Cultural policy design: principles and cases

Objectives and competences

Students will be introduced into a comprehensive conceptual framework for cultural policy analysis and design, working at the same time on theoretical constructs and case studies, and learning how to synergize between them. A special emphasis will be placed on the practical implementation and sustainability of projects and on their ex post evaluation.


No specific prerequisites for this course.


h1. I. Alternative paradigms for the relationship between cultural production and economics
1. Culture 1.0, 2.0, 3.0: basic conceptual framework
2. Culture 1.0: classical patronage
3. Culture 1.1: strategic patronage
4. Culture 1.2: public patronage
5. The transition between the patronage system and the cultural industry paradigm
6. Culture 2.0: proto-cultural industry
7. Culture 2.1: mature cultural industry
8. Culture 2.2: cultural industry and the subcultural worlds
9. The transition between the cultural industries and the open platforms paradigm
10. Culture 3.0: the current scenario
11. The way ahead: Culture 3.1
12. Implications for EU cultural strategies

h1. II. System wide cultural districts: theory and case studies
1. System wide cultural districts as the theoretical platform for culture-led local development
2. System wide cultural districts and Culture 1.0, 2.0 and 3.0
3. The 12 characteristic dimensions: an introduction
4. The Quality factors for culture-led development
5. The Attraction factors for culture-led development
6. The Local Assets factors for culture-led development
7. The Sociality factors for culture-led development
8. The Networking factors for culture-led development
9. Principles of cultural policy design
10. Analysis of cases: local governance as the critical factor
11. Analysis of cases: capabilities as the critical factor
12. Summing up and some considerations about the future of cultural policy design in Europe

Intended learning outcomes

At the end of the course, students will have the elements to analyze and to develop basic examples of cultural policy design with reference to the contexts of their professional interests, also with a view to the EU cultural policy agenda.


  • Belfiore, E. & Bennett, O. (2010). Beyond the ‘toolkit approach’: arts impact evaluation research and the realities of cultural policy-making. Journal for Cultural Research 14, 121-142. E-version
  • Garcia, B. (2004). Urban regeneration, arts programming and major events. Glasgow 1990, Sydney 2000 and Barcelona 2004. International Journal of Cultural Policy 10, 103-118.
  • Peck, J. (2005). Struggling with the creative class. International Journal of Urban and Regional Research 29, 740-770.
  • Pratt, A. (2010). Creative cities: tensions within and between social, cultural and economic development. A critical reading of the UK experience. City, Culture and Society 1, 13-20. E-version
  • Sacco, P.L., Ferilli, G. & Tavano Blessi, G. (2011). Culture 3.0: A new perspective for the EU 2014-2020 strucgural funds programming. European Expert Network on Culture, Barcelona. E-version
  • Sacco, P.L. & Crociata, A. (2013). A conceptual regulatory framework for the design and evaluation of complex, participative cultural planning strategies. International Journal of Urban and Regional Research 37, 1688-1706.
  • Sacco, P.L., Ferilli, G., Tavano Blessi, G. & Nuccio, M. (2013a). Culture as an engine of local development proceses: System-wide cultural districts. I: Theory. Growth and Change 44, 555-570.
  • Sacco, P.L., Ferilli, G., Tavano Blessi, G. & Nuccio, M. (2013b). Culture as an engine of local development proceses: System-wide cultural districts. II: Prototype cases. Growth and Change 44, 571-588.
  • Sacco, P.L., Ferilli, G. & Tavano Blessi, G. (2014). Understanding culture-led local development: A critique of alternative theoretical explanations. Urban Studies 51, 2806-2821. E-version
  • Sacco, P.L. & Tavano Blessi, G. (2007). European Culture Capitals and local development strategies: Comparing the Genoa and Lille 2004 cases. Homo Oeconomicus 24, 111-141.


Valuation of assignments. Open discussion with professor and students. 50/50

Lecturer's references

Prof. dr. Pier Luigi Sacco is a professor of Cultural Economics at IULM University, Milan. As of September 2011, he is Dean of the Faculty of Arts, Markets, and Heritage. Pier Luigi teaches Creative Industries at the University of Italian Switzerland (USI), Lugano. He holds a Ph.D. ineconomics from the European University Institute, and he is the author of more than one hundred and fifty papers that have appeared in international journals and edited books with major scientific publishers (i.e. Oxford University Press, Cambridge University Press, Elsevier, Springer, Palgrave, Edward Elgar, Ashgate, Sage) on the topics of economic theory, game theory, cultural economics, cultural and creative industries, and cultural policy design at the urban, regional and national level.
He also writes for Il Sole 24 Ore, Saturno and Flash Art. Pier Luigi is the president of the scientific committee of the International Festival of Contemporary Art, Faenza and the president of the Cultural Observatory of Marche Region. He is a member of the scientific committee of the Italian National Library, Florence. He is a research associate at Semeion Research Center, Rome, and a member of the editorial board of the following journals: Creative Industries Journal, Mind and Society, Quality and Quantity, Journal of Marketing at Retail and Economia della Cultura. He acts as a keynote speaker and lecturer internationally and provides extensive consultation and advisory work for governments, local administrations and cultural institutions on the issues of culture-led local development and the European Culture Capitals Programs.