaps in un-
ing them into one meta-discipline. It both rejects a unitary
derstanding the role and meaning of culture theory of everything and welcomes a complex unity of
in sustainable development, and to discern knowledge, grounded in inter- and transdisciplinarity, de-
obstacles to future progress. We can begin fined as:
to identify ways to take forward this relatively > Interdisciplinarity, practices which, thanks to inspir-
ing exchanges, enable researchers from one disci-
newly-emerging field of interdisciplinary re-
pline to borrow and adapt methods and metaphors
search, and in this final section we offer a few from other disciplines, within a wider shared system
suggestions. (e.g. science or art);

> Transdisciplinarity, an extra dimension of research

There is always a risk in setting out such lists and action, involving different modes of knowing,
of research questions or topics. They might from outside of science (or of art); a wholly differ-
for example be mistaken as being compre- ent kind of research practice, which complements
disciplinary and interdisciplinary research, offering a
hensive. More damagingly, they might be con-
wider integrative framework.
sidered in isolation, and it seems important to
The transdisciplinary attitude is not opposed to disci-
emphasise that whilst we argue for the inde-
plinarity (which advances specialised, limited areas of
pendence of culture in, for and as sustain- knowledge), but is opposed to a cisdisciplinary attitude,
able development as a field of research, we i.e. a self-mutilating research philosophy whose self-iden-
do not argue for its isolation; indeed, its very tification conforms with the boundaries of professional
raison dtre is to be integrative and medita- disciplines. Transdisciplinarity invites artful inquiry, an
openness to dynamic complexity and an acceptance of
tive. One of the major lessons of our four year
ambivalences, contradictions and ambiguities.
COST Action, and of the intensive collabora-
tive networking and co-researching that it en- (Sacha Kagan)
abled, has been the inherent interconnected-
ness of culture and sustainable development,
in action as well as in research. There are in-
terconnections at disciplinary level, in terms of
policy contexts (scales, public-private), in the 61
interface of the material and the cognitive or Refining and operationalisa-
perceptual worlds, in the transition from past
tion of conceptual approaches
to future, in the symbiosis of global with local
> Further clarification and specification of
and of people and place, the interdependence
the interface, interrelationship and over-
of production and consumption (and the im-
lap between culture and sustainable de-
pacts of both), to mention but a few examples.
> Investigation into how the three roles of
We propose a loose-knit yet interwoven set of
culture work in practice: what are the po-
future research principles. They constitute a
litical, philosophical and practical prereq-
strategic framework for the next stages, per-
haps over the next decade or so, of research uisites?
into understanding and acting on the central > Exploration of cultural sustainability in
place that culture holds in sustainability dis- relation to other unifying and mainstream-
course. In summary, research should: ing frameworks and new evolving frame-
achieve true interdisciplinarity, beyond and
between the domains (social sciences and Developing methodologies
humanities, natural sciences, technological and practices, such as
sciences, etc) > Definition and selection of indicators or
reach out towards transdisciplinary guidelines to analyse and manage region-
research involving other stakeholders al development through unifying cultural-
envision the co-creation and co-production ly-related filters such as landscape, eco-
of knowledge, for example by integrating system services or territory
local knowledge in research, and by es-
> Further development of the practice of
pousing participative and transdisciplinary
place-based assessments that use cul-
ture to create new opportunities, wealth,
stretch beyond Europe and develop inter-
quality of life and progressive develop-
continental collaborative practices, also
between global South(s) and North(s)
> Revival and modernised use of the con-
integrate and valorise quantitative and
cept of commons, including consideration
qualitative data and methodologies equally
of public/private conflicts, the formation/
expand ecological research from climate
transformation of common (social) mem-
change and biodiversity to wider variety of
issues, including socio-cultural points of ory and cultural and counter mapping
view > Development of methods for mobilising
contribute towards practical applications and motivating individuals and communi-
and the re-formulation of policy at all lev- ties in activism and in sustainable thinking
els, in other words seek to be transforma- and for studying processes of catalysa-
tive in the ways that citizens, actors and tion (who leads, whose agendas)
governments see and shape the future > Devising and testing new methods for in-
fluencing and shaping eco-environmental
Following these general research principles, action and injecting it with greater cul-
we suggest a number of more-or-less specif- turally-sensitive and culturally-informed
ic individual research lines. We have grouped awareness
them in four clusters, broadly speaking, re- > Designing ways to use and benefit from

62 lating to concepts, methods, evidence and

themes, but nonetheless we of course insist
cultural activity and creativity in spatial
on their overarching interconnectedness.
Expanding the evidence base > Explore the role of design and creativity in
engendering both physical and emotional
for the role of culture in sus-
resilience in the face of unavoidable envi-
tainable development
ronmental change
> Collect and comparatively analyse more
> Growing democratic participation: ways
evidence through the study of exemplars,
of operationalising the Faro Convention,
such as the value and social impact of
shifting practice and policy to become
culture in diverse sustainability contexts
more people-centred, practical infra-
> Engage in comparative research (into dis-
structures for participation
course and practice) with due regard for
> Absence/weakness of modes and mech-
contingency and path dependence, in dif-
anisms of local governance, which should
ferent global contexts
be capable (through openness, trans-
> Harmonise statistical data spatially and
parency, subsidiarity while safeguarding
over time, successive aggregation of in-
autonomy, context and information) of
dicators and indices
achieving more culturally-sustainable de-
Selected thematic topics
> The effects and benefits of migra-
tion and mobility: studying modes and
methods of the reciprocal integration
of incoming cultures and adaptation of
host cultures, a two-way process
> The impact of the loss of minority
languages (which in academic and policy
spheres increasingly means) not only
for their own sake, or impact on identity,
but impact on how people think, share
discourse, and connect to alternative
> Modernisation agendas and neo-liberal
growth paradigms - negative influences
on (obstacles to) achieving culturally-in-
formed sustainable development
> Exploring how research and policy deals
with the wickedness of sustainability
> Attitudes culture as mediator of change
management: questions of participation,
adaptive strategies for resilience (e.g. to
climate change, post-industrialisation),
growth/de-growth and transition (towns),
nudging behaviours

The end of an Action, the beginning of action
We are confident that new research along We are also aware that many European and
such lines will advance this emerging field global funding streams, for example within
of study, and enable culture to play a more the ERA and notably Horizon 2020, are be-
substantial and future-proofed role in achiev- coming available for research that address-
ing sustainability. The Action has been able es sustainability issues. It would be a lost
to establish a new book series Routledge opportunity if major research programmes
Studies in Culture and Sustainable Develop- continue to focus as exclusively as they have
ment as a specific outcome of its work. in the past on narrowly-defined views of envi-
This will provide a vehicle for dissemination ronment or ecology, or on views of the econ-
of the results of future research and will help omy that separates it from its societal roots.
to build cohesion within the whole field. The From our vantage point as returnees from No
first three books in the series (see pages Mans Land, and supported by our extensive
4849) have been drawn primarily from the webs of cross- and inter-disciplinary collab-
work of the Action and its participants. We orations, we can see the necessity and the
have also already established a pilot on-line advantages of culture gaining a more central
MA in this subject, which we hope will inspire and transformative role in sustainable devel-
others to follow us. opment discourse and action. We envisage
that the insights of this COST Action will be
able to ensure a strong cultural stream in
future research and policy.


In April 2014, a pilot for an international online course on Cultural Sustainability was carried out. The
course examined the interrelated dimensions of sustainability and the concept of development. It
brought together lecturers and students from various backgrounds in interdisciplinary discussions about
how culture, power and ecology interact in human-environment relations. The course critically investigat-
ed the challenges of achieving sustainability at local, regional and global scales, and the role of cultural
policy. It highlighted both philosophical and conceptual issues surrounding the relationship of cultural
sustainability and cultural policy, and engaged students in practical case studies, such as those involved
in with urban planning and rural development.

The course MCPS125 Cultural Sustainability is now established at the University of Jyvskyl (Finland)
as part of the MA in Cultural Policy. It is unique internationally and addresses a need to consolidate cur-
rent ideas on this rising topic within academic training programmes. Moreover it equips young scholars to
question and address policy development issues in this area. More info can be found here :

(Nancy Duxbury, Anita Kangas, Katarzyna Plebanczyk)

Tradition and Modernisation: Nature-
culture interactions in the Atacama
Desert in Chile
Landscapes can be seen as the materialisation of in search of employment, notably to the mining
communities, culture and social relations in dy- sector in other parts of the north of the Chile.
namic interaction with the natural world. Nature
and culture co-evolve; each shapes and in turn Chile has a turbulent political past, and the elec-
is shaped by the other. The ongoing social and tion of a democratic government in 1989 brought
ecological transformation of the Atacama Desert both stability and further change. New democrat-
in the Andes is a clear illustration of the complex- ic ideals led to the drawing-up of the 1993 Indig-
ity of this interaction. It shows that policies not enous Peoples Act which recognised indigenous
taking a sensitive approach to culture and social populations and began a progressive restitution
change can cause unsustainable outcomes, even of land and water rights. Although seemingly a
when seeking to do good (here, acknow- ledging positive step forward for the indigenous popula-
the rights of indigenous people towards their re- tion, the way in which rights were distributed has
sources). proved problematic. Indigenous was defined on
ethnic grounds alone; anyone genetically related
Recognised as the driest inhabited place on to an indigenous population was granted rights
earth, the Atacama spans the borders between to traditional resources and new social benefits.
Chile, Peru, Bolivia and Argentina. Rather than This included people who had left the region;
a barren strip of land, many parts of the region they were given the opportunity to register for a
support a diversity of biological and geological share of indigenous rights and to take advantage
forms, as well as a network of saltpans, lakes, hot of from their ethnic background.
springs and underground water resources. The
combination of these qualities, together with the This situation attracted indigenous people back
presence of archaeological vestiges of past cul- to the towns of the Atacama Desert. These
tures and the living legacies of the Atacameo people, however, brought back new values that
culture, led to the establishment of the Flamen- were not necessarily compatible with those of
cos Nature Reserve in the early 1990s. The entire the traditional cultures that the newly acquired
north of Chile also contains an abundance of min- rights were supposed to protect. Instead of re-
eral resources such as copper and lithium. storing the traditional culture-nature nexus, the
empowering of indigenous people thus entailed
People have been living in Atacama since pre-Co- problematic effects as well. Indigenous popula-
lumbian times, and more recently, occupation by tions who had remained in the area, with their
traditional communities has led to the develop- particular dynamic of understanding and prac-
ment of small settlements such as Toconao and tice, suddenly found themselves sharing their
San Pedro de Atacama in oases that are scattered culture and environment with neo-indigenous
across the landscape. The natural resources his- immigrants who had different cultural values
torically provided indigenous peoples with a sub- or understandings. As a result, instead of being

66 sistence livelihood, nevertheless many migrated strengthened, the relatively small existing com-
munities were disrupted by an influx of newly community, the assumption that all hold to the
indigenised people with a different cultural same cultural values cannot be made. The na-
connection to the land. Consequently, divergent ture-culture nexus is a result of complex and con-
cultural meanings generated conflicts within the tinuously changing cultural, social and political
Atacama Desert community, notably when man- connections built up over long periods of time.
aging and deciding collectively over the newly Policies which seek to protect culture and nature
returned land and water rights, including the Fla- (in this example, those which grant democratic
mencos Nature Reserve. Furthermore, growing property rights to indigenous people) will also
water scarcity caused by the expansionist needs impact on and change cultural identity itself [38].
of mining companies operating in a neoliberal
setting add to the contemporary climate of ten-
sion and race for natural resources and water in
the Atacama Desert.

The key lesson to be learned is that culture is

constantly changing, that it evolves rapidly, and
that it cannot be regarded as an inherent genet-
ic trait. Many countries around the world have
indigenous populations and, while their culture
often provides a framework for maintaining the

Information panel on the Atacamea culture, Pukara de Quitor (on top) and Pre-Columbian
archaeological site Pukara de Quitor (below). Pictures: Constanza Parra
People who actively contributed to COST Action IS1007

Many people actively contributed to the COST Action 1007 Investigating Cultural Sustainabil-
ity. They are listed below. More information about their expertise can be found in the online
publication Investigating Cultural Sustainability. Experts and multidisciplinary approaches
(www.culturalsustainability.eu/about-is-1007). In addition to all those members listed below,
we also of course benefitted greatly from the participation of all other Action members, as
well as the assistance of many other people, notably those who helped organise our work-
shops and conferences, our invited keynote speakers and other colleagues who offered us
presentation from a very wide range of expertise and experience, and advise of members of
COST Domain Committee and our rapporteur.

Katriina Soini (FI) University of Jyvskyl and Natural Resources Institute

Vice chair
Joost Dessein (BE) ILVO (Institute for Agricultural and Fisheries Research) and Ghent

Working Group 1: Concepts

Chair: Inger Birkeland (NO) Telemark University College
Vice Chair: Theopisti Stylianou-Lambert (CY) Cyprus University of Technology

Working Group 2: Policies

Chair: Nancy Duxbury (PT) University of Coimbra, Centre for Social Sciences
Vice Chair: Christiaan De Beukelaer (UK) University of Leeds and Jenny Atmanagara (DE)
Baden-Wrttemberg International (before at University of Stuttgart)

Working Group 3: Assessments

Chair: Jasmina Kuka (RS) Institute for Sustainable Communities
Vice Chair: Elena Battaglini (IT) IRES (Economic and Social Research Institute)

Chrystalla Antoniou (CY) Cyprus University of Nikolaos Boukas (CY) European University
Technology Cyprus
Elizabeth Auclair (FR) Cergy-Pontoise Claudia Brites (PT) Coimbra College of
University Agriculture
Oliver Bender (AT) Institute for Aleksandar Brkic (RS) University of Arts
Interdisciplinary Mountain Research Robert Burton (NO) Centre for Rural Re-
Nathalie Blanc (FR) CNRS search
68 Llus Bonet (ES) University of Barcelona Maria Cadarso (PT) University of Lisbon
Claudia Carvalho (PT) University of Coimbra Anka Misetic (HR) Institute of Social Sciences
Roberta Chiarini (IT) ENEA Italian National Ivo Pilar
Agency in Bologna Gunnthora Olafsdottir (IS) University of Lux-
Arza Churchman (IL) Interdisciplinary Center embourg
(IDC) Hannes Palang (EE) Tallinn University
Annalisa Cicerchia (IT) Italian National Anna Palazzo (IT) Roma Tre University
Institute of Statistics Constanza Parra (BE) Catholic University
Eva Cudlinova (CZ) University of South Leuven
Bohemia Mishel Pavlovski (MK) Sts. Cyril &
Mariusz Czepczynski (PL) University of Gdansk Methodius University; Center for Culture &
Cecilia De Ita (UK) University of Leeds Cultural Studies
Stephen Dobson (UK) Sheffield Hallam Katarzyna Plebaczyk (PL) University of
University Jagellonica
Milena Dragicevic-Sesic (RS) University of Alexandre Polvora (PT) University Institute of
Arts Lisbon
Emeline Eudes (FR) CNRS Anu Printsmann (EE) Tallinn University
Graham Fairclough (UK) Newcastle University Mario Reimer (DE) University of Stuttgart and
(McCord Centre Historic & Cultural Landscape) ILS (Research Institute for Regional & Urban
Raquel Freitas (PT) University Institute of Development)
Lisbon Ljiljana Roga Mijatovi (RS) University of
Loreta GeorgievskaJakovleva (MK) Sts. Arts
Cyril & Methodius University; Centre of Bettina Scharrer (CH) Center for Develop-
Cultural Studies ment and Environment (CDE)
Antti Honkanen (FI) University of Eastern Mordechai Shechter (IL) Interdisciplinary
Finland Center (IDC)
Lummina Horlings (NL) Wageningen Katriina Siivonen (FI) University of Helsinki
University Astrid Skjerven (NO) Oslo and Akershus
Vidar Hreinsson (IS) Reykjavik Academy University College
Svetlana Hristova (BG) South-West Helen Soovli - Sepping (EE) Tallinn
University of Bulgaria Univeristy
Rolf Hugoson (SE) Centre for Regional Tatjana Stojceska (MK) Ss.Cyril and
Science at Ume University (CERUM) Methodius University
Jenny Johannisson (SE) University of Bors Nina Svane - Mikkelsen (NO) University of
Henry Johnson (NZ) University of Otaga Bergen
Sacha Kagan (DE) Leuphana University of Elisabete Tomaz (PT) University Institute of
Lueneburg Lisbon
Anita Kangas (FI) University of Jyvskyl Goran Tomka (RS) University of Arts
Mari Kivitalo (FI) University of Jyvskyl Sara Ursic (HR) Institute of Social Sciences
Marion Leng (CH) University of Bern, Ivo Pilar
Interdisciplinary Centre for General Ecology Miroslav Valeriu Tascu-Stavre (RO) Centre for
Miloslav Lapka (CZ) University of South Studies in Contemporary Architecture
Bohemia Nevila Xhindi (AL) European University of
Maria Leus (BE) University of Hasselt and Tirana
University of Antwerp Myrsini Zorba (GR) Hellenic Open University
Karni Lotan (IL) Interdisciplinary Center (IDC)
Julija Mateji (RS) University of Arts
Marina Mihaila (RO) Center for Studies in
Contemporary Architecture 69
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Atacama case. Nature+Culture

This publication is supported by the COST.

COST - European Cooperation in Science and Technology - is an intergovernmental frame-

work aimed at facilitating the collaboration and networking of scientists and researchers at
European level. It was established in 1971 by 19 member countries and currently includes 35
member countries across Europe, and Israel as a cooperating state.

COST funds pan-European, bottom-up networks of scientists and researchers across all
science and technology fields. These networks, called COST Actions, promote international
coordination of nationally-funded research. By fostering the networking of researchers at an
international level, COST enables breakthrough scientific developments leading to new con-
cepts and products, thereby contributing to strengthening Europes research and innovation

COSTs mission focuses in particular on:

Building capacity by connecting high quality scientific communities throughout Europe
and worldwide;
Providing networking opportunities for early career investigators;
Increasing the impact of research on policy makers, regulatory bodies and national
decision makers as well as the private sector.

Through its inclusiveness policy, COST supports the integration of research communities in
less research-intensive countries across Europe, leverages national research investments
and addresses societal issues.

Over 45 000 European scientists benefit from their involvement in COST Actions on a yearly
basis. This allows the pooling of national research funding and helps countries research com-
munities achieve common goals.

As a precursor of advanced multidisciplinary research, COST anticipates and complements

the activities of EU Framework Programmes, constituting a bridge towards the scientific
communities of emerging countries.

Traditionally, COST draws its budget for networking activities from successive EU RTD Frame-
work Programmes.

COST is supported by the EU

Framework Programme Horizon 2020


Katriina Soini - Katriina.Soini@luke.fi | Joost Dessein - Joost.Dessein@ilvo.vlaanderen.be