Rethinking culture-led urban regeneration: The creative (re)assembling of inner-city Newcastle
The purpose of this chapter is to amplify and extend knowledge of urban creativity to suggest the diverse and contextually contingent ways in which creativity can contribute to regenerating urban spaces. The chapter presents a generative reading of the varied and multiple relationships between creativity and urban regeneration (Dovey 2010; Farias and Bender 2010; Brownill2013; McGuirk et al. 2016), underpinned by assemblage thinking, a framing increasingly deployed to capture the multiple dimensions and forms of agency at work in the urban (Farber 2014: 121). The chapter proceeds by, first, making the case for why such a generative reading is productive, followed by outlining how we use assemblage thinking to reposition creative-led regeneration. Then, through this lens, we analyse a case study of the Hunter Street Mall in inner-city Newcastle, NSW and Renew Newcastle - a community-based initiative finding temporary creative uses for vacant inner-city properties - and the ways creativity is contributing to Newcastle's regeneration. Finally, we conclude with reflections on assemblage thinking's potential for contributing to conceiving and enacting alternative forms of urban regeneration.