Fourth Pillar Book

Book: Fourth Pillar of Sustainability

Our most important research work is published as the Fourth Pillar of Sustainability, the monograph by Jon Hawkes published in 2001. The Fourth Pillar provides a clear definition of culture, analyses its function within the emerging new planning paradigms and proposes practical measures for the integration of a cultural perspective into the public sphere. The key conclusion of this work is that a whole-of government cultural framework, operating in parallel with social, environmental and economic frameworks, is essential for the achievement of a sustainable and healthy society. Cultural vitality is as essential to a healthy and sustainable society as social equity, environmental responsibility and economic vitality. In order for public planning to be more effective, its methodology should include an integrated framework of cultural evaluation along similar lines to those being developed for social, environmental and economic impact assessment.

This ‘groundbreaking and thought-provoking work … stresses the belief that the way a society governs itself cannot be fully democratic without there being clear avenues for the expression of community values, and advocates the need to reintroduce the notion of culture into the language of politicians and policy makers. With this in mind, the author explores the different ways in which culture affects and relates to patterns of human activities, illustrates practical ways in which culture can be applied to public policy as well as featuring examples of models that can be drawn upon from around the world.’, UK-based Centre for Creative Communities.

“The Australian researcher Jon Hawkes has formulated the need to structure a new ‘pillar’ for sustainability. His document The Fourth Pillar of Sustainability: Culture’s essential role in public planning is recognised as a masterpiece for local policy making in many European cities. We, the cultural actors and agents, know better than anybody that the circle of development cannot be squared without the fourth pillar: culture. The framework proposed by Jon Hawkes is extremely powerful.
– Jordi Pascual, Coordinator, United Cities and Local Governments’ Group on Culture, Barcelona City Council Institute for Culture – Cultural Policies, Human Development and Institutional Innovation: or why we need an Agenda 21 for culture. Expanding Cultures conference, 2007

Responses to The Fourth Pillar 

‘The Fourth Pillar’ book (currently unavailable)
AUD $29


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