Cultural mapping, planning and impact assessment for sustainable urban development

Funded by the European Union, through the SA-EU Dialogue Facility Project, this dialogue brought together a variety of South African and European practitioners, academics and experts to explore the role of culture in urban development. The dialogue series created a platform to share case studies and best practices about the role of cultural mapping, planning and impact assessment in promoting sustainable and just cities. The SA-EU Dialogue built on existing relationships between government and the African Centre for Cities through the Mistra Urban Futures’ Cultural Heritage and Just Cities project.

This series of 4 toolkits and policy orientated action briefs is based on the South Africa–European Union Dialogue on Cultural mapping, planning and impact assessment for Sustainable and Just Urban Development.

It is increasingly recognised that culture, heritage, and the environment are inextricably intertwined, but how to leverage the cultural heritage dimensions of sustainability in practice is still underexplored. Cultural mapping, cultural planning and impact assessments offer an exciting and engaging way to rethink neighbourhood development and the implantation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) through a cultural lens.

This brief addresses:

  • the importance of culture in sustainable and just urban development
  • the need for cultural consideration in working towards the SDGs
  • the concepts of cultural mapping, planning and impact assessment, how they contribute to the promotion of culture for future urban sustainability, and their respective processes and challenges faced