Publication Details

Gibson, C., Gallan, B. & Warren, A. (2012). Engaging creative communities in an industrial city setting. Gateways:International Journal of Community Research and Engagement, 5 (1), 1-15.


Much has been said about how ‘creativity’ might infuse policymaking and planning – especially in the wake of popular bestsellers by Richard Florida and Charles Landry on ‘creative places’ and the ‘creative class’ (the latter a supposed demographic group associated with creative industries such as film, design and music, who are said to be the key to the economic fortunes of cities). Creativity, it is said, can be facilitated in particular urban environments, given the right preconditions such as ‘hip’ inner-city precincts, café culture and walkable dense clusters of design firms and retail and residential spaces. The common argument is that the presence of conducive qualities for creativity helps attract new migrants and industries, and in turn generates new ‘scripts’ for places, even whole cities, whose competitiveness and civic fortunes can be turned around – a ‘creative reinvention’ of sorts (see Gibson & Kong 2005 and Kong et al. 2006 for a discussion of this policy script and its popularisation internationally).