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Centrality and Creativity: Does Richard Florida's Creative Class Offer New Insights into Urban Hierarchy?


  • Mark Lorenzen
  • Kristina Vaarst Andersen


To provide new insights into urban hierarchy, this article brings together one of economic geography's oldest and most well-established notions with one of its newest and most disputed notions: Christäller's centrality and Florida's creative class. Using a novel original database, the article compares the distribution of the general population and the creative class across 444 city regions in 8 European countries. It finds that the two groups are both distributed according to the rank-size rule, but exhibit different distinct phases with different slopes. The article argues that the two distributions are different because market thresholds for creative services and jobs are lower than thresholds for less specialized services and jobs. The article hence concludes that centrality exerts a strong influence upon urban hierarchies of creativity and that the study of creative urban city hierarchies yields new insights into the problem of centrality. Copyright (c) 2009 Clark University.

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  • Mark Lorenzen & Kristina Vaarst Andersen, 2009. "Centrality and Creativity: Does Richard Florida's Creative Class Offer New Insights into Urban Hierarchy?," Economic Geography, Clark University, vol. 85(4), pages 363-390, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:ecgeog:v:85:y:2009:i:4:p:363-390

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Christoph Alfken & Tom Broekel & Rolf Sternberg, 2015. "Factors Explaining the Spatial Agglomeration of the Creative Class: Empirical Evidence for German Artists," European Planning Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 23(12), pages 2438-2463, December.
    2. Neil Lee & Andrés Rodríguez-Pose, 2014. "Innovation in Creative Cities: Evidence from British Small Firms," Industry and Innovation, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 21(6), pages 494-512, August.
    3. Tiiu PAAS & Vivika HALAPUU, 2012. "Attitudes towards immigrants and the integration of ethnically diverse societies," Eastern Journal of European Studies, Centre for European Studies, Alexandru Ioan Cuza University, vol. 3, pages 161-176, December.
    4. Karol J Borowiecki, 2015. "Agglomeration economies in classical music," Papers in Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 94(3), pages 443-468, August.
    5. Chantelot Sèbastien, 2011. "French creative clusters: An exploratory spatial data analysis," ERSA conference papers ersa10p477, European Regional Science Association.
    6. Sara Cruz & Aurora Teixeira, 2015. "The neglected heterogeneity of spatial agglomeration and co-location patterns of creative employment: evidence from Portugal," The Annals of Regional Science, Springer;Western Regional Science Association, vol. 54(1), pages 143-177, January.
    7. Dobis, Elizabeth A. & Delgado, Michael S. & Florax, Raymond J.G.M & Mulder, Peter, 2015. "The Significance of Urban Hierarchy in Explaining Population Dynamics in the United States," 2015 AAEA & WAEA Joint Annual Meeting, July 26-28, San Francisco, California 205869, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association;Western Agricultural Economics Association.
    8. Neil Lee & Andrés Rodríguez-Pose, 2014. "Innovation in creative cities: Evidence from British small firms," Papers in Evolutionary Economic Geography (PEEG) 1422, Utrecht University, Department of Human Geography and Spatial Planning, Group Economic Geography, revised Nov 2014.
    9. Batabyal, Amitrajeet & Beladi, Hamid, 2014. "The equilibrium allocation of creative capital to R&D in a dynamic creative region," MPRA Paper 72325, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    10. Bjørn Asheim, 2009. "Guest Editorial: Introduction to the Creative Class in European City Regions," Economic Geography, Clark University, vol. 85(4), pages 355-362, October.
    11. Maksim Belitski & Sameeksha Desai, 2016. "Creativity, entrepreneurship and economic development: city-level evidence on creativity spillover of entrepreneurship," The Journal of Technology Transfer, Springer, vol. 41(6), pages 1354-1376, December.

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