The Role of the Arts and Culture in Planning Practice


Research Abstract
The Role of the Arts and Culture in Planning Practice

This overview paper provides planners and policy makers with comprehensive definitions, an overview of the arts and culture field, and a framework for how the field’s strategies can enhance and inform planning practice. The subsequent briefing papers expand upon this introduction and explore how arts and culture contribute specifically to:

  • strengthening cultural values and preserving heritage and history
  • building community character and sense of place
  • enhancing community engagement and participation
  • enhancing economic vitality

These briefing papers support the work of countless people — policy makers, planners, and economic development and community development professionals, as well as professionals in architecture, landscape architecture, and arts and culture — in the creation and development of healthy communities.

This is one of several briefing papers created by the APA's Planning and Community Health Research Center on how planners use arts and culture to achieve economic, social, environmental, and community goals. To see all the papers visit


American Planning Association
January 1, 2011

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