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 4: Big-C Creativity in the Big City

Dean Keith Simonton


Dean Keith Simonton I was born and raised in metropolitan Los Angeles, not far from famed Hollywood. I even got my BA from a local liberal arts institution there, namely Occidental College. Although I left for the US East Coast to earn my MA and PhD degrees, and eventually transplanted myself to a college town in northern California, I still have some roots in the ‘Southland’. Besides having family members who continue to live there, I occasionally listen to LA’s classical music station KUSC, which streams its programmes over the internet. On one such occasion, I recently heard the radio announcer refer to my former home city as ‘The Creative Capital of the World’. This appellation was a most refreshing change from the usual nicknames, whether LA’s ‘Lalaland’ or Hollywood’s ‘Tinseltown’. But, also, surprising. After googling the expression, I discovered that this little bit of self-promotion had some factual basis. Purportedly, one out of six denizens of the metropolitan area is employed in some creative field. Of course, the fields are not necessarily the same as those that brought splendour to Periclean Athens, Renaissance Florence or even Paris between the two big wars. LA is more the land of entertainment, fine and performing arts, communication arts, digital media, toys, design, fashion and even art galleries. Still, as an expatriate Angelino, I could not help but feel a little pride. My basking in reflected glory was intensified by the fact that ever since my undergraduate years at Oxy, I have been...

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