Local Economic and Employment Development (LEED Programme)

Culture & local development


Culture and creativity as a lever for inclusive growth and local development 

Culture is an integral part of local development. It is linked to job creation, exports and revenues. Whether in cities, or regions, culture is an essential component of the quality of life, and a “creativity lever” for new goods and services. Culture and creative industries can bridge communities and provide disadvantaged individuals opportunities for empowerment, self-reliance and integration into employment and productive activities.

The past decades have seen a rapid emergence of the culture and creative economy. Culture and creative industries (CCIs) include a broad range of activities, including cultural heritage, architecture, music, live performance, publishing, the art and antiques market, music, arts and crafts professions, television and radio, film and video, advertising, design, fashion, video games, and software and IT services.

However, due to the rapid evolution of CCIs, the difficulties to define its frontiers and its needs, the often intangible impacts of culture-led projects, the need to catch up with the new trends in cultural and creative tourism, and the fragmentation of the policy frameworks, local policy makers often do not grasp the full extent of the sector, and deploy insufficient efforts to support it. There is overall a lack of capacities to design integrated strategies and in leveraging the appropriate policies that would be necessary to realise the potential of the sector in creating jobs and transforming well-being. 


MARK YOUR CALENDAR: 6-7 December 2018 - Venice

An OECD Conference on culture and local development will be organised on 6-7 December 2018 in Venice, Italy. The conference will review the emerging patterns of how culture and creativity foster local growth and the implications for policies in the area of employment, innovation, and regional development.


2017-2018 Focus

A. Fulfilling the potential for Cultural and Creative Industries

Local reviews on the social and economic impact of the sector and policy tools to support it   

The OECD has developed a methodology for mapping culture and creative industries at the sub-national level. Work is underway in Italy (the mapping exercise covered the South of Italy and is currently being expanded to cover the North East).

Find out more about the objective, key deliverables and how to participate




Summer Academy on Cultural and Creative Industries and local development
11-15 June 2018 | Trento, Italy

Round-table: Fulfilling the potential of Cultural and Creative Industries -  Reinforcing linkages and spill overs 
23 June 2017 | Milan, Italy

Round-table: Culture, health and well-being - 12th Festival of Economics
3 June 2017 | Trento, Italy



B. Culture and local development: Maximising the impact

Towards an OECD Guide for Local Governments, Communities and Museums

In 2017-18 the OECD is developing a guide to inform and support policy makers in designing successful culture-led local development strategies. The guide provides a self-assessment framework and policy options:

  • For local and regional governments to assess and improve their approaches to utilising cultural heritage as part of sustainable local development;
  • For museums to assess and strengthen their existing and potential linkages with the local economy and social fabric. 

Access the pilot version of the guide


What's next? Pilot phase with local governments and museums (December 2017-May 2018)

Find out more information and how to participate




Euregio Museum Day 2017: Museums & local development - Maximising the impact
20 December 2017 | Trento, Italy

Working group: Cultural heritage as catalyst of local development
22 June, 2017 | Milan, Italy

Round-table: Cultural heritage as catalyst of local development
11 April 2017 | Prague, Czech Republic 



Previous related events

Debate on “Culture-led and smart regeneration strategies” @ SSPCR 2017
22 February 2017 | Bolzano, Italy

ACTORS Italy - Cultural Attractors for Tourism and Employment in Southern Italian Regions - event in the TSM series "Dialogues on culture 2016" (Trento, Italy)
11 November 2016 | Trento, Italy

Forum: Ravello LAB 2016 - Culture and Development -  Projects and tools for local growth
20-22 October 2016 | Ravello, Italy

Round-table: The Cities of Culture experience: paths of change between past and future - 11th Festival od Economics
3 June 2016 - 11.00 | Trento, Italy

Forum12th Annual Meeting of the LEED Forum - Creativity, jobs and local development
18-19 April 2016 | Venice, Italy

Forum: Ravello LAB 2015 - Culture and creative industries for developing districts
22-24 October 2015 | Ravello, Italy


Completed reviews & reports

Review ACTORS Italy - Cultural Attractors for Tourism and Employment in Southern Italian Regions
May 2014 - October 2016

Other relevant OECD CFE publications

Tourism and the Creative Economy
July 2014

The Impact of Culture on Tourism
January 2009

Culture and local development
April 2005



For further information, please contact Ekaterina.Travkina@oecd.org and Alessandra.Proto@oecd.org.


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