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 26: A Roadmap for the Creative City

Charles Landry


Charles Landry I developed my first ‘creative city’ project in 1989 with ‘Glasgow – the Creative City & its Cultural Economy’. This signalled an ongoing interest in how going with the culture of a place and its embedded resources can help reinvent a city and give it strategic advantage. Since then I have developed my ideas by working practically with several dozen cities. This work has focused on helping cities to identify and harness their assets, to assess how these can be used imaginatively, to think through their long-term aims and to suggest how they can be implemented. The text that follows comes from conclusions in reflecting on the lessons of this work as well as being inspired by other practitioners and authors.1 The primary conclusions are that the creative capacity of a place is shaped by its history, its culture, its physical setting and its overall operating conditions. This determines its character and ‘mindset’. I evolved a contrast between the ‘urban engineering paradigm’ of city development focused on hardware with ‘creative city making’ which emphasizes how we need to understand the hardware and software simultaneously. Today the essential element of the personality of many cities is their ‘culture of engineering’ which is reflected in their mentality. The attributes to foster creativity associated with this mindset are both positive and negative. It is logical, rational and technologically adept; it learns by doing; it tends to advance step by step and through trial and error. It is hardware-focused. It gets things done. There...

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