The business of creative cities



Champion K (2008) The business of creative cities. Journal of Urban Regeneration and Renewal, 2 (2), pp. 111-123.

Culture and creativity have been promoted as the panacea to reversing urban decline in the knowledge age. The posited benefits of becoming a 'creative city' cut across many aspects of policy, and evidence suggests that unlocking creative potential may well improve the prospects for successful urban regeneration. Such activity may be cultivated to attract economic gain in the form of investment, developing the creative industry sector, business start up locations, tourism spend and knowledge workers. Specific approaches include re-imaging through branding campaigns, flagship buildings and events programming and developing the creative industries sector. There are some caveats to this approach. The unintended consequences of policy can include gentrification, a loss of distinctiveness and the pricing out of creative sector pioneers. The benefits may be overstated and are often hard to measure. This paper presents a rationale for intervention, while cautioning against a sole focus on consumption-oriented strategies with their vulnerability to economic downturn. It is argued that policy should be sustainable and balanced, aiming to cultivate and protect indigenous production and be rooted in the local, distinctive attributes of place. Three principles are suggested to help embed the creative city: more workspace, fuller participation and better measurement.

Creative cities; culture-led regeneration; re-imaging cities; flagship projects;place branding; events programming; place distinctiveness

Journal of Urban Regeneration and Renewal: Volume 2, Issue 2

Publication date31/10/2008
PublisherHenry Stewart Publications
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Dr Katherine Champion

Dr Katherine Champion

Senior Lecturer, Communications, Media and Culture