Cultural mapping is recognized as an essential planning and economic development tool in municipalities across Canada and around the world. Cultural mapping is defined as:
A systematic approach to identifying, recording, classifying, and analyzing a community’s cultural resources.
Identifying and mapping cultural assets strengthens the base of information that can be used to inform future planning and decision-making in any municipality. Cultural planning of course benefits from cultural mapping, but so does land use planning, economic development, and tourism.
Consolidated databases of cultural assets support marketing and promotion to both residents and tourists.
The subjective nature of what “counts” as culture can lead to disconnection and distinction within the cultural community. A cultural map is a stronger base of information that strengthens and creates networking and partnership opportunities, and encourages people to view their community using a cultural lens. More collaboration contributes to a higher quality of life and overall community well-being, and stimulates new economic opportunities in multiple sectors.