Evaluating the socio-economic impacts of selected regenerated heritage sites in Europe

Labadi, Sophia (2011) Evaluating the socio-economic impacts of selected regenerated heritage sites in Europe. Project Report. European Cultural Foundation; Riksbankens Jubileumsfond 129p. ISBN 9789062820542 (EAN). [Book]


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Abstract (in English)

Over and over again, in much quoted research, a new orthodoxy is expounded: culture-led development or regeneration stimulates significant positive economic and social outcomes,including creating employment and strengthening of social cohesion, inclusion and collective identity. The methodology and findings of these publications are, however, being challenged, with critics regularly calling for more robust evidence on the socio-economic impacts of culture-based development or regeneration projects and for more rigorous evaluation of the shortcomings of such schemes. Such calls for improved evaluation are also a rejection of the more simplistic assertions and grandiose generalisations about the assumed benefits of ‘culture’. This research project is a response to that call and is based on in-depth analyses of four cases studies in England, France and Poland. In conclusion, the report stresses the importance of regionalising the regeneration process, to ensure that its benefits are shared geographically and are sustainable. It is critical of the very broad definition of ‘culture’ and ‘heritage’ used in all four schemes which, in aiming to target as wide a public as possible, has led to an emphasis on ‘spectacle’ and stimulation, resulting in superficial and trivialised cultural events, sometimes not in any way connected to the locality in which they are set. Secondly the report considers the main issues with the evaluation models and findings, which are highlighted all through this report. It draws attention to the lack of primary and secondary data available to the evaluators, which sometimes forced them to base their assessments on the broadest of estimates. Such lack of data prevented the possibility of constructing longitudinal series of data on the long-term impact of regeneration. Focusing on the three official evaluations (The Lowry, Liverpool Walk Ropes and Lille 2004), the report shows how they were flawed by from ‘optimism bias’ – they were overtly optimistic in the benefits delivery of the projects. Finally, no evidence was found linking the regeneration scheme to social cohesion and inclusion.

Item Type: Book (Project Report)
Labadi, Sophia
Languages: English
Keywords: Regeneration; Socio-economic impact; Socio-Economic aspects; Development; Cultural heritage; European Capital of Culture; Methodology; Evaluation; Development projects; Sustainability; Sustainable development; Culture; Local level; Cultural Policy; Impact evaluation; Research project; Community participation
Subjects: D. URBANISM > 04. Rehabilitation
E. CONSERVATION AND RESTORATION > 09. Social and economic aspects of conservation
J. HERITAGE ECONOMICS > 02. Economic impact of heritage
J. HERITAGE ECONOMICS > 04. Methodologies of evaluation
J. HERITAGE ECONOMICS > 05. Heritage and sustainable development
Name of monument, town, site, museum: Lille, France; Salford, England; Liverpool, England; Kazimierz, Krakow, Poland
Number of Pages: 129
ISBN: 9789062820542 (EAN)
Depositing User: Melle Sophia Labadi
Date Deposited: 04 Oct 2012 14:44
Last Modified: 04 Oct 2012 14:44
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URI: https://openarchive.icomos.org/id/eprint/1238

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