Edited by David Emanuel Andersson, Åke E. Andersson and Charlotta Mellander
Chapter 26: A Roadmap for the Creative City
Charles Landry I developed my first ‘creative city’ project in 1989 with ‘Glasgow – the Creative City & its Cultural Economy’. This signalled an ongoing interest in how going with the culture of a place and its embedded resources can help reinvent a city and give it strategic advantage. Since then I have developed my ideas by working practically with several dozen cities. This work has focused on helping cities to identify and harness their assets, to assess how these can be used imaginatively, to think through their long-term aims and to suggest how they can be implemented. The text that follows comes from conclusions in reflecting on the lessons of this work as well as being inspired by other practitioners and authors.1 The primary conclusions are that the creative capacity of a place is shaped by its history, its culture, its physical setting and its overall operating conditions. This determines its character and ‘mindset’. I evolved a contrast between the ‘urban engineering paradigm’ of city development focused on hardware with ‘creative city making’ which emphasizes how we need to understand the hardware and software simultaneously. Today the essential element of the personality of many cities is their ‘culture of engineering’ which is reflected in their mentality. The attributes to foster creativity associated with this mindset are both positive and negative. It is logical, rational and technologically adept; it learns by doing; it tends to advance step by step and through trial and error. It is hardware-focused. It gets things done. There...
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