This issue of the UNESCO Observatory refereed journal presents peer reviewed papers in the areas of cultural policy, cultural development, community-based arts, government and civil society, cultural diversity and cultural rights.
Authors come from Australia, Poland, Spain, Canada, the United States and India and examine the way policy and practice impacts on the cultural vitality of their regional and local communities.
Authors were asked to consider notions pertaining to:

  • pro-active planning for creative communities
  • the relationship between creativity and cultural expression on health and well being, and the ability of local communities to keep pace with change
  • the significance of freedom of expression and cultural rights, as an aspect of a broader human rights agenda
  • the impact of cultural vitality frameworks as necessary ingredients for the sustainability of local communities alongside economic, social and environmental concerns

The guest editors for Volume 1, Issue 2: ‘Creative Local Communities: Cultural Vitality and Human Rights’ are John Smithies, Director, and Kim Dunphy, Manager, of the Cultural Development Network, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.


This issue takes its title and motivation from the declaration of the 2007 World Congress of United Cities and Local Governments in Jeju, Korea, that placed culture as a priority for cities, councils, local government associations and communities.

Declaration II. ‘Act to promote all human rights and respect diversity in our cities and territories as a foundation for peace and development’. In this declaration, the Congress recognised ‘that cultural policies form part of the different dimensions of good local governance in the same way as economic and social development or environmental protection’. United Cities and Local Governments represents more than 1,000 cities from more than 125 countries worldwide – and the organisation’s membership is growing. Through its Agenda 21 for Culture, UCLG has established the first document with a worldwide mission that advocates an undertaking by cities and local governments for local cultural development. This leadership by a growing number of the world’s cities provides an important balance between national agendas and the voice of local governments and communities.

Editorial: The Impact Of Policy And Practice On The Cultural Vitality Of Local Communities Unesco E-Journal

Author: Kim Dunphy and John Smithies, Cultural Development Network, Victoria, Australia

Download article – Cultural VItality on Local Communities

Cultural policies, human development and development innovation: or why we need an Agenda 21 for culture

Author: Jordi Pascual, Coordinator, United Cities And Local Governments’ Committee On Culture, Barcelona, Spain

Download article – Human development and development innovation

Arts, culture and local government

Author: Dr Kevin Johnson, Geografia and Professor Kevin O’Connor, University Of Melbourne, Melbourne, Australia

Download article – Arts, Culture and Local government

Cultural citizenship and community indicator projects:approaches and challenges in the local / municipal context

Author: Nancy Duxbury, Simon Fraser University, Vancouver, Canada

Download article – Cultural Citizenship and community indicator projects

Alive: culture, sustainability and intergenerational democracy

Author:Kirsten Davies, Sydney, Australia

Download article – Alive: Culture, sustainability and intergenerational democracy

Graffitti Vandalism?

Author:Jeff Stewart, Daylesford, Victoria, Australia

Download Article – Prosperity Peace

Just imagine: placing culture and imaginative education at the heart of modern society

Authors:Max Wyman OC, Canada

Download Article – Placing culture and imaginative education at the heart of modern society

The role of aesthetic and legal communities in the struggle for sexual human rights in Poland

Author: Lisiunia A. Romanienko, Wroclaw University, Wrocław, Poland

Download Article – Political Economic Development

How not to commodify the arts: exemplary entreprenuerial practice from India

Author:Anmol Vellani, India Foundation For The Arts, Bangalore, India

Download Article – How not to commodify the arts

Celebrating communities: community festivals, participation and belonging

Author:Isabel Jackson, University Of Melbourne, Parkville, Victoria

Download article – Celebrating communities

Creative Communities, Cultural Vitality And Human Rights: A Paradigm Shift For Community Cultural Development

Author: Raelene Marshall, Director, Culture In Action, Melbourne, Australia

Download article – Creative Communities, Cultural Vitality and Human Rights

Creativity – the great equaliser

Author: Maud Clark, AM, Artistic Director; Somebody’s Daughter Theatre Company, Victoria, Australia

Download article – Creativity – the greater equaliser

A narrative and arts-based inquiry exploring the impact that recognising individual identity has on the sense of community in a residential aged care facility

Author: Catherine Dinkelmann, Melbourne, Australia

Download article – Recognizing indiviual identity in the residential aged care facility