Creative Cities, Cultural Clusters and Local Economic Development

Creative Cities, Cultural Clusters and Local Economic Development

New Horizons in Regional Science series

Edited by Philip Cooke and Luciana Lazzeretti

This book analyses the economic development of cities from the ‘cultural economy’ and ‘creative industry’ perspectives, examining and differentiating them as two related but distinct segments of contemporary city economies. The authors argue that although they are normally conflated, the first is largely subsidized while the second is highly entrepreneurial hence they actually make very different kinds of contribution to a city’s character, attractiveness and competitiveness.

Chapter 4: The Cultural Districtualization Model

Luciana Lazzeretti

Subjects: economics and finance, cultural economics, regional economics, geography, cities, urban and regional studies, cities, clusters, regional economics


Luciana Lazzeretti INTRODUCTION1 Studies on cultural economics (Baumol and Bowen, 1966; Benhamou, 2004; Ginsburgh and Merger, 1996; Throsby, 2001; Towse, 2003) and those on clusters and cultural districts are no longer a novelty, to the point that both in Italy (Pilotti, 2003; Santagata, 2005; Valentino, 2003) and abroad (Cooke, Chapter 1 in this volume; Greffe, 2003; OECD, 2005; Wynne, 1992) they have intensified, creating a rich and interesting mass of literature.2 Our principal contribution to this debate is represented by our studies on the economic enhancement of culture and art developed through the elaboration of a theoretic culture districtualization (CD) model3 for high culture local places and of a methodology for analysis of cultural, artistic and environmental heritage (CAEH) (Lazzeretti, 2001; 2003), which have been tested principally at a level of urban and regional clusters in Europe.4 In this study we will give a synthetic version recalling the essential concepts of ‘cultural, artistic, environmental heritage’, of ‘high culture local system’ (high culture local place plus high culture cluster), and of ‘high culture governance’, and then pass on to the illustration of some of the most significant empirical evidence relating to two cities of art, Florence (Italy) and Seville (Spain), where differentiated analysis methodologies were applied. A final note about prospects for development and the risks of economic enhancement of culture conclude the chapter. 2. THE DEFINITION OF THE CULTURAL DISTRICTUALIZATION MODEL: ESSENTIAL CONCEPTS The cultural districtualization model is a model for sustainable economic development based on...

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