CASE STUDY: Cultural Framework for Preston 2014-18

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Almost ready for a revisit and renewal in 2019, in 2014 the Council published its Cultural Framework to provide the context for the development of culture in Preston, ensuring that the spirit and vibrancy of the Guild is maintained in the future.

The Framework recognises the importance that culture plays in our everyday lives and the development of Preston as a key cultural centre in Lancashire.

Vision for 2018

Preston is recognised as a major centre for culture in the North West, with a thriving creative sector, where everyone has opportunities to be inspired by and participate in arts and heritage and to have joyful experiences which reinforce the spirit of the Guild City.

The Cultural Framework can be viewed and downloaded from the Documents section on this page.

The Cultural Framework board

To oversee and support the delivery of the Cultural Framework a board has been developed bringing together strategic cultural partners from across the city. The membership of the Cultural Framework Board is made up from:

CASE STUDY: The Power of the Movable Chair

Extract of a City Lab article on the Power of the Moveable Chair

“…In his classic 1980 study of the use of public spaces in New York City, William H. Whyte and his team of researchers used cameras to watch people and understand how they used the public places in the city. One of the takeaways from the film footage was that people like to sit in public places, and, far more fascinatingly, that if given the option they will almost always move chairs before they sit in them.

In his film, The Social Life of Small Urban Spaces, Whyte shows this phenomenon in action.

Whyte, who passed away in 1999, saw this as a crucial aspect of designing good public spaces and parks – especially in a heavily populated area like New York City.”He loved the Battery. He had sat here many times and really understood the dynamic of the people from this area,” says Warrie Price, president of the Battery Conservancy, which she founded about 18 years ago to rebuild the park at the lower tip of Manhattan. She says she remembers Whyte encouraging her to install some movable seating in the park more than 15 years ago. “He said ‘don’t forget: people truly love deciding where they want to sit in a great park. Movable chairs enlarge their choice.'”

It’s this spirit that inspired the Battery’s current design competition, Draw Up a Chair, which invites designers to submit ideas for movable seating. Along with a $10,000 prize, the winning chair design will be fabricated and installed throughout the Battery in 2014 after the completion of a renovation.Movable chairs, though, mean the chairs can indeed be moved – sometimes out of a park and, for example, into someone’s apartment or backyard.

“In municipalities there’s the sense that if it’s not bolted down, it will move beyond the park landscape. Well, we see all over the city those little foldup chairs and they’re not bolted down, they’re not even chained,” Price says, referring to the chairs added to pedestrianized plazas and street corners in Manhattan, such as Times Square. “They’re on all the intersections throughout the whole Manhattan landscape right now and they don’t seem to be walking away.”

“I just refuse to let [the possibility of theft] be the guiding force to deter us from trying,” she says, adding that RFID chips will be installed in the furniture to help prevent theft, or at least track wayward chairs down when they’re moved too far away.

“And so far, designers seem to support the idea. The deadline for submissions is at the end of the month, but Price says she’s already received submissions from all over the Western hemisphere.

Price says the idea behind the competition is both to create an opportunity for designers to see their work actually built and installed in a real-world setting, but also to encourage other cities to think about better ways to serve their populations through good design in public spaces…”

CASE STUDY: World Cities Culture Report 2018

“..For world cities to succeed it is not enough to simply have culture as the golden thread of urban policy. Culture also needs to be open – open to all people and new places, to different ideas and new forms…”


Launched today at the 2018 World Cities Culture Summit in San Francisco (14-16 November 2018), the World Cities Culture Report 2018, supported by Bloomberg Philanthropies, is the most comprehensive report ever published about culture and the role it plays in shaping life in major cities worldwide. The report is based on extensive data and practice research to reveal how 35 major global cities are in the vanguard of policymaking.

Report Headlines:

“…In the World Cities Culture Report 2015, we spoke with opinion formers from each of our member cities – looking at the different challenges and opportunities facing their
cities and how culture could address them. The report highlighted culture as a key ingredient of world cities’ success, embedded across all aspects of urban planning
and policy. For the World Cities Culture Report 2018, we went directly to the cities’ policy makers and asked what their most innovative programmes and policies were, as
well as key trends and infrastructure projects taking place across their cities.

The result is the most important compendium of current city cultural policies. In the face of a changing world order, it reveals a shared purpose across our world cities. The
findings show a remarkable alignment across our diverse membership, providing a new, critical role for culture in addressing the inclusion of all citizens and a new definition of how, where and by whom culture is experienced”.

In summary:

  • We are facing a changing world order, with often divisive national politics creating a more hostile environment towards migrants, refugees and minorities.
  • World cities have power and agency to respond to these changes. They are working together through networks to share ideas and knowledge, and make progress that is not happening at the national level.
  • Though cultural policy over the last 20 years has often worked to alleviate social pressures, it has also sometimes unintentionally contributed to them, but this is changing.
  • In response to contemporary global challenges, world cities are rebalancing their cultural policy – supporting and creating programmes that are aimed at making their cultural offer more inclusive and citizen-centred.
  • This policy focus towards inclusiveness requires a shift in direction: an ‘opening out’ of culture in which city governments are recognising, redefining and supporting new forms of culture, in new spaces, with new technologies, by new makers, to be enjoyed by new audiences.
  • For world cities to succeed it is not enough to simply have culture as the golden thread of urban policy. Culture also needs to be open – open to all people and new places, to different ideas and new forms – so that all citizens can see a place for themselves in the city, and can coexist and collaborate with their neighbours, rather than resent or distrust them.

CASE STUDY: Visions of Public Art: The Power of Public Art | Anne Pasternak of Creative Time NYC

World Economic Forum

Published on 9 Mar 2015

“Anna Pasternak, President and Artistic Director of Creative Time USA, says artists have the power “to kick open the door to social change.” In this video for the World Economic Forum, Pasternak talks about some of Creative Time’s commissions – from lighting up the New York skyline to shaking the hands of sanitation workers – and how art can help expose and heal social issues. Click on the video to watch the full talk, or read selected quotes below On Creative Time “Creative Time was founded in 1972 in New York City. New York City was at that time in a very bad state, on the verge of bankruptcy and corporations were in a mass exit from New York city. They were moving to the suburbs and to other states. Creative Time’s founders thought that artists could do a lot to create art in the public realm that would animate the city, and that the presence of artists in our neighbourhoods would also contribute significantly to the quality of life in New York City.” “So their rationale for starting Creative Time was very different than the typical public art model of “Heroes on Horseback.” They really believed that public spaces were places for the free exchange of ideas. They thought artists should kick open the door to social change. They believed that artists needed opportunities to experiment, and if they could experiment they would push culture as well as our field forward.” On art as awareness raising “In the more than forty years of Creative Time’s history, all of our projects have been experimental and they’ve been groundbreaking for all of the artists we’ve worked with. Mierle Laderman Ukeles was an abstract painter, but she realised the city was on the verge of bankruptcy and social collapse. She wanted to provide herself as a service for public good, in particular by being artist in residence with the New York City Department of Sanitation. For one year, she went on the garbage collection route of every single sanitation worker in NYC. She shook their hands and thanked them for her work. And that single gesture over a period of a year helped to rebuild a very beleaguered department.” “While all of our projects are experimental, they bring us together in moments of wonder and joy. John Berger said very wisely: “We only see what we look at. To look is an act of choice. More and more artists are really trying to get us to look at things that are important for us to see, so we can really contribute to a wave of cultural understanding around important issues.” On art and healing Some of our projects bring us together to mourn and heal. Creative Time commissioned Tribute in Light – two beacons of light that illuminated New York City six months after the attacks of 9/11, and every year on the anniversary since – to reclaim our city’s skyline and to mourn the lives lost on that day.” “”The artist Paul Chan presented his production of “Waiting for Godot” in New Orleans in the lower 9th ward where the Levy notoriously broke, to remind people of the tragic consequences and the realities on the ground of people in New Orleans, as they were still waiting to return to a home, to identify the bodies of lost loved one, waiting for insurance, waiting for electricity, waiting for water, waiting for their neighbours.”


Public streets for Multicultural Use

“The main conclusion from this research is that retail activities remain the main concern
of people in multi-cultural streets. Management and higher level planning of retail activities on the streets could encourage and motivate possible tenants in order to enrich the retail assortment of the street and provide a means for social and cultural diversity.
In addition to business activities, spatial design characteristics are found to have an influence on people’s behaviour and activity. The findings of this research suggest that retail and business activities, together with the design and skilful management
of the public areas, could support a broader range of static and social activities among people of various cultural backgrounds. The thesis makes recommendations for urban planners and designers based on the findings of the research”.