SA-EU dialogue: Cultural Mapping, Planning and Impact Assessment for Sustainable and Just Urban Development

The SA-EU dialogue emerged out of a 10-year history of engagement between the African Centre for Cities (ACC), the City of Cape Town, and a number of political, practitioner and academic partners across the globe around the implementation of global and local policy agendas through a cultural lens. The collaboration recognises the importance of culture in urban development, and seeks to strengthen policy engagement between cultural and urban practitioners through this dialogue opportunity. It also appreciates that implementation is key, and innovative forms of practice are crucial for surfacing and valuing art, culture and heritage in cities.

Coproduction is an important method by which to produce relevant policy-responsive and action-oriented research. This SA-EU dialogue provides a unique opportunity to bring together a wide range of South African and European practitioners, academics and experts together to explore the role of cultural mapping, planning and impact assessment in the interest of more sustainable and just urban development. Although ACC has an extensive network across different kinds of public, private and civic organisations, opportunities to bring a wider cluster of people from South Africa and the European Union (EU) for a focused dialogue about culture and urban development are limited.

The purpose of this dialogue is threefold:

  1. To draw on ACC’s and partnering organisations networks to bring together an academic, practitioner and expert knowledge cluster to explore the  implementation of culture and urban policies in different urban contexts
  2. To explore the role of cultural mapping, planning and impact assessment as vehicles for cultural and urban policy implementation, through exploring good practice in Africa and Europe
  3. To produce a set of recommendations for policy implementation, good practice partnerships and future engagements amongst the network

The dialogue will be facilitated through two activities. The first is a strategic study visit to connect with our two primary dialogue partners in the EU. The second brings academics, practitioners and civil society together for a dialogue event in Cape Town.

Project partners and participants: 

  • Catalytic Sectors Office in the Mayor’s Office, City of Cape Town
  • Arts & Culture Branch, City of Cape Town
  • Department of Arts and Culture, National Government, South Africa
  • Urban Futures Centre, Durban University of Technology, Durban, South Africa
  • Wits Cities Institute, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa
  • Mistra Urban Futures, Gothenburg, Sweden
  • Chalmers University, Gothenburg, Sweden
  • City of Gothenburg, Sweden
  • Catedra City Lab, University of Deusto, Bilboa, Spain
  • City of Bilbao, Spain
  • Cultural Policy Observatory, Dublin and Belfast, Ireland
  • Centre for Social Studies, Universidade de Coimbra, Coimbra, Portugal