Cultural policies and local development: The Portuguese case

Augusto Santos Silva, Elisa Pérez Babo, Paula Guerra

Abstract


In Portugal, two levels of public policy implementation are relevant: the national, under government responsibility, and the local, under responsibility of municipalities. The importance of municipalities in defining cultural public policies has grown, given the expenses amount and the responsibility in launching and managing cultural equipment and arts support. The growing significance of municipalities in the cultural-public-policies scene takes place along with the growing importance of culture in the context of their development policies. The two movements cannot be dissociated. This review considers some critical issues, from the perspective of academic research and of planning: namely, the local policies’ autonomy in a country marked by territorial concentration of resources; the interaction between public policies and structural properties of urban areas; the suitability of municipal policies to new cultural forms, audiences, consumer practices and cultural production; and the local challenges in plans of social support, financial resources, governance and sustainability.

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