Santa Monica Adds "Arts & Culture" to Sustainable City Plan

Mon, 05/14/2012 (All day)
Advocacy Team (if applicable): 

Santa Monica Beach Art by cbucka21, on Flickr

On May 8, the Santa Monica City Council added an “arts and culture” goal area to its Sustainable City Plan, becoming the first city in California to include cultural indicators as part of an overall evaluation of sustainability. 

Through inclusion of this goal area, Santa Monica resolves to:

  •  Retain and nurture Santa Monica’s arts community and resources

  •  Increase cultural participation and provide greater access to a diversity of culture programs for all ages

  • Enhance the long term sustainability of Santa Monica’s creative sector.

“Santa Monica is proud to continue to be at the leading edge of comprehensive thinking about sustainability,” says Dean Kubani, director of the Office of Sustainability and the Environment.  While the goals have been clearly set, the indicators to be used in evaluating the city’s progress will be drafted and presented to the Council in September 2012. Santa Monica’s progress represents a strong collaboration between Kubani’s office and the city’s Cultural Affairs Division.  Dr. Maria Rosario Jackson of the Urban Institute is providing advisement on development of the cultural indicators to be used in tracking progress on the arts and culture goal.

“Integration of the arts and culture into sustainable community planning reflects the vital role these facilities and programs play in developing vibrant local communities,” explained Shannon Parry, assistant director of Santa Monica’s Office of Sustainability and the Environment.  Creative Capital, a partner in developing the current cultural plan, found the cultural industry employs 43% of Santa Monica’s residents in 1,763 arts-related businesses throughout the city.  

Residents who spoke with Creative Capital expressed a vision for their community that weaves the arts, cultural activities, entertainment and education throughout their lives, work, cityscape and neighborhoods. “Adding an arts and culture goal area to the Sustainable City Plan will provide valuable information for policy makers,” said Jessica Cusick, the City’s cultural affairs manager.

For more information on Santa Monica’s Sustainable City Plan, please visit the Office of Sustainability and the Environment’s web site.

Photo by Flickr user cbucka21. Creative Commons licensed for fair use.