Myths, Visions and Realities
Edited by Marina van Geenhuizen and Peter Nijkamp
Chapter 17: Making Shanghai a Creative City: Exploring the Creative Cluster Strategy from a Chinese Perspective
Yawei Chen FROM CREATIVE CLASS, CREATIVE CITY TO CREATIVE CLUSTER In recent years, research on the relationship between creativity and the city has caught the attention of academics and policy-makers. While creativity, innovation and knowledge are considered to be the driving forces of economic growth, cities are considered essential for innovation and long-term economic growth (Hall, 1998). Jacobs (1969) pointed out decades ago that cities act as cauldrons of diversity and differences, and as centres of creativity and innovation. Hall (2000) further forwarded that many cities have passed at great speed from a manufacturing economy to an informational economy and from an informational economy to a cultural economy, with an increased dependence on cultural or creative industries. The debate on creativity among academics and policy-makers has been spurred by two provocative works on creativity and cities. The Creative City: A Toolkit for Urban Innovators by Charles Landry (2000), one of the leading publications of this kind, recognizes the significance of creativity, and examines how to think, plan and act when addressing urban creativity issues. The debate surrounding creativity and urban development has also been stimulated by the release of Richard Florida’s The Rise of the Creative Class (2002). According to Florida, the creative class is a group consisting of artists, designers, writers, media people, scientists, innovators and entrepreneurs who have one thing in common: they earn their money by creative thinking, designing and producing. They are supposed to be the main drivers of the knowledge-based economy of cities. However, the...
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