Every project is unique in its cultural, economic, social and environmental context. We dive deeply into research from both documented sources and in person-to-person interviews to truly understand the authentic essence of place. This work includes gaining an understanding of its landscape, economy, cultural heritage, community values, input and engagement, cultural assessments as well as case studies of other community success stories.

Planning, Research & Analysis

 Planning excites us! While different visions and plans require different approaches, all planning takes place as an iterative and collaborative process involving many direct and indirect stakeholders. Each begins with pre-planning development which entails understanding context, visioning, stakeholder and partnership engagement, setting up a planning process and identifying the project management team members. Switchback Group works to facilitate the planning process to flesh out all ideas, details and possible barriers, helping communities and organizations set goals to make the plan a reality.

Strategic and Implementation Planning (such as Cultural Master Plans, Master Arts Plans, Cultural Development Plans)  Culture and Arts plans focus on planning, to developing ways to maximize the benefits of creativity and cultural resources as a way to strengthen the community and its environment as a whole. We dive deeply into research to truly understand the authentic essence of place. Switchback group works with communities to develop plans that reflect local culture, values and its relationship to its natural spaces, encourage social connection, equity and to establish a framework to reach its goals. We also create an implementation  process that turns strategies and plans into concrete actions steps. Helping a community to understand and capitalize on its cultural, economic, social and environmental context is an essential foundation for developing and building sense of place.

Creative Placemaking focuses community development in multiple ways. It leverages culture, heritage, arts and creativity along with the natural environment to develop character into places in ways that promotes a community’s well being. Creative placemaking focuses community development in multiple ways. Ways in which culture, arts and creative practice contribute to and act as an integral component to community and public spaces planning. Often begun as grass roots efforts, creative placemaking projects intentionally seek to achieve broader outcomes including a stronger and more diverse economy, more diverse, active social fabric, environmental sustainability and cultural vitality.

Cultural Heritage Tourism PlanningwhoweareOurMission  is “travel directed toward experiencing the arts, heritage and special character of a place.” Our places have histories as diverse and complex as we are. According to the UN World Tourism Organization, cultural tourism represents 35-40% of tourism worldwide and is growing at 15% annually. Switchback Group can help communities develop Cultural Tourism Plans that can stimulate recognition of and investment in historic and cultural heritage resources.

Innovative Practices

The field is evolving. Switchback Group eagerly takes on special projects that involve research and developing thought leadership to help develop innovation in the realm of Culture.

“Culture is the software of cities just as the built environment is the hardware. They co-evolve with each generation, culture informing and transforming the hardware of a city while technological change and infrastructure redirect the city culture.”

– Peter Calthorpe