The Creative City As A Phenomenon

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Seeing as what I choose to study is a really important part of my life, I want to share that with you on this blog. I decided it would be a good idea to write up my annotated notes (ie. my notes written in my own words) into small blog posts to introduce ideas surrounding cultural policy-making, creative enterprise and cultural management to anyone who is intrigued by the subject. First up is a paper that explores the concept of the city as a creative space and the potential benefits and disadvantages of creating urban spaces with art in mind. You can access the full PDF of this paper by clicking HERE. It was written by a Dr Jonathan Vickery and I highly recommend it, as it is written in a fuss-free, easy to understand style.




- The concept of the Creative City first appeared in the mid 1990s within a context of increased public spending on the regeneration of urban communities.


- The arts have frequently been considered a pleasant but optional and superficial aspect of UK society.


- This increased public spending in the arts was in part prompted by the potential for tourism and foreign investment to the UK.


- In the 1980s the regeneration of urban spaces became intertwined with culture to create a more meaningful creative space in cities.



Model: Anastasia Tsybina
Styling: Misha Tasha

- The economic climate of recession means that 'revenue raising' arts will fare better than public art with a less tangible economic impact (think: festivals, touring art exhibitions etc.).


- Cyberspaces are replacing physical urban spaces as 'preferred cultural locations' - this could lead in future to a nostalgia for lost culture.


- Most cultural policy-making is driven by potential economic return, rather than other consequences such as social impact.


- The consequences of cultural urban regeneration include gentrification and emphasis on design over function. Also observed as consequences are phenomena of socio-spatial segregation, commodification, and metropolitanisation.




- The promise of international capital has turned urban high streets into carbon copies of each other with the emphasis in bigger cities on Luxury Brands. Therefore produce from the local economy is being displaced.


- The economic benefits of creative cities often clash with long term social goals. Because money is a driving force behind cultural policy making, cities lack a global vision or coherence as creative spaces.


- No French politics of traditionalism or conservatism of an indigenous way of life exists in the UK.


- The loss of "authentic culture" is an unavoidable consequence of industrial commodified society.




- The idea of culture in urban spaces as safe and pleasant counteracts the need for intellectual stimulation in cities to generate authentic, democratised art and cultural experiences.


- Statistics show that the arts and culture are a lucrative industry, although arts funding is often perceived as a waste of public money, the opposite is often true.


- For effective and beneficial cultural policy-making Creativity in cultural policy must be approached as a collective concept, away from the celebrity oriented, individualistic view.


Sources: Beyond The Creative City - Cultural Policy In An Age Of Scarcity. For MADE: a centre for place-making,Birmingham. November, 2011.Dr Jonathan VickeryCentre for Cultural Policy Studies, University of Warwick

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