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Alison Bain

Cities around the world have become intensely suburbanized. Several decades of profound demographic growth and urban restructuring have rapidly transformed the morphology and use of suburbs; yet, as the chapter argues, urban cultural policy and planning have inadequately grappled with this suburban structural and cultural complexity. Since the closing decades of the twentieth century, a fast-policy model of neoliberal cultural urbanism has been internationally deployed that targets the central city as the key site of creativity and innovation to the neglect of the suburbs. Such culture-led, amenity-driven urban revitalization strategies are formulated to secure competitive advantage by prioritizing the clustering of cultural and creative industries in the inner-city as a way to foster innovation and the symbolic dimensions of creative cities. The chapter reveals that what is often lost on policymakers in this paradigm of prescriptive creative urban policy are the socio-spatial divisions that are accentuated between city and suburb and between haves and have-nots.