How did we do it? The Performance Index


We have indentified various dimensions for these three focuses; a total of 34 features to classify each amenity, facility, industry and cultural resource. We thus don’t just look at each amenity on the basis of its typology (theatre, museum, golf course etc.) but we describe it on the basis of these 34 dimensions. table 1 shows each one of these characteristics and provides a brief definition of it.

We have selected 147 amenities, resources and culture industries on the basis of systematic sources of information for all the cities. They were encoded and received a score for each of the dimensions. This score was lower if the sub-dimension in question was a feature opposed to the essence of the amenity, resource or culture industry concerned and higher if it was essential for its essence; what’s produced, consumed or can be done there. For example an ethnological museum belongs to the “art” and “consumption/distribution” dimensions in the culture industries approach, traditionalism, formality and localism in that of cultural consumption and finally that of cultural diffusion in that of development opportunities. A museum of contemporary art, for example, would be similar in the first and third dimensions but very different in the second; expressiveness and a certain dose of transgression instead of tradition and formality. These are just two of the examples from the 4998 codings carried out (34 dimensions x 147 amenities). The process can be examined in detail in the project’s work documents.

After the encoding process we weighed the number of existing amenities in the city by their corresponding scores, and then calculated the sum of the scores obtained for each dimension. This gives us the intensity with which one dimension is present in the city. But if we divide that value by the total number of existing facilities in the city, we can identify whether that particular dimension is of note in that city, that is, whether the city specializes in that dimension. This is what we have called the Performance Index. This the way that we show what is outstanding about a city from the whole set of resources that it possesses and we can also see whether what it specialises in is similar or different to other cities. . Thus the purpose of the Index is not to establish a ranking of cities but rather to identify, on a comparative basis, exactly what each of them specializes in, especially those that are similar due to having a similar size of population, a similar resource or being an urban or administrative center.

La dinamica cultural de las ciudades

Centro de Solcioligia politica Local

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