The social impact of arts and culture, in general, is reflected in the drawing up of the objectives and action plans within the local cultural strategies. Cultural planning represents an advantage for any community, and debates and discussions during the planning period bring together cultural operators and political and administrative decision-makers who design the town’s cultural offer and address the needs and expectations of the town’s citizens. All the fourteen Romanian towns found in the pre-selection of the competition for the title of European Capital of Culture 2021 had implemented arguments in their local cultural Strategies sections for the potential social impact of a cultural sector developed in the framework of a programme like the European Capital of Culture.
An actual example in this respect is the Cultural Strategy of the City of Bucharest 2016-2020, with its first priority axis “Including culture as an engine of urban development”. This priority axis focuses on “the inclusion of the cultural dimension as an essential factor in the harmonious and balanced development of a city. Long-term planning cannot ignore this aspect, and this is the reason why all the other development plans (urban, mobility, social, economic, tourism development plans) must embed the principles of the Cultural Strategy. Thus, a sustainable urban development includes the expansion and rebalance of the city’s cultural landscape, including highlighting the neighbourhoods’ identity and a greater involvement of the citizens, the growth of community cohesion. This contributes to the valorisation of the history of the city and of the various quarters and communities and in order to transform Bucharest into a place where the quality public space, the built heritage and contemporary architecture complete each other and boost one another in favour of the citizen’s quality of life and the city’s increased attractiveness” . Submitting such an objective requires that the development of the societal areas should start with the cultural-artistic factor.
The Cultural Strategy of Timisoara 2014-2024 (European Capital of Culture in 2021) places culture as a transversal dimension of all the public policies: “The concern for the cultural life of Timisoara requires a lively relation between culture and urbanism, architecture, environment, education and it contributes to the local and regional development. Through its public policy documents and essential studies carried out by the public administration in the last years, Timisoara shows that it gives culture its deserved role because of the multiple benefits it brings to individuals, to the local community and economy.”