Handbook of Creative Cities
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Handbook of Creative Cities

Edited by David Emanuel Andersson, Åke E. Andersson and Charlotta Mellander

With the publication of The Rise of the Creative Class by Richard Florida in 2002, the ‘creative city’ became the new hot topic among urban policymakers, planners and economists. Florida has developed one of three path-breaking theories about the relationship between creative individuals and urban environments. The economist Åke E. Andersson and the psychologist Dean Simonton are the other members of this ‘creative troika’. In the Handbook of Creative Cities, Florida, Andersson and Simonton appear in the same volume for the first time. The expert contributors in this timely Handbook extend their insights with a varied set of theoretical and empirical tools. The diversity of the contributions reflect the multidisciplinary nature of creative city theorizing, which encompasses urban economics, economic geography, social psychology, urban sociology, and urban planning. The stated policy implications are equally diverse, ranging from libertarian to social democratic visions of our shared creative and urban future.
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Chapter 18: The Emergence of Vancouver as a Creative City

Gus diZerega and David F. Hardwick


Gus diZerega and David F. Hardwick Cities are incubators for creativity. They attract creative citizens and enable them to form the subtle and intricate networks required to pursue their dreams, to the benefit of us all. But not all cities are equal in this respect. This chapter explores how insights arising from the study of emergent processes shed light on what enables a city to become a magnet for creative people, a lasting incubator for their dreams and their accomplishments. Our understanding of modern cities often becomes dominated by economic and prescriptive models of what makes a community viable. While important insights have arisen from these approaches, equally important blind spots accompany them. This is because cities are far more complex than markets co-ordinated through financial feedback can encompass. In addition, they are also far more uncertain and dynamic than traditional planning could successfully handle. Both economic and prescriptive approaches towards understanding and governing cities reflect an engineering understanding of urban processes. In our current reality these social processes are too varied and uncertain in their details for a traditional planning perspective such as this to be satisfactory over many issues or for a long period of time. This is certainly the case with social environments able to attract culturally creative residents into an urban area. People are motivated by a number of basic values, important among them being money, power and recognition by their peers. All contribute to the basic goal of personal growth and survival. A good urban...

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