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Public Art and Market Town Regeneration

A dissertation for an MA in Town Planning at the University of Westminster by Chris Hargraves, Senior Planner at Mid Sussex District Council

This postgraduate dissertation explores the thesis that 'public art can offer a number of significant benefits to the process of regeneration in market towns.' It addresses four main issues:-

  • The potential benefits of public art-led regeneration in market towns
  • The current level of public art-led regeneration in market towns
  • Examples of good practice, including the most appropriate mechanism for public involvement and consultation
  • Practical issues, including how public art can play a role and who should be involved

A mixture of research methodologies were used including:

  • Desktop research
  • Postal questionnaires with key players
  • Case studies of three contrasting market towns

The report concludes that public art has an acknowledged and demonstrable regeneration effect in market towns, particularly as a tool for place promotion and marketing. It also demonstrates that whilst public art is supported both by local people and by developers, Local Authorities need to adopt a much more pro-active approach towards securing public works of art, including the preparation of supplementary planning guidance, the adoption of development plan policies and the publication of public art strategies.

The recommendations cover the need to assess whether public art will meet the specific regeneration needs of a town, advice on identifying a relevant strategic approach, and some important practical guidelines for successful commissioning.

This dissertation is © University of Westminster 2001

Follow this link to download the Full Dissertation as a Microsoft Word format document: 6Mb

Click here to download document (zip format)

You will need Winzip to open this file.

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