Rediscovering the Wealth of Places


Rediscovering the Wealth of Places: a municipal cultural planning handbook for Canadian communities

Recognizing the new economic realities facing them, a growing number of municipalities across Canada are turning to municipal cultural planning as a powerful tool to support economic development and community building. These represent municipalities of all sizes and circumstances – from large urban centres to mid-size cities to rural areas and small towns.

Rediscovering the Wealth of Places is a practical introduction to core planning concepts and tools. This includes a methodology for cultural mapping and the systematic identification of a wide range of local cultural assets. A strong focus is placed on the effective integration of culture in planning across municipal departments, and with a look at some leading practices from Canada and around the world.

This important work includes chapters from Elena Bird; David T. Brown; Susan M. Gardner; Jeannette Hanna; Gord Hume; Jennifer Keesmaat; Mark Kuznicki; Colin Mercer; and Kevin Stolarick

Approx. 174 pages

Published in Canada by Municipal World, Inc.



The place of culture in planning is one of the key challenges of cities. Cultural groups and agencies have a special responsibility in contributing to urban progress bringing with them critical values intrinsic to culture, values such as creativity, critical knowledge, sense of place, beauty, memory and diversity. In Rediscovering the Wealth of Places, Greg Baeker offers an exceptional methodology for cultural mapping and cultural planning. Agenda 21 for culture strongly recommends the book to anyone interested in strengthening the place of culture in planning. Culture must be part of all serious conversations about how urban progress is elaborated and implemented.

Jordi Pascual, Coordinator, Agenda 21 for culture (The Agenda 21 for culture is the first document with worldwide mission that advocates establishing the groundwork of an undertaking by cities and local governments for cultural development. See

… Greg Baeker’s Rediscovering the Wealth of Places is possibly the most powerful tool available to civic leaders at a time when the financial crisis is forcing cities to adopt smarter forms of urban governance. We knew that cultural planning had the potential to deliver improved opportunities for communities and better competitiveness for cities, but now we have it in black and white. Baeker leads the way!

Baeker’s handbook is what cultural planners have been waiting for. A practical and intelligently written ‘how to’ guide for embedding local cultural resources in economic, social and urban development plans. The featured examples of implementation provide conclusive proof that municipal cultural mapping processes are often the key to effective policies for building creative advantage. Invaluable!

Lia Ghilardi, founder and director of Noema Research and Planning, a UK-based organization working internationally to deliver place mapping and strategic cultural planning projects.

I read the book, Rediscovering the Wealth of Places: A Municipal Cultural Planning Handbook for Canadian Communities with great pleasure. It is a terrific contribution, bringing municipal cultural planning’s background, intentions, tools, and practitioners’ experiences together in one place. The book would fit excellently into graduate and senior undergraduate planning courses that deal with this relatively new field of municipal cultural planning. The bonus is your focus on Canadian practice, which you show is well underway. Congratulations!

Beth Moore Milroy, FCIP, RPP, Professor Emeritae and Past Chair, School of Planning, Ryerson University

Australia led the way in integrated and strategic cultural planning from the 1990s: a baton which is now admirably being taken up by Canada. My colleague Greg Baeker has played an important leadership role in this development as both an advocate and practitioner. This book makes a major contribution to systematizing a body of professional knowledge and practice in municipal cultural planning.

Colin Mercer, Internationally respected consultant and cultural planning pioneer


ISBN: 978-0-919779-91-4

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