Edited by Daniel Hjorth
Chapter 18: Organizing the entrepreneurial city
A spectre has been haunting Europe since US economist Richard Florida predicted that the future belongs to cities in which the ‘creative class’ feels at home. (. . .) Many European capitals are competing with one another to be the settlement zone for this ‘creative class’. In Hamburg’s case, the competition now means that city politics are increasingly subordinated to an ‘Image City’. The idea is to send out a very specific image of the city into the world: the image of the ‘pulsating capital’, which off ers a ‘stimulating atmosphere and the best opportunities for creatives of all stripes’. (. . .) We say: ouch, this is painful. Stop this shit. We won‘t be taken for fools. Dear location politicians: we refuse to talk about this city in marketing categories. (. . .) We are thinking about other things. About the million-plus square metres of empty office space, for example (. . .). That the amount of social housing will be slashed by half within ten years. That the poor, elderly and immigrant inhabitants are being driven to the edge of town (. . .). We think that your ‘growing city’ is actually a segregated city of the 19th century: promenades for the wealthy, tenements for the rabble. (. . .) You obviously consider it a matter of course that cultural resources should be siphoned ‘directly into urban development’, ‘to boost the city’s image’. Culture should be an ornament for turbo-gentrification.
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