The Potentials of Art to Involve Citizens in Regional Transitions

Marian Stuiver, Pat van der Jagt, Eugene van Erven, and Isabel Hoving

This article explores the potentials of art to involve citizens in regional transitions. The Haarzuilens case in the Netherlands is analysed as to how site-specific performances possibly can have added value for regional planning activities. We investigate the artists' use of narratives as an art form to exemplify and make explicit citizens' understanding of their living environment. Our point of departure is the assumption that people make sense of their living environments through narratives. Narratives are understood as subjective representations of a series of events that involve problem definitions, worldviews and aspects of social reality. Our analysis indicates that art is indeed capable of making the narratives of local citizens about their intrinsic place attachments more explicit. This information can be used by planners in their regional activities. Art makes explicit the emotional values, social values and identities connected with the region. It is a challenge to match these narratives with the planners' narrative on regional transitions. We suggest three scenarios for the cooperation of artists and planners in the future.

Source: Article Abstract