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The Consequences of the Creative Class: The Pursuit of Creativity Strategies in Australia's Cities

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  • ROWLAND ATKINSON
  • HAZEL EASTHOPE

Abstract

The idea of 'creative cities' has gained prominence amongst urban planners and policymakers who often now find links between economic development and the 'soft' attributes of cities. While definitions of the 'creative industries' and the 'creative class' continue to be contested, many key urban policy actors continue to focus on developing strategic programmes and policies to boost 'creativity' and economic growth. In this article we review recent attempts to implement creative city ideas across five Australian state capitals. Following the analysis of interview material derived from contact with 100 key community and policymaker actors, we first develop a typology of approaches to creative city ideas: concerted action, engagement and strategic drift. We then move on to consider how the idea of the creative city provides a simultaneously criticized yet powerful organizing device that informs local strategies in relation to prosperity. Our analysis highlights a series of connected consequences around four key issues: (1) arts projects and gentrification; (2) housing affordability; (3) revanchist strands to public space management; and (4) relative rates of social investment. We find that the rhetoric of universal social potential accompanying creative city ideas continues to overlook those unable to participate in this new economy, as well as those who are more actively excluded. Copyright (c) 2009 The Authors. Journal Compilation(c) 2009 Joint Editors and Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

Suggested Citation

  • Rowland Atkinson & Hazel Easthope, 2009. "The Consequences of the Creative Class: The Pursuit of Creativity Strategies in Australia's Cities," International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 33(1), pages 64-79, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:ijurrs:v:33:y:2009:i:1:p:64-79
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Hans Mommaas, 2004. "Cultural Clusters and the Post-industrial City: Towards the Remapping of Urban Cultural Policy," Urban Studies, Urban Studies Journal Limited, vol. 41(3), pages 507-532, March.
    2. Jamie Peck, 2005. "Struggling with the Creative Class," International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 29(4), pages 740-770, December.
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    Cited by:

    1. Richard Florida & Charlotta Mellander & Patrick Adler, 2011. "The Creative Class Paradigm," Chapters,in: Handbook of Creative Cities, chapter 3 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    2. Carl Grodach, 2013. "Cultural Economy Planning in Creative Cities: Discourse and Practice," International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 37(5), pages 1747-1765, September.
    3. Roberto Antonietti, 2011. "From creativity to innovativeness: micro evidence from Italy," Openloc Working Papers 1117, Public policies and local development.
    4. Anttiroiko, Ari-Veikko, 2010. "Creative city concept in local economic development: the case of Finnish cities," MPRA Paper 58231, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 2010.
    5. Alberto Vanolo, 2013. "Alternative Capitalism and Creative Economy: the Case of Christiania," International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 37(5), pages 1785-1798, September.
    6. Ari-Veikko Anttiroiko, 2014. "Creative city policy in the context of urban asymmetry," Local Economy, London South Bank University, vol. 29(8), pages 854-867, December.
    7. Pier Luigi Sacco & Guidi Ferilli & Blessi Giorgio Tavano, 2012. "Sviluppo locale a base culturale: quando funziona e perché? Alla ricerca di un framework di riferimento," PRISMA Economia - Società - Lavoro, FrancoAngeli Editore, vol. 2012(1), pages 9-27.
    8. Pier Luigi Sacco & Alessandro Crociata, 2013. "A Conceptual Regulatory Framework for the Design and Evaluation of Complex, Participative Cultural Planning Strategies," International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 37(5), pages 1688-1706, September.

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