UNCHARTED : Mapping the Future of Culture’s Societal Value

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Understanding, Capturing and Fostering the Societal Value of Culture

The initiative aims to identify, contextualize, understand, measure, and analyze the emergence, conformation, and cultural values from a pluralistic, collaborative, and interdisciplinary point of view. 

A four-year, launched in February 2020 and concluding in January 2024. 

image: thanks Stable Diffusion!

Key Results of UNCHARTED: 

1. Developing a comprehensive and integrated vision of culture’s societal value.

2. Policy recommendations for acknowledging pluralistic cultural values in cultural policy. 

Four fundamental arenas of cultural practice facilitate the study of values plurality: 

– Cultural participation in live arts and culture 

– Cultural participation through the media 

– Cultural production and heritage management 

– Cultural administration

The project emphasizes the positive impact of cultural participation on both individual and collective levels:

– Individual level: promotes tolerance, and citizen participation, enhances well-being, stimulates learning, and encourages sociability and responsibility.

 – Collective effect: positively influences local territories, increases the wellness of cities and countries, and helps citizens develop a sense of identity and belonging.

Cultural policies should reflect the strategic plural values of culture. Culture is not only an important economic factor providing a high number of jobs, but it also plays a significant role in promoting peaceful coexistence and combating threats.


to provide a broader vision of the value of culture in Europe

  • to identify and contextualise the emergence and configuration of cultural values in Europe

  • to co-create new conceptual and methodological tools to understand, evaluate, measure and improve statistical data for capturing the plurality of values of culture

  • to give tools and systematic guidelines for the reorientation of cultural policy in a pluralistic sense”

Outcomes (1)

The UNCHARTED project has developed a set of instruments to continue and collaborate on the investigation and research of understanding, capturing, and fostering culture’s societal value. The project offers practical resources for researchers, including policy briefs, recommendations for policymakers, case studies, scientific papers, and a wide range of practical resources for communities involved in the production, management, and use of culture and the UNCHARTED book. 

Read in more detail & link the project outcomes following “Our Take”…

Our Take 

The UNCHARTED project stands as a testament to the power of collaboration and research in uncovering the true essence of culture’s societal value. UNCHARTED has conducted a comprehensive study on the relationship between culture and society, highlighting its role in fostering creativity, inclusivity, tolerance, and cohesion. The project involved stakeholders like citizens, professionals, administrators, and policymakers, demonstrating the intrinsic worth of culture to society. The results include a roadmap for cultural policy action, a book detailing research, and plans for a public event highlighting societal values. The project’s legacy will inspire further research and dialogue on culture’s societal value. 

….Outcomes (2)


  • Analysis of the Influence of Gender and Rising Diversity in the Configuration of the Values of Culture Download PDF: This report examines how organisational cultures, cultural administrations, and citizen cultures influence cultural values in European societies, focusing on institutionalised culture, cultural administrations, and citizen cultures.

  • Analysis of the Influence of Urbanisation and Social and spatial segregation in Cities in the Configuration of the Values of Culture Download PDF: The report examines the impact of gentrification, touristification, and segregation on urban heritage preservation in European cities, focusing on cultural values, practices, and policies. 

  • Analysis of the Influence of Globalization and Digitization in the Configuration of the Values of Culture Download PDF: The report discusses cultural values in access, engagement, production and performance, highlighting the importance of diversity and empowerment.

  • Analysis of the Influence of Neo-liberalism in the Configuration of the Values of Culture Download PDF: This report explores the correlation between neoliberal logic and cultural value prioritisation in 30 European countries, revealing a broad correlation between market-based logic and civic and political values, but with varying specificity.

  • Analysis of the European Historical and Political Experience in Acknowledging and Promoting the Values of Culture Download PDF: The report examines how European cultural policies attribute values to culture, classifying them into five families: democracy, identity, well-being, aesthetics, and economy, and analysing their emergence and transformation.

  • Synthesis of theory, literature and existent data about factors configuring the values of culture in Europe Download PDF: Synthesizes previous research literature and existing data on the factors and circumstances influencing the values of culture in Europe, and provides recommendations for the future.


  • Report on WP2 case studiesDownload PDF: This deliverable presents case studies on cultural participation in live arts, media, production, and administration, considering the Covid-19 context and post-pandemic recovery. 

  •  Report on the emergence of values in cultural participation and engagementDownload PDF: Research seeks to identify tensions, conflicts, and public controversies surrounding the “valuation” of cultural participation in live arts and culture, as articulated by the practitioners themselves.

  • Report on the emergence of values in television and new mediaDownload PDF: The report explores new media forms of remote cultural participation using live stream and teleconferencing platforms to explore the meanings attributed to digitally mediated cultural participation. It focuses on the plurality of values attributed to digitally mediated cultural participation, particularly participation in new media forms, as well as remote cultural participation through live streaming and teleconferencing technologies.

  • Report on the emergence of values in cultural production and heritage. Download PDF: This report examines cultural production and heritage management values, focusing on diverse cultural sectors and actors’ perspectives, examining their repertoires and value dynamics. 

  • Mapping of the values of culture in cultural policy objectivesDownload PDF: examines 20 European administrations’ cultural values, analysing their plurality and tensions within them.

All the public  deliverables of WP3: MEASURING AND IMAGINING

Describes how different cultural actors (e.g. citizens, professionals, public administrators) construct, measure, compare and rank values they attribute to culture, as well as the tensions surrounding those practices. 

“The focus is placed on three fundamental drivers of the cultural matrix:

  • the citizens involved in cultural participation activities

  • the cultural professionals collaborating in cultural production and preservation

  • the experts and policy-makers representing, intervening and regulating culture”

  • Report on the grammar of valuation and evaluation in cultural practices of consumption. Download PDF

  • Report on the technologies of evaluation in cultural production and heritage management. Download PDF

  • Report on the influence of public administration evaluation methodologies on cultural production and heritage management. Download PDF

  • Report on the representations of cultural value in cultural information systems. Download PDF

  • Report on the conflicting dynamic of valuation in the cultural sphere. Download 


Evaluate cultural policy strategies and effectiveness, focusing on democratizing and development policies, highlighting the importance of utilizing culture for societal benefits.

  • Synthetic report on cultural policy coherence (CNRS). Download PDF

  • Two synthetic reports on cultural policy effectiveness and impact (CNRS). Download PDF

  • Roadmap for cultural policy action. Download PDF

All the public public deliverables of WP5: EXPERIMENTAL DEMONSTRATIONS

Validates research results through experiments and demonstrations in the areas of live arts, media, cultural production, heritage management, and cultural administration.

I want to learn more: 


“The public deliverables produced in the project are accessible for download  from the Delivered Output Box in the Home page, in the Download area under Project/Dissemination and from the pages dedicated to illustrate the research activities in the Research plan section of the website.”

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