Review of Neighborhood-Level Quantitative Studies for Studying the Arts As a Tool in Community Development

Monday, 16 July 2018
Distributed Paper
Yasemin ARIKAN, Urban Innovation Analysis, Inc., USA
Most of the literature developed to date on the role and impact of art and culture in community development is based on case study research and quantitative studies at the regional or city level. This makes generalization and neighborhood level decision-making difficult. This paper discusses the analytical design (e.g., range and tendencies in types of regression analyses, variables, time frames, arts definitions, and strategies to measure arts growth and neighborhood context and change) and findings of 10 studies that model and empirically examine the relationship between the arts and neighborhoods at the county, zip code, or city block level. They were published since 2010 and focus on explorations in the U.S. and Canada. In broad strokes, the 10 studies can be divided into two streams of inquiry: where do the arts tend to grow, and what is the impact of arts growth on neighborhoods. The present paper includes an analysis of what is getting systematically omitted or under emphasized, and how we may move ahead to improve neighborhood-level specificity and generalizability in the policy and planning debate on creative city and community development. This work informs a separate forthcoming paper that extends the past work by using regression analysis to explore the impact of arts growth on neighborhoods in the national context and quantiles of neighborhood disadvantage, employing different definitions of disadvantage and arts growth, taking into account the cultural life within the neighborhood, and comparing the impact of arts growth on individual versus clusters of neighborhoods.