Analysis of the role of cultural spaces in the redefinition of cultural policies in cities. A case study of the metropolitan areas of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria and Santa Cruz de Tenerife-San Cristobal de La Laguna.


This thesis addresses the relationship between cultural spaces and cultural policies, specifically in the urban realm. Specifically, in this research project we argue, firstly, that urban cultural policies and policies for the creation of cultural spaces are governed by the same logic and are articulated in a functional whole within the dominant paradigm of cultural policy (in which cultural spaces are both a derivative and a condition of the model of cultural democratisation). Secondly, we argue that cultural spaces are the keystone of cultural democratisation policies, insofar as they constitute the main tool for their effective materialisation. Finally, we argue that a redefinition of the role and models of use and management of urban cultural spaces has the potential to reformulate local cultural policies in a more effective, efficient and equitable way. The research proposal is basically composed of a theoretical analysis, from an interdisciplinary perspective, which attempts to project a critical view of the conventional models of cultural policies, supported by the empirical case study. The case study, consisting of the analysis of the cultural spaces of the metropolitan areas of the two capitals of the Autonomous Community of the Canary Islands, has been approached in a detailed and exhaustive manner. In this framework, the analysis of the spaces of the metropolitan area of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria has the epistemological function of corroborating the limits of conventional cultural policies; while the second analysis, referring to the model of the Tenerife Arts District Project, has the projective function of devising, on a concrete and real scenario, the possibilities of defining in a new way the uses of the spaces with the will to convey this new cultural policy which overcomes the limitations detected. In other words, the methodology of case analysis allows us, on the one hand, to falsify conventional theory and, on the other, to test the plausibility of a new approach to cultural policy. In this sense, the research has focused on two main issues. Firstly, it aims to test the internal coherence of a theoretical framework for the definition and legitimisation of a new model of cultural policy capable of overcoming – in terms of effectiveness, efficiency and equity – the main limitations and deficits of a paradigm, that of cultural democratisation, which we argue is exhausted (both from the intra-theoretical perspective – inconsistent – and from the extra-theoretical perspective – inoperative and incapable of advancing the very practical objectives proposed). Secondly, the research aims to examine the possibilities of designing a model of cultural space that contributes to shaping a new urban cultural policy that overcomes the main deficits – in terms of efficacy, efficiency and equity – of the paradigm of cultural democratisation.

Antonio Ramos Murphy Thesis Pages 504