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Paper info: Sustainable cities: how interactions in the arts and cultural networks contribute


Sustainable cities: how interactions in the arts and cultural networks contribute


Gary Buttriss
Australian National University
Gary Buttriss and Christopher Nailer

Place of Publication

The paper was published at the 35th IMP-conference in Paris, France in 2019.


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Prior research has connected the arts and cultural activities with the growth of creative industries, innovation, and the economic competitiveness of cities and regions. Cultural value has also come to be recognized as an important fourth dimension of sustainability. However, artistic and cultural activities also operate at a symbolic level to reflect, reinforce and reinterpret social goals and identity. At a time when city-level policy-makers are seeking to attract high-value creative industries and also to make cities more sustainable, arts and cultural activities come into focus as an interesting area for research. The specific ways in which the arts and cultural sector contributes to the sustainability of a city, and the processes and mechanisms through which they do so, have not been extensively researched to date. Furthermore, the networked, interactive nature of arts and cultural activities suggests that an interaction approach offers a valuable lens through which to explore this phenomenon. This paper provides a conceptual overview of the role of the arts and cultural sector in policies for the development of sustainable cities. It explores the nature of the network interactions within the arts and cultural sector, and between that sector and the government and private sectors, in Canberra, Australia.