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 2: Creative People Need Creative Cities

Åke E. Andersson


Åke E. Andersson The proper study of creativity requires an interdisciplinary approach. At the micro level most of the research has been done by psychologists, neurologists and other cognitive scientists. Herbert Simon (1955) was the first economist to stress the need for cognitive psychology as a part of microeconomic analysis in the age of information technology. The main reason is the fact that ideas emerge and are developed in the brain of some individual. In the following sections considerable space is devoted to an analysis of the incentives, capacities and other individual conditions that are relevant at the microanalytic level of creative individuals. However, the ideas that arise in the brain of an individual may develop further in the interaction with other individuals. The potential for further development implies an important role for organizations that favour creative interaction. Such organizations can be informal gatherings like the Bloomsbury Group in London or highly formalized organizations such as university departments, research institutes or art schools. Much of the research on creativity has stressed the importance of accessibility to informal and formal organizations for creative individuals. In addition, there is ample evidence that a great diversity of ideas supports the creative processes of scientists and artists. Large metropolitan urban regions are therefore the most important and accessible ‘macro-organizations’, since they tend to host a great number of formal and informal creative (lower-level) organizations.1 CREATIVITY AS AN ECONOMIC CONCEPT Creativity is a common phenomenon. Small children are creative when they discover new ways of...

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