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 7: Why do Cultural Industries Cluster? Localization, Urbanization, Products and Projects

Mark Lorenzen and Lars Frederiksen

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


Mark Lorenzen and Lars Frederiksen 1. INTRODUCTION Many cultural industries rest upon a mix of global distribution and local production. While the distribution and marketing of cultural products spans globally, the development and production – but not always the reproduction (Hesmondhalgh, 2002) – of them is highly clustered in a few major cities such as London, Los Angeles, Paris, Tokyo, Moscow, Mumbai, and so on (Scott, 2000). A few production processes are being outsourced from the hitherto dominating cities to places with either very specialized skills (such as remixing of music to Stockhom or film post-production to London) or intermediate skill levels but low labour cost (such as programming of computer games to Pakistan and special effects of films to the Philippines). Outsourcing of these production phases has been studied elsewhere (for example, Coe and Johns, 2004). Instead, this chapter focuses on the most value-creating processes of the cultural industries: that of product innovation, creating the intellectual property rights of cultural products and hence the bulk of their economic value. It asks the question: why does innovation of products in the cultural industries cluster in relatively few places? The chapter is conceptual, and merges economic geography literature with literature on cultural industries, adding occasional empirical examples. Hence, the chapter adds to the literature on cultural industries through applying methods from economic geography. While this exercise is capable of providing new knowledge of the dynamics of the cultural industries, these industries constitute such interesting cases for studying geographical processes that the chapter...

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