Table of Contents

Handbook of Creative Cities

Handbook of Creative Cities

Elgar original reference

Edited by David Emanuel Andersson, Åke E. Andersson and Charlotta Mellander

With the publication of The Rise of the Creative Class by Richard Florida in 2002, the ‘creative city’ became the new hot topic among urban policymakers, planners and economists. Florida has developed one of three path-breaking theories about the relationship between creative individuals and urban environments. The economist Åke E. Andersson and the psychologist Dean Simonton are the other members of this ‘creative troika’. In the Handbook of Creative Cities, Florida, Andersson and Simonton appear in the same volume for the first time. The expert contributors in this timely Handbook extend their insights with a varied set of theoretical and empirical tools. The diversity of the contributions reflect the multidisciplinary nature of creative city theorizing, which encompasses urban economics, economic geography, social psychology, urban sociology, and urban planning. The stated policy implications are equally diverse, ranging from libertarian to social democratic visions of our shared creative and urban future.

Chapter 1: Analysing Creative Cities

David Emanuel Andersson and Charlotta Mellander

Subjects: economics and finance, urban economics, geography, cities, economic geography, innovation and technology, innovation policy, urban and regional studies, cities, urban economics, urban studies


David Emanuel Andersson and Charlotta Mellander With the publication of The Rise of the Creative Class (Florida, 2002), the ‘creative city’ became the new hot topic among urban policymakers, planners and economists, especially in North America and Western Europe. But Richard Florida was not the first scholar to study the relationship between creativity and economic development. Already in 1985, the regional economist Åke E. Andersson published a book (in Swedish) that claimed that creativity represents the future of the metropolis, and that creative ‘knowledge handlers’ will become increasingly important in the emerging post-industrial economy (Andersson, 1985a). In 1989, Andersson co-authored another book that explained how the establishment of critical infrastructural links may cause phase transitions that result in far-reaching economic restructuring (Andersson and Strömquist, 1989). But since these books were published in Swedish, and the corresponding contributions in English were both much shorter and much less accessible to non-economists (Andersson, 1985b, 1985c; Andersson et al., 1990), the sphere of influence of Andersson’s theory of the ‘creative knowledge society’ was limited to academic regional economists. The exception is Scandinavia, especially Sweden and Denmark, where Andersson’s ideas have reached a wider audience. This is not to say that Andersson’s and Florida’s theories are identical. They are not. While Andersson has always emphasized the importance of inter-regional network connectivity and the role of investments in transport infrastructures, for Florida these factors became a concern much later in conjunction with his work on mega-regions and post-crash structures (Florida, 2010). Conversely, Florida’s interest in...

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