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 8: Creativity, Innovation and Territorial Agglomeration in Cultural Activities: The Roots of the Creative City

Pedro Costa

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


Pedro Costa 1. INTRODUCTION1 In recent years the awareness of the vibrancy of territorialized production complexes based on cultural activities has increased significantly, as these activities have become recognized as crucial in the promotion of regional development, urban renewal and cities competitiveness. Several examples of culture-driven spontaneous dynamics or cases of planned operations based on cultural activities have been broadly documented and analysed all over the world, and have been increasingly related to the fundamental issue of creativity. In effect, recent interest in ‘creative cities’ makes particularly clear the relation between urban territory and creativity-led sustainable development dynamics, distinguishing the specific conditions, in terms of dimension and agglomeration effects, which seem to be necessary to expand creative processes, both in the production and consumption of cultural products.2 Actually, creative process is clearly related to urban space, particularly to agglomeration effects, as recognized both by theoretical approaches in multiple fields and by several empirical studies. This chapter draws attention to the relations between these territorial agglomerations and the mechanisms that are behind the innovative dynamics verified in these areas, with a particular focus on the issue of creativity. In the first and main part (sections 2 to 4), a theoretical approach to this question is made, in order to understand and map some of the diverse concepts that have been developed in recent years to bring to light and explain these situations, both in academic analysis and in political discourse. Departing from the notions of...

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