The Geography of Creativity

The Geography of Creativity

Gunnar Törnqvist

What is creativity and who exactly is creative? In this insightful and highly readable book, Gunnar Törnqvist attempts to answer these questions by arguing that geographical millieux are hotbeds for creativity and renewal – places where pioneers in art, technology and science have gathered and developed their special abilities.

Chapter 5: Metropolis

Gunnar Törnqvist

Subjects: economics and finance, regional economics, geography, economic geography, urban and regional studies, regional economics


Metropolis, which comes from the Greek words for mother and city, was originally referred to as the capital of an ecclesiastical province. These days it denotes a very large city, a significant centre. The roots of the word suggest a place where new ideas are born and from where change integral to the progress of civilization starts. Throughout history, cities have not only served as centres for the exchange of goods and services, for human collaboration and encounters, they have also received waves of immigration. They have been crucibles of alienation as well as community. Cities have been melting pots where different cultures, religions, lifestyles and political outlooks have interacted and merged. They have been the focal points of change. Most revolutions have broken out in cities. New fashions, styles and technologies have seen the light of day there. Innovations in the areas of business management, organization of labour and lifestyle have been first tried in the cities. Such changes, even those that originally emerged elsewhere, have rippled out from the cities. Many researchers have examined the particular conditions that characterize modern cities as breeding grounds of creativity and innovation. 46 M2809 - TORNQVIST 9781781001509 PRINT.indd 46 16/11/2011 14:10 Metropolis 47 All of them stress characteristics of big cities that promote innovative processes while attracting entrepreneurs and creative people. 5.1 Communication and cultural diversity Cities in Civilization by British geographer Peter Hall contains an in-depth analysis of the qualities that are peculiar to big cities. Arguing that they...

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