|The Creative City 2nd Edition|
A toolkit for urban innovators
Charles Landry £22.95
ISBN 1 85383 613 3 300 pages 2000 Comedia
creative solutions to their problems.
Reprinted five times since its publication in 2000 The Creative city draws on examples from around the world to set out a new radical vision for cities, with
In spite of the urban crisis the Creative City is positive about cities, because they offer so much scope for communication, new ideas and wealth creation. Taking an eagle eye view of cities around the world it is astonishing how many ordinary people show leadership qualities to make the extra-ordinary possible when given the chance.
The Creative City is a clarion call for imaginative action in running urban life. Over 60 examples from around the world seek to show how it is possible to undertake imaginative projects in cities and three examples from Emscher Park, Huddersfield andHelsinki analyze in extensive detail the obstacles overcome and opportunities created.
Cities have one crucial resource— their people. Human cleverness, desires, motivations, imagination and creativity are replacing location, natural resources and market access as urban resources. The creativity of those who live in and run cities will determine future success. Of course this has always been critical to cities’ ability to survive and adapt. As cities became large and complex enough to present problems of urban management so they became laboratories that developed the solutions—technological, conceptual and social—to the problems of growth.
Yet there are special reasons for thinking about the problems of cities today in terms of creativity and innovation—or lack of it. Today many of the world’s cities face periods of transition largely brought about by the vigour of renewed globalization. These transitions differ from region to region: in some areas, like Asia, cities are growing while in others such as Europe old industries are disappearing and the value added in cities is created less through what is manufactured and more through intellectual capital applied to products, processes and services.
The Creative City argues above all that changes in mindset can generate will, commitment and energy which allow us to look afresh at urban possibilities. A range of approaches and methods to ‘think creatively’, to ‘plan creatively’ and to ‘act creatively’ are described, in their entirety they provide a new way of addressing urban planning. Once taken on board the techniques can be absorbed sub-consciously and naturally embedded in day to day decision making, as well as applied in more formal, methodical ways. A set of new terms and concepts for talking about cities run through the text: civic creativity, a creativity harnessed towards the public good; the cycle of urban creativity and how it can be developed, implemented and made virtuous; the lifecycle of urban innovation concept; urban R & D and how pilot projects can be developed, mainstreamed and replicated; cultural resources and how they can be applied; how to think of the city as a learning organism and finally the creation of a new form of literacy—the capacity to ‘read’ and understand cities whoever you are—urban literacy.
The result, I hope, is a book that will act as a catalysis to tackle entrenched urban problems in new ways, helping those responsible harness more of the energies available, for creating liveable, vibrant and attractive cities."