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Id 160
Author Landry, C., ; Bianchini, F.,
Title The Creative City

Landry, C.; Bianchini, F. (1995) The Creative City. London: Demos.

Keywords Creative city; Urban regeneration; Urban planning; Creativity
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Abstract This short publication explores what it means to be a creative city. It sets out both why creativity has become more important to cities – why nurturing it is important for economic success – and how creativity can be mobilised to help solve the myriad problems of the city, with lateral, synthetic, cross-disciplinary approaches. The first chapter explains what is new about the interlocking crises facing many cities. Secondly, the authors ask what creativity is and how it can be harnessed to make city life better. The authors argue that the hard sciences of urban planning need to be enriched by mobilising the experiences of different disciplines and people currently marginalised from decision making. In the last two chapters authors show, by quoting examples from all over the world, how it is possible to be creative in practice, how obstacles to creativity can be overcome and how creative milieux can be established. The creative city is the result of a long period of research and consultancy on the problems and possibilities of cities in Europe and beyond. The publication recollects the work experience of the authors during a decade in more than 100 towns and cities ranging from Stirling to St. Petersburg, Middlesbrough and Milan to Melbourne, Huddersfield to Helsinki and Basingstoke to Barcelona. Much of this work was concerned with developing the artistic, cultural and social life of cities. But the lessons which were learned seemed to have wider significance. Meanwhile, Prof. Klaus Kunzmann at the University of Dortmund and Ralph Ebert and Fritz Gnad at STADTart, also in Dortmund, were analysing urban and regional development, particularly in the Ruhr area, where a dramatic shift from traditional to more technologically advanced industry and services had taken place. This joint experience suggested that a new way of thinking was needed that went beyond traditional professional specialisations. In thinking through which lessons from the UK could benefit German cities and vice versa the authors recongised that the overriding feature common to the two countries was the importance of creative responses to urban problems, be they in traffic management, business development, greening the city, integrating ethnic communities, regenerating run-down housing estates or enlivening city centres.

Metodology Case studies analysis of different cities around the world

Findings In the conclusions, the authors outline a set of key requirements for success of the cities analysed: New ways of talking.Different people must talk to each other in different ways, breaking down the normal debating routes and networks to allow a more open system which forces those with different skills and disciplines to talk and listen to each other. New ways of mapping. New forms of local research and monitoring are needed to define local aspirations, desires, actual and potential problems and trends. New ways of describing things. Descriptions of problems, solutions and ambitions may make more sense if the old vocabulary is cleared away and less jargon used. The language of traditional geography is often inadequate to identify resources such as atmosphere, the quality of public and social life, cultural vibrancy and other characteristics of the 'soft infrastructure' of places. New forms of research and development. Private sector businesses would die very quickly without an active research and development budget. City governments should encourage experimental and pilot projects. Failure should be tolerated, and analysed in a critical but constructive way. New selection processes. These must be put in place to select, exploit and evaluate ideas. Making these ideas public at some stage is vital. This could happen in the same way as ideas and projects for new buildings and public spaces are made public th rough exhibitions following architectural and design competitions. Removal of obstacles.The various structures and bureaucracies which prevent or discourage creative thinking should be dismantled or at least neutralised. Orchestration. The tempo and style of pulling ideas and actions together is not that of a perfectly rehearsed symphony, but more like that of a jazz jam session. Innovation and improvisation are all-important to the creative result. Sense of direction. There must be a strategy which provides impetus and encouragement, but leaves the city space to develop naturally as well. Monitoring. Different forms of monitoring must be put in place to check on progress and enable cities to share and learn from their experiences. Situations may differ, but there is no reason for cities to have to reinvent the wheel.
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Technique Case studies
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