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Creativity and Innovation in Creative Cities: Case of an Innovation Hub in George Town, Penang


  • Khoo, Suet Leng
  • Lean, Hooi Hooi
  • Mohd. Hashim, Intan Hashimah
  • Chan, Jin
  • Piterou, Athena


In recent years, the creative cities model has gathered considerable attention from policymakers, urban managers and scholars alike. In a creative city, creative/cultural economies and the creative class assume important and catalytic roles to stimulate local economic development. As observed in North America, Europe and East Asia, creative cities in these countries leveraged and commodified innovation, creativity and culture as their key strategy to regenerate their urban places and spaces. The intertwined relationships between innovation, creativity and culture are illustrated through cultivation and publicizing of creative arts as well as through means of citizen participation and promotion of culture and innovation exemplified by creative cities like Kanazawa, Chiang Mai and Bandung. With unique cultural resources found within urban settings, proponents like Sasaki highlighted that it is crucial to harness and synergize a city’s cultural resources and its citizenry’s creativity to establish an urban innovation hub. The agglomeration effect of creative and innovative talents clustering in such urban innovation hubs will further propel more innovation to spur the local economy. Against this backdrop, this paper will illustrate the case of an emerging innovation hub in George Town, Penang. Based on qualitative techniques like in-depth interviews and observation, this paper argues that this case is a sterling example of a creative innovation hub where its physical place, space and setting have enabled the production and consumption of creativity and innovation by urban creatives. Urban policies should consider creating and replicating more innovation hubs like this to develop and sustain George Town as a creative city.

Suggested Citation

  • Khoo, Suet Leng & Lean, Hooi Hooi & Mohd. Hashim, Intan Hashimah & Chan, Jin & Piterou, Athena, 2018. "Creativity and Innovation in Creative Cities: Case of an Innovation Hub in George Town, Penang," Greenwich Papers in Political Economy 20341, University of Greenwich, Greenwich Political Economy Research Centre.
  • Handle: RePEc:gpe:wpaper:20341

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