Urban cultural policy, city size, and proximity



Publication Details

Gibson, C. & Waitt, G. (2013). Urban cultural policy, city size, and proximity. In C. Grodach & D. Silver (Eds.), The Politics of Urban Cultural Policy: Global Perspectives (pp. 122-137). Abingdon, Oxon: Routledge.


In this chapter we bring a distinctly geographical perspective to questions of urban cultural policy. We are interested in how perceptions (and concrete experiences) of city size and proximity shape the politics of urban cultural policymaking. The particular kind of urban cultural policymaking we discuss relates to the pervasive idea that cities ought to refashion their economic development policies and planning regimes to become "creative cities" (Landry 2000). Central to this is an assumption that all places now compete with each other for creative industries and people - the supposed "creative class," who are imagined as a vital demographic group to capture as in-migrants, for the investment and innovation they bring with them (Florida 2002). A normative "model" of sorts has subsequently stemmed from this idea in cultural policy circles, where creativity becomes a catalyst for economic regeneration, especially in deindustrializing cities, above and beyond community-building goals (Gibson and Kong 2005).

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