Sustainable Art & Design in Craven Report, March 2010


Summary Document for Internal and External Stakeholders
Note: Illustrations to be added at design & production stage
Sustainable Art & Design in Craven 2010 - 2015 This document sets out Craven District Council’s vision for sustainable art & design in the district’s public realm and what we aspire to do about it over the next 5 years with the help of our partners, stakeholders, and citizens. It is based on the exciting findings of research that the District Council and Arts Council England commissioned from creative company Beam early in 2010, which show how art and design can be relevant to virtually every aspect of sustainable regeneration. It sets out our principles, our definitions, our evidence, and our themes for action and delivery. It invites the involvement of everyone concerned with continuing to make Craven’s public realm --- our streets, buildings, neighbourhoods, green and urban spaces --- well-designed, distinctive, delightful, and sustainable. Our Vision Craven’s ‘public realm’ is the place we share with each other and with visitors. As well as functioning effectively, we want Craven’s public realm to be a cultural place --- a place that reflects the nature, heritage, imagination and aspirations of Craven and of our citizens, young and old. We believe that skilled artists and designers, as well as the creativity of our own communities, have an important and surprisingly varied role to play in this. We want the Council, working with our stakeholders, to take a leadership role in gathering and facilitating the ideas, knowledge and resources to make high quality and sustainable art and design central to the image of Craven and what it offers to its citizens and the world. Our Principles for Sustainable Art & Design • • • • Showing Leadership Ensuring Quality and Innovation Connecting Resources Partnership working

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Embedding Knowledge & Good Practice Taking Action

Our Policy Framework Our Strategy is closely aligned with all of the key local and national policies governing sustainability, the public realm, communities, and the arts and culture. A great deal of evidence shows that artists and the arts can and do make meaningful and cost-effective contributions to delivering virtually all of these policies --- on planning, the environment, transport, architecture and urban design, sustainable communities. The precedents and case histories we’ve gathered illustrate the feasibility of these artistic contributions, and provide ideas and inspiration for their application in Craven. Our Proposed Methods Art ‘Across the Board’ We see art and design playing their part along a broad spectrum of activity in Craven. Our action objectives are laid out in 9 areas of activity drawn from the government’s guidelines for sustainable development --Environment and Carbon, Design, Transport , Community, Jobs and Homes, Health, Land Use, Culture, and Special Projects. In all of these we have ideas for how the arts and design can contribute to our vision for Craven’s sustainable public realm. They take the form of artists’ involvement in strategy-making, masterplanning and on design teams, temporary and permanent commissions, community engagement and schools projects, new media social networking, festivals and other creative events. Keys to Action We’ve identified a range of Action Mechanisms that can help turn our Strategy into reality. They include using key Planning Statements and Supplementary Documents; including art in Design & access statements; utilising design review to ensure quality and innovation; establishing for Craven a Sustainable Art & Design Panel and a Cultural Networking Forum --- and a range of methods for drawing down and deploying financial resources into our development projects. Toolkit for Success Using the principles of the ‘Culture and Sport Planning Toolkit’, we’ve identified a range of Action Themes through which we can pursue and maintain our Strategy. They include Coordination and Championship; meaningful Community Engagement; auditing & reviewing; setting benchmarks and monitoring our progress; and seeking and developing the right partnerships. What Do We Mean?

Our Strategy is based on holistic contemporary definitions of the key concepts within it -- ‘sustainability’ ‘public art’ ‘public realm’. We believe that art and design have a role to play in all of these arenas. Sustainable Development • Living within Environmental Limits • Ensuring a Strong, Healthy and Just Society • Achieving a Sustainable Economy • Using Sound Science Responsibly • Promoting Good Governance Sustainable Communities Based on Craven District Council’s Sustainable Community Strategy 2007-13, we believe that sustainable communities are places where people want to live and work, now and in the future. They meet the diverse needs of existing and future residents, are sensitive to their environment, and contribute to a high quality of life. They are safe and inclusive, well planned, built and run, and offer equality of opportunity and good services for all. Art & Design In our Strategy art and design is work carried out by or with artists, craftspeople, designers which impacts on the public realm. It therefore connects with the work of architects, urban designers, highway engineers, planners, and others. Within a broad definition of ‘culture’ --- food & drink, sport, TV, local customs, as well as the arts --- we believe in recognizing the important role of skilled artists, craftspeople and designers. Public Art Public art is creative work commissioned as a response to particular places, art commissioned as part of the designed environment, and does not always rely on the production of an ‘art object’. It is the process of artists and designers responding to the public realm. Public art can take the form of architecture and design, lighting and water installation, film, photography and new technologies, literature and poetry, performance and celebratory arts, social, environmental community and participatory arts, as well as permanent and temporary commissions of craft and sculpture. The best public art, like the best architecture and urban design, usually includes a consideration of the particular character, qualities, and culture of place in which it is occurring. Public Realm & Place We believe that appropriately skilled artists can have a role to play in virtually every aspect of planning, designing, making, and animating everything that happens in the public realm. The public realm is both a tangible and a psychological place. It includes the physicality of streets, squares, neighbourhoods, and open green

spaces --- but also the harder to define but equally important territories of memory and emotion, pride, aspiration, identity. The public realm should be a place that embraces the core concepts of form, function, and delight --- and art and design have a valuable role in all three. The public realm should be about improving the well-being and quality of life of individuals and communities. A public realm that does not improve quality of life is by definition unsustainable. As for ‘Place’, it is more than design, buildings, engineering, highways, property, bricks and mortar. Place is physical space plus people, and ‘place-making’ is design, regeneration, and social activity which embraces local and global contexts; actively seeks and responds to the needs and views of current and end-users; joins the social, economic, and environmental; nurtures aspiration, provides opportunity, and creates understanding. Our Plan 1. Leadership The Council will take a leadership position in implementing the Strategy. This doesn’t mean doing or resourcing everything --- we need to work closely with local, regional, and national partners and stakeholders, and with Craven citizens. But we will do everything we can to utilize our skills and resources, to facilitate and coordinate activity, and to draw on and develop the skills and resources of others. Some of the steps we’ll undertake: •

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Adopt and communicate the Strategy Prepare, consult on, and produce a ‘Charter’ which enables citizens and development partners to sign up to agreed principles & practices Be visionary and share that vision within and outside the Council Undertake and maintain continuous review & improvement, intelligence-gathering and prospecting for opportunity Undertake and encourage the championship of sustainable Art & Design Balance ‘top-down’ & ‘bottom-up’ working --- leadership with public and stakeholder engagement. Both are necessary to success.

2. Capacity & Learning The capacity to deliver our Strategy will depend on continuing to develop the knowledge and skills of all those involved across the broad spectrum of sustainable public realm. The Council will look to encourage the creation and provision of learning opportunities in the activities it delivers, funds, or partners in the context of this Strategy. The Council will encourage a learning culture, internal and external, taking and making opportunities for training and continuing professional development, formal and informal knowledge-sharing and networking --- within and across departments, among its stakeholders,

and in the wider community. This can involve providing, encouraging, or helping to coordinate programmes and activities for: • • • • • Elected Members Council and other government Officers Arts, cultural & built environment professionals in Craven Schools and colleges Individuals & Communities

3. Connectivity Joining up people and resources is a key part of this Strategy --- a tactic that is common sense anyway, and which makes particular sense in challenging economic times. Taking a holistic approach means exploring, understanding, building, and making effective use of connections --- between places and structures, between people, between organizations, and through joining up resources, both human and financial. We believe there are resources and skills already within Craven, the Council, our businesses and our communities. We also recognize that there are activities, opportunities, resources, beyond Craven District that could help in the delivery of our Strategy --- potential partners who could contribute, and also and learn from us. In seeking to deliver our Strategy for Sustainable Art & Design, we will challenge ourselves to make connections --- both obvious and surprising. 4. Action / Seizing Opportunity The best way to test, learn and develop is through action. We will seek to take every opportunity, at whatever level and scale to take actions that help to implement this Strategy Some of Our Key Ideas NB. To be selected after review of the main Report Invitation We invite you --- residents, businesses, young and older, artists, architects, educators --- to join us. For further information, contact: XXX