Definitions for the following terms are provided below:

Community Cultural development
Creative industries
Cultural assets and resources
– See also cultural infrastructure
Cultural capital
Cultural development
Cultural infrastructure
Cultural tourism
Cultural Vitality
– Definition 1
— Culture has a material dimension
— Culture has a process dimension
– Definition 2 An alternate definition of Culture
– Definition 3
– Definition 4
New media
Public art and functional design
Social Capital

Community Cultural Development
Process through which communities work collaboratively with professional artists to express identity, concerns and aspirations through the arts and culture, while building cultural capacity and contributing to social change. Community cultural development (CCD) is a community-based arts practice and can engage any artform. There are many variations of a community-based process, and as such, there is no one correct model. The process is primarily the collaboration of professional artists and communities to create art. During the CCD process artists and communities work together towards a shared goal and the process can be empowering for communities by solving problems and addressing issues through arts practice (Australia Council).

For an updated definition visit the Australia Council for the Arts website.

Creative industries
Activities that have their origin in individual creativity, skill and talent and which have the potential for wealth and job creation through the generation and exploitation of intellectual property (Department for Culture, Media and Sport, UK,

The creative industries are a broad alliance of activities with creativity at their heart and where they have a critical role in the development of an integrated approach to economic policy and planning. This definition encompasses 13 industry sectors: advertising, architecture, arts and antique markets, crafts, design, designer fashion, film, interactive leisure software, music, television and radio, performing arts, publishing and software (Stuart Cunningham, ‘What price a creative economy?’, Sydney: Platform Papers, Currency Press, 2006).

Cultural assets and resources
See also Cultural infrastructure

Cultural assets and resources can include a number of components both tangible and intangible. One component is places including topography, facilities and buildings and the aesthetic qualities of these which contribute to community cultural life, community identity and sense of place. These places can include heritage items, significant streetscapes, public art and monuments, public open space, views and lookouts, tourist attractions, sporting, recreation and leisure facilities, community meeting places such as churches, clubs, cafes and corner stores.

Cultural facilities are important cultural resources since they are often held in the public domain and are or have the potential for accommodating cultural programs and activities. Cultural facilities include community centres, halls, theatres, libraries, museums, galleries, heritage buildings and landmark sites including open space, parks and reserves.

Cultural resources are also those aspects of community life which utilise or are presented in these places. They can include cultural businesses, cultural collections, exhibitions, events, networks of voluntary and socio-cultural and civic associations. Cultural resources can also include local cultural knowledge, skills and works of art which provide a foundation on which people can draw for a community’s cultural development. e.g. databases, directories, local historians, artists, Indigenous craft skills, views and vistas, social and cultural services etc.

Cultural assets can also include those businesses or other services involved in the creative industries including in advertising, architecture, arts and antique markets, crafts, design, fashion as well as film, interactive leisure software, music, television and radio, performing arts, publishing and software. These activities are connected through individual skill and creativity and each has the potential for economic development including job creation.  Australia Street Company, c 2007.

Cultural capital
Cultural capital is an asset which embodies, stores or provides cultural value in addition to whatever economic value it may possess. Cultural capital exists in two forms – the tangible and the intangible. The tangible may occur in the form of buildings, locations, sites, precincts, artworks and includes tangible cultural heritage. The intangible form of cultural capital may occur as intellectual capital in the form of ideas, practices, beliefs and values which are shared by a group. Cultural capital in both forms may decay if not maintained or neglected or may increase in value through new investment and resource allocation.
Throsby, David, 2001, Economics and culture. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Cultural development
“Cultural development provides the means for cultural identities of groups within a local area to be recognised, nurtured and expressed through a range of arts and cultural activities, and is about enriching local identity, sense of place and quality of life”.
City of Bayside Council.

Cultural development

Where culture is the fountain of our progress and creativity and the end and aim of development; where development is seen as the flourishing of human existence in all its forms and as a whole” and “where development means the widening of human opportunities and choices”. Our Creative Diversity, 1995. Paris: UNESCO.

Cultural infrastructure
Cultural infrastructure includes those assets and resources, programs, services and facilities that build city vitality and cultural participation.

• Facilities: art galleries, museums, theatres, performing arts centres for music, dance, drama and opera; libraries, archives, heritage sites, cinemas, arts and cultural learning/ education centres, artists’ studios, amphitheatres, Keeping Places, tangible heritage such as buildings and sites
• Temporary programs: festivals, exhibitions, events, markets
• Services: lifelong learning and skills development, research
• Assets: collections, directories, databases, records, maps, public art works
• Resources: budgets, individuals and groups (people) and intangibles such as ideas and knowledge, views and vistas, memories, traditions and customs.
City Cultures Discussion Paper, Sustainable Sydney 2030 Plan, 2008. Sydney: Australia Street Company for Council of the City of Sydney.

Cultural tourism
Cultural tourism encompasses a diversity of views. For this Plan ‘cultural tourism’ is defined according to definitions adopted by the World Tourism Organisation, and by the Federal agencies of the Bureau of Tourism Research and the Department of Communications, Information Technology and the Arts. It is defined according to visitors’ attendance at one or more of the following cultural attractions:

 festivals or fairs (music, dance, comedy, visual arts, multi-arts and heritage);
 performing arts or concerts (theatre, opera, ballet, and classical and contemporary music);
 museums or art galleries;
 historic or heritage buildings, sites, monuments;
 art or craft workshops or studios; and
 Aboriginal sites and cultural displays. (Definition of ‘cultural tourism’ in Arts and Cultural Tourism Strategy for WA, 2004-2008. Perth: Department of Culture and the Arts.)

Note: cultural tourism can also include the screen industry and when combined with the natural environment and hospitality sectors, presents considerable potential for visitors and for those who live in a place.

Cultural Vitality
Community wellbeing as expressed through creativity, diversity of cultural expression and innovation.

‘Cultural Vitality is the evidence of creating, dissemination, validating and supporting arts and culture as a dimension of everyday life in communities’ (ACIP report)


Definition 1

The Local Government & Shires Association (LGSA) Regional Distinctiveness Project (LGSA 1996) found that most councils in NSW proposed that culture is principally a ‘way of life’. These Guidelines have adopted the following definition which is consistent with local governments’ approach. Culture has a values dimension:

• relationships;
• shared memories, experiences and identity;
• diverse cultural, religious and historic backgrounds;
• values and aspirations; and
• what we consider valuable to pass on to future generations.

In this dimension culture is about a way of life and connections between people and between places and people. Along with the experiences of its inhabitants, the culture of an area is strongly shaped by its history, its geography, its character (land use, settlement patterns, demographics, and the built environment). Our culture encompasses the ways in which we belong in and to a place. Local cultural planning helps us to understand the unique character of our communities and to assist communities to express pride in their place. Cultural places are those with importance or symbolic significance to people, often with an important role in collective memory, identity and spirituality. These places can include landmark buildings and sites such as lookouts, meeting places – both traditional and contemporary like the town hall steps significant streetscapes, monuments and public art.

Culture has a material dimension
• the performing and visual arts including digital and website art, craft, design and fashion;
• media, film, television, radio, video and language;
• museums, art galleries, artefacts, local historical societies, archives and keeping places;
• libraries, literature, writing and publishing;
• the built environment, heritage, architecture, landscape and archaeology;
• sports events, facilities and development;
• parks, open spaces, wildlife habitats, water, environment and countryside recreation;
• children’s play, playgrounds and play activities;
• tourism, festivals and attractions; and
• informal leisure pursuits.

In this dimension, culture includes the creative products produced by artists and designers as well as the creative products of communities. Cultural assets and cultural resources are also included in this material way of looking at culture and refer to those places, buildings, facilities, knowledge, skills and works of art which provide a foundation on which people can draw for a community’s cultural development, for example art galleries, museums, local historians, artists.

While their role as managers of cultural and heritage assets on behalf of the community underpins their work, libraries, museums and galleries should be regarded as central to wide-ranging cultural activity and not merely storehouses of collections. They can have an important role in developing audiences, providing educational programs and information material, fostering the development of local artists, facilitating a sense of community identity, enhancing knowledge exchange for tourists, visitors and local community groups and providing a venue or site for community activity of all kinds.
Cultural infrastructure is also part of the material way of looking at culture and includes networks of voluntary socio-cultural associations, art gallery and museum volunteers; directories and data bases; large commercially driven cultural industries for example publishers, recording companies and movie theatres; and small scale cultural enterprises representing the trading arm of individual artists or artists’ collectives; clubs, cafes and pubs.

Culture has a process dimension
While we may produce material culture which is infused with our cultural values that cultural production itself does not necessarily facilitate the re/evaluation and development of what we believe and how we choose to act. Material culture is just recording what we believe at that time. We need opportunities to exchange, continually re-evaluate and express our cultural values if we are to create a culture which is vibrant and vital. It is the interaction with other people and our engagement with and participation in intellectual and artistic production, that exposes us to new information and ideas which enable our values to be challenged and reconsidered, leading to personal growth, lifelong learning and (potentially) cultural change.

Definition 2 An alternate definition of Culture

Culture is the arts broadly defined, the idea of creativity and the idea of identity. Culture can be represented in the heritage and history of a place including its Aboriginal culture, its architecture, crafts, design, the arts, festivals and events as well as aspects of the media, tourism, leisure including sport, the environment and education and learning. (Australia Street Company 2003)

Definition 3

In Parramatta, the term Culture is generally understood to include those social practices, value systems, creative pursuits, beliefs and behaviours which are considered appropriate and desirable in a community.

This definition is usually manifested in the lifestyle of individual members of the community. This includes types of food available, the manner in which celebrations are held, ways of commemorating birth, death and marriage, religion, recreation and leisure pastimes, attitudes to the elderly and children as well as tolerance of difference in the community”. (Arts and Cultural Plan 2000-2005, 1999. Parramatta: The Council.)

Definition 4

Culture should be regarded as the set of distinctive spiritual, material, intellectual and emotional features of society or a social group, and that it encompasses, in addition to art and literature, lifestyles, ways of living together, value systems, traditions, beliefs.

(Universal Declaration of Cultural Diversity,2001. Paris: UNESCO; and in keeping with definitions developed at the World Conference on Cultural Policies (MONDIACULT, Mexico City), 1982; World Commission on Culture and Development, 1995, Our Creative Diversity, Paris: UNESCO; Intergovernmental Conference on Cultural Policies for Development, 1998, Stockholm.)

Beyond multiculturalism where difference is maintained and protected to a more proactive engagement between cultures which emphasises interaction and the exchange of ideas between different cultural groups. Interculturalism suggests mutual learning and growth and the gaining of skills between different people regardless of their origins. Interculturalism proposes diverse groups attempting to address common issues of mutual interest that may lead to a greater level of cross-cultural understanding and empathy.

New media
Artwork that uses digital technology, film, video, imaging and projections.“New media art describes a process where new technology is used by artists to create works that explore new modes of artistic expression. New media art projects use technologies such as computers, information and communications technology, virtual or immersive environments or sound engineering to create work”. Australia Council, 2004. Support for the Arts Handbook.

Public art and functional design
Public art refers to art practice that integrates art and design into the public domain. It encompasses a wide range of artforms and creative practices. These include sculpture, environmental art, architectural design elements, installations, lighting effects, outdoor performance, memorials, artist designed street furniture, decorative paving and mural works.

Public art can be the result of artists’ commissions, artists working as part of architectural or design teams, community arts and community cultural development processes, competitions, temporary exhibitions, events or installations. Public art can also include the donation or purchase of existing works to be permanently located in public spaces.

Projects may include permanent or temporary artworks, functional design, large and small-scale initiatives, and may involve high profile as well as low-key approaches. (Australia Street Company, 2006).

Social Capital
A collective term for the processes between people which establish networks, norms, social trust and facilitate coordination and cooperation for mutual benefit. (Eva Cox, 1995)

The ability to meet the needs of the present generation without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs.
1987, Brundtland Report – Our Common Future: Oxford University Press.