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