A Handbook of Industrial Districts
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A Handbook of Industrial Districts

Edited by Giacomo Becattini, Marco Bellandi and Lisa De Propis

In this comprehensive original reference work, the editors have brought together an unrivalled group of distinguished scholars and practitioners to comment on the historical and contemporary role of industrial districts (IDs).
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Chapter 22: The Creative Capacity of Culture and the New Creative Milieu

Luciana Lazzeretti


Luciana Lazzeretti* 1. Introduction We are living in a second modernity, a period of great changes marked by the development of new technological, production and consumption paradigms, a time ruled by uncertainty and by the affirmation of globalisation and the knowledge economy. Old and new economies coexist in the same competitive scenario, and the effects of globalisation are progressively leading to an urbanised vision of the world. Economic and social scientists are asking themselves questions about the new waves of economic development, which are increasingly characterised by territorial competitiveness and by the ‘rise and decline’ not only of products, sectors and technologies, but also of places, cities, villages and other local systems. The new setting is under construction, and there is a great need for exploring fresh ideas, innovative actors, new combinations, different productive factors and original organisational models (Moulaert and Sekia 2003). Culture becomes a strategic resource, a useful tool to face the challenge of uncertainty because of its tangible and intangible assets. Radical change cannot be led by rationality, instead it is necessary to develop techniques of creative thinking or lateral thinking,1 as termed by the renowned Cambridge psychologist De Bono (1971) to foster an innovation capacity related not only to science and technology but also to culture and arts. The lesson taught by cultural districts and clusters and cities of art is that culture can be a flywheel for economic development, capable of linking local networks with global networks. Viewed as high-culture local systems (Lazzeretti 2004)...

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