Planning for culture

TRACK 4: Knowledge economies and identity

congress team:  Nasim Iranmanesh, Iran & Piotr Lorens, Poland

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The value of locality and identity to the globalizing world.

Local identities and cultures as assets within the megacity.

Unspoken pasts: the role and legacy of colonial heritage.

Knowledge as the foundation of a high-value urban economy.

Culture, heritage and identity as economic drivers.

Tourism as consumption or tourism as a promoter of the locality.


Culture and heritage are both taking globalizing cities forward, and being put at risk by them. Relentless pressures of urbanisation and 'urban marketing' initiatives sometimes promote an image of the city that hides or even removes local diversity and 'unwanted pasts'. Yet culture and heritage are essential to retain cohesion and create local identity in a megacity, which would otherwise be faceless. Do locality, local identity and distinctiveness play even more crucial role in megacities? How can this be reconciled with global marketing of the city and globalizing urbanisation models? Are the planning strategies for culture and identity different in a megacity? While cultural development and creative industries are generally recognised as worth pursuing, the immediate focus is often on the promotion of tourism, which can be either a form of global consumption or a way to preserve identity. How can cities, and megacities, in particular, promote their culture and local identity as a way to establish a dynamic knowledge economy, capable of shaping locally sensitive spatial solutions? Can culture drive high-value urban economic development at the metropolitan scale? How can knowledge be fostered in a megacity, and what is the influence of scale?

Finally, indigenous knowledge plays an important role in planning, contributing to the resilience of new communities and facilitating social integration. How can cities plan for the rapidly changing indigenous culture that is the result of rapid immigration?