Project Project
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Creativity and city. The role, effect, and forms of public-private cooperation in urban development for the promotion of the creative sector

Project Management
Duration
10/2007–03/2012

Creativity is currently viewed as the new key resource of urban development. This is evidenced by a multitude of concepts, such as creative cities, the creative economy, and creative class, which are restructuring the current research discourse in relation to urban development and are being readily adopted by urban policy throughout the world. Creativity is, however, a volatile resource which is linked to individuals and groups. Thus the question arises for cities as to how they can manage these resources, i.e. store creativity in their structures or develop structures, within which creativity can unfold. The current interest in creativity is based predominantly on the increasing economic relevance of symbolic and knowledge-based economies for urban economies and its potentials for the revitalization of inner city areas. For example, the various branches of the creative industries are identified by urban policy as a major “creativity resource pool”, which influences not only the development of the creative industries but also other economic sectors in the city. In addition they are said to be relevant for the social, political, and cultural development of the city. But, what do cities themselves contribute to the organization and development of the phenomena of creativity and the creative industries, e.g. what forms of coordination do they choose to support the sectors of the creative industries?

The research project addresses two central issues from an urban-sociological perspective: First, the relevance of local contexts of meaning, and the urban spatial condition for the emergence and unfolding of creativity. The question posed here is how can the urban environment influence and even hinder creative processes? And secondly, the role of new forms of governance in stimulating the promotion of creative industries. The project will examine the promotion of creativity through new forms of governance in the creative industries based on an embedded multi-case study in the two cities of Berlin and London. Different methods of qualitative empirical research are used to explore various forms of coordination between public and private actors in networks, round tables, and partnerships, for example. The variations in the promotion of the creative industries and the governance arrangements created for this purpose will be identified in a comparative approach. The aim of this research design is to explore the cities individual approach to creative industries support, the role of new governance forms and to draw some generalizations about the phenomenon of “creativity in cities”.