Impact Update 22, May 2010
This newsletter reviews the content that has been added to the Impact Database since the end of February 2010. As always, many of the studies are recently published but we also include earlier research that is relevant to the themes of the database. Full bibliographical details of the references highlighted below can be obtained from the database.
We continue to encourage users and their networks to use the online facilities of the Database to submit their own research, which will then be considered for inclusion. Alternatively, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Research should relate to the main themes of the database (as listed in the ‘Advanced Search’ section) and should have stated aims/objectives, methodological approach and findings/conclusions.
Arts, Culture and the Economy
The geography of creativity, a new NESTA study, explores the regional distribution of creative firms across the UK. It finds that various sectors of the creative industries are located in different parts of the UK. London specialises in conducting creative activities, while regions outside London are indirectly linked to the creative sectors as providers of the inputs and raw materials required for creative activities. Arts and antiques is the only sector which witnesses a higher concentration of activities outside of London. Specific neighbourhoods specialise in certain activities because they are endowed with the work bases and infrastructure to carry out these operations. No specific region has a monopoly over the operations of the creative sectors in the UK, although the majority of the creative industries are located in London. The creative sectors are regionally diverse and operate in varied degrees at different locations. All the creative sectors are inter-connected, but the driving force that unifies them has not yet been identified. (De Propris et al., 2009.)
Partly building on the previous study, Freeman (2010) has surveyed developments in employment and production by London’s creative workforce (London’s creative workforce: 2009 update). This second study finds that there has been an overall increase in the creative industries in London since 2004. London and the rest of the South East remain the dominant focus of the creative industries in the UK (at 32 and 26% respectively in 2007), with the boroughs of Camden, Westminster and Hammersmith housing over 40% of London’s creative industries. Creative workers can contribute their innovative skills outside the creative sectors in fields such as manufacturing, banking, finance and insurance. Freelance and part-time work in the industry revolves around the dichotomies of instability on one hand and efficiently changeable skills on the other. The reasons for losing jobs in these industries are at times related to expensive office rents, particularly in Central London. An accurate measure of the total creative industry employment includes employee jobs, the self-employed and creative workers in the non-creative sectors. There has been a steady increase in the availability of jobs since 2005. However, the status of employment of women, Black and Asian Ethnic Minority groups has not increased.
Designing the dragon or does the dragon design? An analysis of the impact of the creative industry on the process of urban development of Beijing, China, a working paper by Van der Borg, Van Tuijl and Costa (2010), discusses the role of design as an economic activity, as an art form and as a form of urban design in the Chinese capital of Beijing and identifies the main success factors and barriers for the design business in the city. It shows how, from 2004 onwards, the development of cultural clusters has been one of the priorities of the Beijing administration. However, while leading cities in Europe are focussing very much on service or social design, Beijing is still investing in design as a form of art and in urban design. Backed up by conspicuous state investments and by fast decision making, industrial areas of Beijing have been transformed and neighbourhoods have been revitalised and infrastructure has been upgraded. Because of the 2008 Olympic Games the whole city, including the public space, has been extensively overhauled and an impressive number of modern iconic buildings have been added to the city’s skyline. The role of industrial design and creativity in upgrading the Chinese manufacturing sector has so far been minimal, but priority has changed from ‘Made in China’ to ‘Create in China’, allowing economic activities to move upwards in the value chain. Nevertheless, and despite the presence of key research and art institutes, further developments of the design sector and the use of design in other (manufacturing) sectors remain a huge challenge.
Ineum Consulting (2009) has developed, for the "Forum d'Avignon - Culture, economy, media", a recurring international barometer on the cultural appeal of different cities in order to identify the relationship between cultural appeal and the economic development of a city. Its study shows how different cities use culture as a development lever in different ways. The social and economic impact of a development based on culture and higher education is greater in smaller cities. It is probable that there is a relationship between the concentration of cultural heritage and a strong higher education, and the economic performance of a city, although the meaning of this relationship is still to be confirmed. (Culture - a symbolic or economic success factor for urban development planning?)
An article by Cela, Lankford and Knowles-Lankford (2009) explores visitor assesses the economic impact of tourism in the Silos and Smokestacks National Heritage Area (SSNHA) of Northeast Iowa. In 2004, non-residents had a total contribution to the Northeast Iowa economy of USD 103 million and created 1,981 jobs. Heritage visitors to the SSNHA had a total impact of USD 42 million and created 803 jobs. Most of the money was spent in services and retail trade sectors. While direct impacts were largely connected to the primary expenditure categories (food and lodging), indirect and induced impacts were broadly distributed in all other sectors of economy. The authors found significant differences between visitors at the different heritage sites in terms of their spending patterns. The highest category of spending for visitors in all sites (except business heritage sites) was on lodging, followed by spending on shopping. Visitors to business heritage sites spent significantly more on shopping, closely followed by lodging spending. Their total spending per person was the highest among visitors to farms, museums, and parks and gardens. (‘Visitor spending and economic impacts of heritage tourism: a case study of the Silos and Smokestacks National Heritage Area’. Journal of Heritage Tourism 4(3): 245-256.)
Ohio's arts: a foundation of innovation, creativity and economic strength, a study by Carroll (2009), measures the annual economic impact generated by Ohio’s creative industries. It finds that creative industries contribute more than USD 25 billion to Ohio’s economy annually. The industries support 231,200 jobs, generate USD 1.06 billion in state and local tax revenues, and USD 1.78 billion in federal tax revenues. The creative industries are not only present in urban areas but are spread throughout the state. They display the same infrastructure as other knowledge-based industries.
Roger Tym & Partners (2008) have explored the role of the museums, libraries and archives sector in the wider visitor economy of South East England for MLA South East. Their study shows that tourist visitors to museums, libraries and archives spend GBP 229,981,260 in the South East’s visitor economy, and that 97% of this expenditure can be attributed to museum visits. Staying visitors contribute 60% of the total expenditure associated with visits to museums, libraries and archives. In the context of the overall South East visitor economy, museum, library and archive visits contribute around 2.25% of annual regional visitor spend. Overall, museums, libraries and archives in the South East are estimated to support 15,245 jobs in direct employment within the facilities concerned, 3,307 through other businesses in receipt of visitor expenditure and 1,404 through indirect and induced effects. The total direct and indirect employment supported is 19,956 jobs. (Assessment of the contribution of museums, libraries and archives to the visitor economy.)
Arts, Culture and Health
Chatterjee, Vreeland and Noble (2009) report on a pilot project which sought to assess whether handling museum objects has a positive impact on patient wellbeing. They conclude that handling museum objects can have a positive impact on patient wellbeing. On average, the qualitative data collected in the pilot demonstrated an increase in self-reported measures of life satisfaction and health status after handling museum objects. (‘Museopathy: exploring the healing potential of handling museum objects’, Museum and Society 7(3): 164-177.)
Arts, Culture and Regeneration
An article study by Pratt (2009) offers a critical examination of the role of culture in the regeneration of ‘post-industrial’ cities through a case study of the cultural quarter of Hoxton Square, North London. It questions instrumental conceptions of culture with regard to urban regeneration as well as the adequacy of the conceptual framework of the ‘post-industrial city’ as a basis for the understanding and explanation of the rise of cultural industries in cities, and argues that both cultural production as well as consumption must be considered when assessing culture-led urban regeneration. (‘Urban regeneration: From the arts ‘feel good’ factor to the cultural economy: a case study of Hoxton, London’. Urban Studies 46(5/6): 1041-1061.)
Sacco and Tavano Blessi (2009) investigate the relationships between cultural activities/investments and urban transformation processes in the context of the regeneration of Milan’s Bicocca district. The paper stresses that effective culture-led urban transformation processes require a well-balanced mix of cultural facilities and culturally mediated accumulation of knowledge, sociability and identity assets. While the renewed Bicocca district includes a range of cultural facilities, these have not been matched by parallel efforts to ensure the project’s social sustainability by fostering the participation and involvement of the local community in culturally mediated opportunities for interaction and cohesion. The authors conclude that of the local community is not substantially involved, the long-term social sustainability of the urban transformation process is threatened. (‘The social viability of culture-led urban transformation processes: evidence from the Bicocca district, Milan’. Urban Studies 46(5-6): 1115-1135.)
Tokarska (2010), in ‘Perceptions of small business owners of culture-led regeneration: a case study of Brick Lane in Spitalfields’, evaluates the effects of the culture-led regeneration process in London’s Brick Lane area local through a study of small business owners’ perceptions of their current business opportunities and quality of life in the past ten years and prospects for the future. She concludes that the regeneration process was predominantly economic-led and that it has marginalised local ethnic businesses. According to the author, Banglatown has been turned into a predictable and commercial ‘tourist bubble’ and Bengali culture has been reduced to curry houses, creating a homogenous enclave isolated from the social life of former residents. (London Journal of Tourism, Sport and Creative Industries 3(4): 29-39.)
Arts Council England has published two new reports based on data from the Taking Part surveys. From indifference to enthusiasm: patterns of arts attendance in England (Bunting et al., 2008) explores the ways in which people attend arts events and identifoes the socio-demographic factors that influence their attendance. This report is based on analysis of the 2005 and 2006 survey data. Arts engagement in England 2008/09. Findings from the Taking Part survey (Martin, Bunting and Oskala, 2010) uses the most recent data from the 2008/09 Taking Part survey to assess levels of attendance and participation in culture, leisure and sports in England.
A recent publication by Visit Britain (2010) analyses the influence of culture and heritage on the promotion and maintenance of tourism in the UK. It describes how in 2006 the UK’s culture and heritage sector attracted an estimated GBP 4.5 billion of spending in the UK from visitors from overseas, supporting around 104,000 jobs. In total, GBP 16 billion was spent in the UK by overseas visitors in 2006, with ‘culture and heritage’ motivating 28% of this amount. 57% of respondents from 20 countries agreed that history and culture had a strong influence on their choice of holiday destination. (Culture and heritage. Topic profile.)
Major Cultural Events
Creating an impact: Liverpool's experience as European Capital of Culture (Garcia, Melville and Cox, 2010) summarises the key findings and messages of the Impacts 08 research programme evaluating the impacts of Liverpool European Capital of Culture (ECoC) 2008 on the city, the wider region and its people. The 2008 ECoC programme was both geographically and socio-economically inclusive. It attracted 9.7 million additional visits to Liverpool, constituting 35% of all visits to the city in 2008 and generating an economic impact of GBP 753.8 million. 2.6 million European and global visits were motivated by the Liverpool ECoC in 2008, 97% of which were first-time visits. The ECoC generated an additional 1.14 million staying visitor nights in Liverpool hotels, 1.29 million in the rest of Merseyside and 1.7 million in the rest of the North West. Since the ECoC nomination in 2003, national and local media coverage on the city's cultural offer has more than doubled, with positive stories on the city's cultural assets coming to dominate over the traditional emphasis on (negative) social issues The city's cultural sector has developed strong networks, which have resulted in the securing of multimillion pound national grants. Liverpool's media representation has become less polarised since the mid 1990s. Positive stories on Liverpool as a city grew by 71% in the national press between 2007 and 2008. From 2005 to 2008 overall positive impressions of Liverpool increased amongst the UK population (from 53% to 60%) while negative views dropped from 20% to 14%. A second Impacts 08 study, The economic impact of visits influenced by the Liverpool European Capital of Culture in 2008 (England's Northwest Research Service and Impacts 08, 2010) gives a more detailed overview of the economic impact of the Liverpool ECoC on the visitor economy at local, city region and regional level.
A new publication by Richards and Rotariu (2010) summarises some of the major findings of the research into the less tangible impacts of the 2007 ECoC programme in the Romanian city of Sibiu. Its findings show that as a result of the ECOC, the image of Sibiu improved domestically as well as internationally. The ECOC attracted more tourists, in particular foreign ones. Levels of tourism activity generally remained high in 2008 and early 2009. Visitor spend by foreign tourists contributed to the significant economic impact of the event. The event has also resulted in a significant boost to local pride and sense of identity, while the large number of tourists coming to the city boosted the cosmopolitan nature of the city and the feeling that the city had something to show the rest of the world. Cultural consumption in the city was strengthened by the high number of events during 2007. There was a high level of participation on the part of the local population, which has continued since 2007 in spite of a significant decline in the number of cultural events, which suggests that interest in culture in general was awakened by the ECOC. (The Impact of the 2007 European Cultural Capital in Sibiu: A long term perspective. A report to the City of Sibiu/Hermannstadt.)
Stevenson (2010) has investigated the factors that influence cultural legacy in connection to the development and delivery of the Cultural Olympiad in connection with the 2012 Olympic Games and its impact on local communities in the London Borough of Hackney. She identified three possible cultural legacies for the local community: the improvement in partnership working and the creation of networks to deliver regeneration; the creation of community capacity and leadership; and support for existing creative industries. (London 2012. Developing a cultural legacy for local communities in Hackney.)