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Fostering and Planning urban regeneration: The governance of cultural districts in Copenhagen

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Policy-makers and urban planners struggle to find the right formula to implement urban regeneration processes based on cultural assets, often focusing on the desired outcomes, but rarely questioning how the policy process can shape them. This paper examines different governance models for the implementation and organization of cultural districts, and evaluates how they can affect their actual realization by investigating three cases in Copenhagen, Denmark. The deindustrialization of Copenhagen left many of the city’s harbour areas disused and in turn provided the opportunity to develop three new cultural districts in the city centre. The paper contributes to the literature on cultural districts by matching specificities and contingencies attached to a particular urban area with the governance model adopted for its development. The paper claims that temporal experimentation has to be included in cultural planning and a mix of bottom-up and top-down approaches is more desirable than both a totally unregulated initiative and a real estate-driven development and a totally unregulated initiative, as it ensures that initiatives remain financially viable and that the creative workers and companies retain a certain control of the area development, and in turn counteracts gentrification.
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... Although these issues have been extensively dealt with in the social sciences literature, the questions of how cities can capitalise on culture and creativity to stimulate effective, sustainable urban regeneration, and who should lead these processes, have still not been fully answered (Della Lucia, Trunfio, & Go, 2017;Lidegaard, Nuccio, & Bille, 2017). Cultural regeneration can become an empty buzzword, particularly if cities assume that cultural and creative industries are a panacea for urban socio-economic crises without giving due consideration to their own particular historical-geographical and socio-political conditions (Cox & O'Brien, 2012;Evans, 2001;Vanolo, 2013), or if cities lever mainly on traditional (mass) cultural tourism to exploit their cultural heritage (Della Lucia & Segre, 2017;Sacco, 2011) without giving due consideration to creative sources of value generation in the city. ...
... Public actorsinspired by best practices of urban transformation (Hazime, 2011;Plaza & Haarich, 2010)have had a significant role in urban cultural regeneration, fulfilling social and physical needs and investing in cultural catalysts and consumption-led and experiencebased strategies (DCMS, 2004;Tang, 2016). Private actors thus manage to largely avoid both the responsibility and the financial risk of major investments (Lidegaard et al., 2017). A shift from top-down to bottomup approaches to urban transformation has long been advocated (Bianchini, 1993;Mommaas, 2004), but the potential for private actors to complement, or even replace, public actors in this debt-burdened period of recession, and to foster community engagement, has not yet been fully recognized. ...
... This paper investigates the role of private actors in urban cultural regeneration processes, and particularly the factors levered on to stimulate the hybridization of cities' cultural heritage with creativity, and the strategies adopted to engage stakeholders in cultural regeneration processes. Following a review of the most relevant literature on both culture-led development and regeneration and the creative city, we offer a conceptual framework which integrates issues which are still unexplored in combination: the drivers shaping cultural regeneration models , the factors facilitating creative city building (Borseková, Vaňová, & Vitálišová, 2017) and the strategies used to engage stakeholders in the governance of a creative city (Lidegaard et al., 2017). ...
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... For this reason, it is suggested that by building what Lidegaard, Nuccio, and Bille [58] and Berglund-Snoddgrass et al. [67] call cultural districts, the PPP is given an incentive to plan and cater for a wider range of resident and entrepreneur preferences, not just those of the privileged affluent. Lidegaard, Nuccio, and Bille [58] (p. ...
... For this reason, it is suggested that by building what Lidegaard, Nuccio, and Bille [58] and Berglund-Snoddgrass et al. [67] call cultural districts, the PPP is given an incentive to plan and cater for a wider range of resident and entrepreneur preferences, not just those of the privileged affluent. Lidegaard, Nuccio, and Bille [58] (p. 16) claim that governance models should be designed according to policy goals, which are often conflicting, and therefore any proposal for a cultural district should balance equity and efficiency norms to match the expectations of involved stakeholders. ...
... The principles of fairness they suggest in their argumentation, and listed here, ought to be viewed as a form of triage that includes arresting negative neighbourhood effects. This, they claim, can only be done by diluting the current strong focus on Business Improvement Districts (BID) property development with social sensitivity [58,64]. In the Danish context, Richner and Olesen [73] (p. ...
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... In addition, we also found the ultimate goal of sustainable development, particularly in the practice of The Natural History Museum Vienna (2021), which is implemented through research activities. The goal of IlCartastorie museum and the Farm Cultural Park is the regeneration of culture through its combination with creativity and based on a private sector engagement strategy (Lidegaard, Nuccio & Bille, 2018). In both IlCartastorie museum and Farm Cultural park practices, intangible factors (Borseková et al., 2017), including innovative thinking (Kunzmann, 2004), creativity (Florida, 2002), have contributed to cultural heritage value and cultural regeneration. ...
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... Current studies have provided a clear picture of who the stakeholders are and how they relate to each other in government-led urban regeneration projects. However, the existing literature often focuses on the consequences, with little attention paid to the process [25], particularly how the stakeholders bargain and interact in different environments [14]. Therefore, this research takes the urban regeneration of the post-industrial Eastern Suburbs in Chengdu, China, as a case study to review its top-down regeneration process from 2000 to 2020, with particular attention paid to stakeholder management. ...
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This paper argues that existing models of urban concentrations are incomplete unless grounded in the most fundamental aspect of proximity; face-to-face contact. Face-to-face contact has four main features: it is an efficient communication technology; it can help solve incentive problems; it can facilitate socialization and learning; and it provides psychological motivation. We discuss each of these features in turn, and develop formal economic models of two of them. Face-to-face is particularly important in environments where information is imperfect, rapidly changing, and not easily codified, key features of many creative activities.
Chapter
This chapter focuses on the issues in current city planning and rebuilding. It describes the principles and aims that have shaped modern, orthodox city planning and rebuilding. The chapter shows how cities work in real life, because this is the only way to learn what principles of planning and what practices in rebuilding can promote social and economic vitality in cities, and what practices and principles will deaden these attributes. In trying to explain the underlying order of cities, the author uses a preponderance of examples from New York. The most important thread of influence starts, more or less, with Ebenezer Howard, an English court reporter for whom planning was an avocation. Howard's influence on American city planning converged on the city from two directions: from town and regional planners on the one hand, and from architects on the other.
Article
During the last 20 yr cultural policy has become an increasingly significant component of economic and physical regeneration strategies in many West European cities. One should be careful when generalising about the evolution of urban cultural policies because of the scarcity of comparative research on this theme and the great diversity in the definitions of "culture' adopted by national and city governments. There are also differences in their ideological backgrounds, levels of financial resourcing and powers, and in the nature of relations between the public, private and voluntary sectors in Euroepan cities. Successive chapters deal with Glasgow, Rotterdam, Bilbao, Bologna, Hamburg, Montpellier, Liverpool and Rennes, with each covering historical economic, socio-cultural and political contextualisation for the experience of cultural policy making in the specific city. The introductory and concluding chapter offer a framework for evaluating the significance of cultural policy, and assessment of its impact in the various cities. -H.Clout
Article
In this article, we analyze the role of the economic rationale in modern cultural policy decision communication and ask why it remains such an important factor, even though research has argued against it. Based on Luhmann’s system theory, we show how the economic rationale manifests itself in the cultural political communication as parasitic and complementary couplings, and how different communication forms are in play: the indirect, direct, and the both-and form. The point is to construct communicative positions in cultural policy. The positions involve the economic rationale in their own particular way and each of them offers themselves as a communicative platform which the culture politician can optionally step into and out of. The arts system stands out from other systems by not distinguishing itself in one single distinction and coding. In exactly this issue lies the communicative complexity which the communicating cultural politician faces and must handle. As our analysis shows, this complexity is handled by communicating within the economic rationale and coding, with the result that complexity is reduced.
Article
Vinodrai T. Constructing the creative economy: design, intermediaries and institutions in Toronto and Copenhagen, Regional Studies. This article examines how labour market intermediaries (LMIs) secure the position of creative workers in the regional and national economy. Using evidence from Toronto (Canada) and Copenhagen (Denmark), it investigates the strategies and pathways taken by professional associations to secure the position of one group of workers: designers. The findings reveal the pervasive influence of institutions organized at a variety of scales that shape and constrain the ability of LMIs to secure the position of designers in the creative economy. This results in divergence in how LMIs position design and designers in labour markets, public policy, and global markets in each place.
Article
The creative city concept is popular among researchers and policy-makers. On the one hand, academic literature elaborates, on a conceptual level, the importance of creativity and innovation for urban competitiveness; on the other, numerous cities develop and implement creative city policies in practice. The connection between these two is rather weak and, accordingly, creative city policy tends to be ad hoc. Our purpose in this paper is to narrow the above-mentioned gap between theory and practice, by addressing the question of how conceptual insights into the creative city can be converted into an elaborated operational approach for local policy practice. We propose a three-step approach: (1) to position a city's current creative places and communities within the context of social and economic structures, urban narratives and prevailing governance structures and style by means of a systematic analytical framework; (2) to assess the spatial, social and symbolic place qualities of the creative production and consumption; (3) to identify options for effective policy intervention. We further examine how these steps may be applied in practice, and use the city of Delft in the Netherlands as an example. A discussion of the applicability and implementation of this approach concludes the paper.
Article
In spite of the amount of urban development that followed the Fall of the Wall, Berlin's urban landscape has remained filled with a large amount of “voids” and disused sites, which have gradually been occupied by various individuals, groups, or entrepreneurs for “temporary” or “interim” uses (such as urban beach bars). This paper analyzes how, and why, such temporary uses of space have been harnessed in recent economic and urban development policies and in the official city marketing discourse in Berlin post‐2000, in the context of the discursive and policy shift toward the promotion of Berlin as a “creative city.” The gradual process of enlistment of new forms of cultural and social expression by policy‐makers and real estate developers for urban development and place marketing purposes has put pressure on the very existence and experimental nature of “temporary uses” and “interim spaces.” These have consequently been going through various trajectories of displacement, transformation, commodification, resistance, or disappearance, and in particular cases have become the focus of intense local conflicts.
Article
This article contrasts the intentions and outcomes of the publicly instigated and supported urban renewal of Copenhagen's Inner Vesterbro district. Apart from physically upgrading the decaying buildings, the municipality's aim was to include the inhabitants in the urban renewal process and, seemingly, to prevent the dislocation of people from the neighbourhood. However, due to ambiguous policies, the workings of the property market and the lack of sufficient deflecting mechanisms, middle-class inhabitants are now replacing the high concentration of socioeconomically vulnerable people that characterised Vesterbro before the urban renewal. This process may appear `gentle', but it is nonetheless an example of how state and market interact to produce gentrification with `traumatic' consequences for individuals and the city as a socially just space.
Article
This paper discusses the phenomenon of 'informal actors' influencing the agenda of urban planning and urban politics by means of temporary reappropriation and animation of 'indeterminate' spaces. The latter are spaces left out of 'time and place' with regard to their urban surroundings, mainly as a consequence of rampant deindustrialisation processes and the 'shrinking' city. The unclear and undetermined status of these urban 'no-man's-lands' may allow for the emergence of a non-planned, spontaneous 'urbanity'. This intervention may be based on different motives: marginal lifestyles, informal economies, artistic experimentation, a deliberately open transformation of public space allowing for equal access and equal representation or a high degree of social and cultural inclusion. These expressions of the 'lived' city at present constitute a pronounced paradox for established city planning and urban politics. Institutionalised stakeholders may occasionally appreciate their presence for their inherent potential to enhance attractiveness of and revitalisation of certain parts of the city. On the other hand, these sites and the actors involved also spatialise and visualise a resistance and temporary alternative to the institutionalised domain and the dominant principles of urban development. Urban restructuring in the post-Fordist city, foremost in the development of inner-city areas, is increasingly focused on a unidimensional logic of commodification, monofunctionality and control. Thus, the complex qualities of animated 'indeterminate' spaces are difficult to incorporate into planning procedures. They often become threatened in their existence and pushed to the margins. Nevertheless, the urban conflict around these sites and the appearance of 'non-planned' planners on the urban scene, may decisively alter the urban agenda and set the themes for further development, which takes their positive economic and social function and their key role in sustaining and renewing urban cultures into account. The paper discusses this phenomenon, illustrated with an account of three case studies in the cities of Helsinki, Berlin and Brussels. The comparative dimension allows for a subsequent discussion focusing on elaborating the conditions of 'success' for informal actors in urban development processes. The predominant question then is how these new forms of urbanism can be given a place in city planning in order to pay more justice to the social and cultural complexity that constitutes contemporary urbanity.
Article
Culture and creativity as drivers of development are established features of the urban policy agenda. This article examines the interplay of culture, creativity and city planning using the example of Copenhagen, Denmark. Denmark presents an interesting example because whilst it has a tradition for linking culture with urban economic boosterism, recent research has suggested a social emphasis in its more contemporary urban cultural policies. The paper argues that the arrival of creativity upon the urban agenda has abruptly altered this policy context. Both culture and creativity have become central to attempts to stimulate the cultural and creative industries and to promote the city at an international level, attracting investment and the “Creative Class”. In tracing this development, the article discusses potential changes to the planning system designed to facilitate Copenhagen's transformation to a creative city and points to the potential impacts of these.
Article
Large-scale development projects have frequently been interpreted as products of neo-liberal policies. Many of them have been fiercely criticized because of their closed governance settings and their negative local spatial impacts. What space is left in them for a more progressive planning agenda? This article presents an empirical investigation of a major mixed-use large-scale development, the Ørestad project in Copenhagen. Although Ørestad is certainly representative of a timeframe in which Danish urban policies shifted strongly towards neo-liberal competition-oriented approaches, this project aimed to develop a progressive agenda as well. Our study analyses its success and failures and discusses the possibilities, inspired by North-American and Pacific-Asian examples, for stimulating a progressive agenda in these kinds of urban interventions.
Article
Introduction: Cultural Quarters and Urban Regeneration This paper reviews the concept of the cultural quarter as an approach to urban regeneration. It considers the policy objectives of making such designations, the approach to 'making' places which are deemed to be more rather than less artistic and cultural in the broader senses of the word, and the methods and mechanisms for implementation and ongoing management. The paper draws heavily on case studies in describing events as they occurred, and in making comparisons between cultural quarters. The work is published in two parts. Part 1 is a conceptualisation of the term cultural quarter, discussing in broad terms what is meant by this now almost- orthodox terminology. This Part draws heavily on the urban literature, especially on theories of city growth, economic development and urban design. It con- cludes with an idealised typology of what makes for a 'good' cultural quarter, presented as a series of necessary conditions and success factors. This is applied and evaluated in more detail in Part 2, which considers four case-study examples drawn from the United Kingdom (UK), Ireland and Australia. In most of the examples referred to in Part 2, planning and development powers have been used to preserve and encourage cultural production and consumption. Moreover, cultural quarters are often seen as part of a larger strategy integrating cultural and economic development. This is usually linked to the redevelopment or regeneration of a selected inner urban area, in which mixed-use urban development is to be encouraged and the public realm is to be reconfigured. In other words, cultural quarters tend to combine strategies for greater consumption of the arts and culture with cultural production and urban place making. Most great cities have identifiable quarters to which artists and cultural entrepreneurs are attracted, whether it is Soho in London, New York's Lower East Side, or the Left Bank in Paris (Montgomery, 1998). (For a discussion of the links between city development, creativity and special places within cities, see Hall (1998) and Landry (2000).) Such places have a long history and appear
Article
This article discusses the evolution of the concept of “The Experience Economy” (TEE) in the Danish local economic policy. The term is rarely known worldwide; however, it has become quite popular among the Danes and other Scandinavians. Its origin comes from the American business-marketing field in the late 1990s, while in Denmark, it evolved as a multifaceted idea with notable effects for economic development at the local level. The concept is related to the cultural or creative economy, but in the Danish case, it became more diffuse. This article does not intend to be a critique of these two lines, nor to tourist attractions, which are also linked to TEE. However, it criticizes the implementation of an unorthodox idea to LED, even though it may have useful principles to other disciplines. This article reflects the line of recent research which has questioned its applications in LED. Local governments have supported this strategy because of the national government's key role. Also, academics and consultants contributed to the process. The article also investigates the reasons Denmark had for developing the concept of TEE in Danish local planning and development.
Article
This article discusses the concept of experience economy in a Scandinavian context and shows how the Scandinavian version of the concept has come about from a mix of three different approaches and theories. In the Scandinavian countries, the experience economy has been developed in a political context and is apparently a popular development policy for local government authorities and regions. The Scandinavian definition links the experience economy closely with cultural activities, and to the expectation of economic return and economic development. This article discusses the Scandinavian definition of experience economy and questions if it makes any sense. The definition of experiences is not clear, which makes the demarcation of the experience economy almost impossible and creates other difficulties in relation to policy. The article shows that the experience economy can follow three different routes to market value creation, and how the growth opportunities for the different experience industries will depend on at least three different trends. Therefore, it can be shown that only some experience industries are growing, and the market value creation occurs in very different ways and to very different extents within, and in relation to, the different experience industries. The greatest growth potential resides probably in the broad value creation in association with the experience industries. However, the experience economy does not lend itself to any consistent definition.
Article
Amid the buzz on the creative city and cultural economy, knowledge about what works at various urban and regional scales is sorely lacking. This article reviews the state of knowledge about arts and culture as an urban or regional development tool, exploring norms, reviewing evidence for causal relationships, and analyzing stakeholders, bureaucratic fragmentation, and citizen participation in cultural planning. Two strategies—designated cultural districts and tourist-targeted cultural investments— illustrate how better research would inform implementation. In guiding urban cultural development, researchers should examine and clarify the impacts, risks, and opportunity costs of various strategies and the investments and revenue and expenditure patterns associated with each, so that communities and governments avoid squandering “creative city” opportunities.
Article
The aim of this article is to critically examine the notion that the creative class may or may not play as a causal mechanism of urban regeneration. I begin with a review of Florida's argument focusing on the conceptual and theoretical underpinnings. The second section develops a critique of the relationship between the creative class and growth. This is followed by an attempt to clarify the relationship between the concepts of creativity, culture and the creative industries. Finally, I suggest that policy-makers may achieve more successful regeneration outcomes if they attend to the cultural industries as an object that links production and consumption, manufacturing and service. Such a notion is more useful in interpreting and understanding the significant role of cultural production in contemporary cities, and what relation it has to growth.
Article
This paper critically explores the 'politics of becoming' in a 'wannabe' creative city in the United States. It shows how, in Baltimore's policy sphere, Richard Florida's theory has served as an 'intellectual technology' aiming at the invention of a new macro-actor (the creative class), while related urban regeneration outcomes and prospects appear to be more problematic. In particular, at the city-wide level, the creative class policy has favoured the interests of local politicians and their closer institutional partners; while, in the described context of a socially deprived neighbourhood, the embraced culture-led policy, albeit successful in redesigning a more attractive urban realm and thus in attaining its stated goals, has proved to be concerned more with real estate revitalisation than with issues of social inclusion and life-chance provision. It is concluded that the prevailing institutional imperative of networking and collaboration, as observed in Baltimore's creative class initiative, overemphasises the importance of the politics of association in contemporary urban regeneration processes, while neglecting the relevance of classic goals of socio-spatial justice.
Article
Copenhagen today appears to be a resurgent city and city region. It came back to life in the mid-1990s and, until recently, has shown marked growth in key variables such as jobs, income and inhabitants, primarily as a result of the rise and spatial dynamics of its service- and knowledge-based economy. Its resurgence is also evident in the central municipalities that 20 years ago struggled with the repercussions of a long-term urban crisis. Financially, the central city was almost doomed in the late 1980s and early 1990s, and the city of Copenhagen was close to bankruptcy. Central-city development was characterized by a set of eroding processes that included de-industrialization, suburbanization, high unemployment rates, high welfare costs, an outdated housing market, strong segregation and various other factors. Copenhagen city and its city region have now been revitalized and today are a strong national centre of economic growth. Although one can catch glimpses of the crisis in key variables, urban turn remains strong; for instance, up to now, rising unemployment has been seen mainly outside the large urban areas in Denmark. However, the housing-market bubble has burst and other signs of crisis have been appearing since as early as 2006. Nevertheless, the city is far removed from the gloomy days of the late 1980s and early 1990s. Copyright (c) 2010 The Authors. International Journal of Urban and Regional Research(c) 2010 Joint Editors and Blackwell Publishing Ltd.
Article
New “urban wastelands” are continually developing in European cities as side effects of economic, technological and political changes. These abandoned industrial zones or former traffic nodes (railways, harbours) have typically been built in the late 19th or in the early 20th century to the fringe of the old city centres. The combination of low estate values with high potential land rents have turned these areas to important scenes of urban transformation since 1980’s. Especially locations close to waterfront have attracted investments and resulted rapid changes and new housing and commercial exploitations. There are though exceptions: some areas remain residual or vacant for years. These areas turn to potential places for temporary “lower secondary uses” since no “primary higher uses” are attracted of them. The contextual factors creating “gaps” for temporary uses are weak demand in the local estate market, delays in the political decision making and planning processes, unclear ownership or exceptionally high construction costs caused by soil contamination and massive old infrastructures. This paper examines the nature of temporary uses and users in the central micro-peripheries, the role of temporary uses in the urban development processes as well as their impact on urban cultures and urban economies in five European metropolitan areas. The research has been done as part of the research project “Urban Catalysts. Strategies for Temporary Uses – Potential for Development of Urban Residual Areas in European Metropolises” (duration 2001-2003), funded by the Fifth R&D Framework Programme of European Community and its key action programme "City of Tomorrow and Cultural Heritage". In this project local case studies have taken place in Amsterdam, Berlin, Helsinki, Naples and Vienna. The research methods have included interviews with local key actors (temporary users, estate owners, planners
Article
Neglected aspects of state support for the arts are discussed through posing two questions. First, “What kind of state is providing that support?” The extent and type of public support and its effects on the arts crucially depends on whether the state is centralised or decentralised, and on whether it is authoritarian or democratic. Second, “How is artistic creativity fostered?” ”Institutional creativity” is best supported by attributing a large role to the market and market-like institutions. “Personal creativity” hinges on intrinsic motivation, which may be crowded out by different types of public support. Important consequences for the public support of the arts follow. Copyright Kluwer Academic Publishers 1999
Article
The purpose of this article is to analyse the economic properties as well as the institutions governing the start-up and evolution of cultural districts. The first part of the article reviews the relationships between culture, viewed as an idiosyncratic good, and the theory of industrial districts. The second part comprises a critical discussion of four models of cultural districts: the industrial cultural district (mainly based on positive externalities, localized culture and traditions in ‘arts and crafts’); the institutional cultural district (chiefly relying on the assignment of property rights); the museums cultural district (based on network externalities and the search for optimal size); and the metropolitan cultural district (based on communication technologies, performing arts and electronic trade). The assignment of intellectual property rights to local idiosyncratic cultural goods seems to be the most significant way to differentiate among cultural districts. The final section discusses a possible convergence of all district models towards the institutional district, based on the creation of a system of property rights as a means to protect localized production.
Article
Responding to, as well as actively constructing, a climate of economic competition, urban policy-makers use cultural strategies to promote economic development and at the same time mobilize political support. But the plural nature of culture not only promotes collective mobilization to overcome political economic interest conflicts. Its deep symbolic meanings can also enhance contestation and conflict beyond the initial regeneration plans. The political controversy about Vienna's new cultural district 'Museumsquartier' illustrates how the leaders of an old European capital city, challenged by multiple national, regional and global transition processes, struggle to capitalize on their cultural heritage for a collective future vision. Instead of implementing one coherent political strategy, the city, its architecture, collective memories and spatial frames are ultimately shaped by plural symbolic conflicts that negotiate diverse meanings, values and tastes. The case study shows that urban flagships are not merely spatial expressions of larger capitalist globalization structures permeating the built cityscape. As a contextual outcome of local discussion processes, reflecting diverse urban meanings in the context of larger transformations, the new architecture contributes to Vienna's specific aesthetic character as well as to its political redefinition as a European capital city.
The relationship between cultural resources and urban tourism policies: Issues from European debates
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Bianchini, F. (1999). The relationship between cultural resources and urban tourism policies: Issues from European debates. In D. Dodd & A. Van Hemel (Eds.), Planning cultural tourism in Europe: A presentation of theories and cases (pp. 78-90). Amsterdam: Boekman Foundation.
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Creating a creative urban environment. An investigation on the spatial characteristics
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Arts and culture in urban or regional planning: A review and research agenda Cultural clusters and the post-industrial city: Towards the Re-mapping of urban cultural policy
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The cultural economy of cities. Essays on the geography of image-producing industries
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