Policies, Plans and Metrics
Edited by Tan Yigitcanlar, Kostas Metaxiotis and Francisco Javier Carrillo
Chapter 10: Designing: Combining Design and High-tech Industries in the Knowledge City of Eindhoven
Ana María Fernández-Maldonado INTRODUCTION During the last decade, the academic debate on the most important factors influencing urban and regional economic growth and competitiveness has been very lively and animated. Traditional business-oriented approaches focused on the economic qualities of a place, stating that in order to generate growth cities should attract firms and institutions. But a different view challenged the traditional rationale for economic growth, claiming that cities should attract not merely firms, but human capital and talented people, the most important asset for competitiveness in the new economic context. Issues linked to the creative city and the creative class popularized by Charles Landry (2000) and Richard Florida (2002), respectively, have been widely studied, discussed and criticized in urban studies. Academics have begun to pay attention to the cultural, symbolic and socio-spatial qualities of a place as important issues in the knowledgebased economy. Urban managers, particularly of industrial centres in decay, have embraced this new perspective, attempting to rebrand their cities as creative places (Kunzmann, 2004). Gradually, it has become clear that both firms and people are important, so knowledge-based urban development approaches should not neglect any of these aspects. Cities worldwide have a considerable experience in shaping a good business climate, but many of the requirements and conditions for creative environments are fuzzy and difficult to achieve or to measure in practice (Trip, 2009). In the Netherlands, a country where the urban creativity discourse was well received by urban managers, local policy documents generally hold creativity-oriented views,...
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