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Key elements of creative city development: An assessment of local policies in Amsterdam and Rotterdam

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Abstract

The creative city thesis states that creativity — a creative milieu — is an important precondition for innovation to flourish. Yet, the creative city is often considered a hype, something momentary. This raises the question of whether this thesis has any long-term value. This paper reflects on this question from a local policy perspective. It first presents key elements (success factors) of the creative city as emphasised in academic literature, including an assessment of the extent to which these can be applied in local policies. Next, it analyses their practical application in the two main Dutch cities, Amsterdam and Rotterdam. By assessing these cases against the background of the listed success factors, the paper concludes with some implications for local policy.

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... Alongside the consumption and production milieu promotion, we include the following sub-strategies into this category: a) Creative city as a place marketing strategy -its main aim is to attract investors, tourists or new residents into a territory, improving its competitive advantage, image, position in the territory market, etc. In order to reach such a goal, place marketing tools can be used -product (place and basically everything -tangible and intangible -what is in the city ), price (price of land, houses, taxes, services, etc.), accessibility (geographical location of the city, transport in the city, traffic signs, etc.), people (public, private and voluntary/community sectors), tools of marketing communication (promotion, PR, di-rect mail, event marketing, personal communication, sales support) 23 ; b) Creative city as a strategy oriented on tourism -even though tourism has a very good effect on the development of the city's facilities, its social-economic situation, awareness and self-confidence of its residents, and organization of various events, it is not recommended to focus exclusively on this strategy. Tourists have usually different needs and requirements than the residents, which is why they should not be the only one target group 24 . ...
... In this case, it is really important to unleash the available creativity and try to focus on specific and unique forms of tourism, e.g. catastrophic tourism (not to save someone/something, only to watch a disaster and its aftermath); dark tourism (searching places related to death); pop-culture tourism (specifically visiting places that we have read about or seen in a movie); Vacilando (travelling is more important than destination itself); bizarre -experimental tourism (choosing the target destination on the basis of experimental ideas -visiting the "centres" of bureaucracy -waiting rooms, social service agencies, municipal offices, police stations, and using their equipment -copiers, leaflets, magazines, samples, etc.); over- 23 night travel (arriving to the target destination at night and examining it just then). 25 ...
... Interestingly, only 10-20% of this investment goes into event-specific installations such as stadiums while 80-90% goes into urban and countrywide infrastructure -for instance, new streets, metro stations, safety and security systems, housing and, even, new power plants. 23 All of this has generated new forms of urban governance whereby sports mega-events promote the spirit of collaboration in the various cross-sector partnerships. Increasingly, local populations rely on sports mega-events to generate oppor-tunity that improves their lives. ...
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... Alongside the consumption and production milieu promotion, we include the following sub-strategies into this category: a) Creative city as a place marketing strategy -its main aim is to attract investors, tourists or new residents into a territory, improving its competitive advantage, image, position in the territory market, etc. In order to reach such a goal, place marketing tools can be used -product (place and basically everything -tangible and intangible -what is in the city ), price (price of land, houses, taxes, services, etc.), accessibility (geographical location of the city, transport in the city, traffic signs, etc.), people (public, private and voluntary/community sectors), tools of marketing communication (promotion, PR, di-rect mail, event marketing, personal communication, sales support) 23 ; b) Creative city as a strategy oriented on tourism -even though tourism has a very good effect on the development of the city's facilities, its social-economic situation, awareness and self-confidence of its residents, and organization of various events, it is not recommended to focus exclusively on this strategy. Tourists have usually different needs and requirements than the residents, which is why they should not be the only one target group 24 . ...
... In this case, it is really important to unleash the available creativity and try to focus on specific and unique forms of tourism, e.g. catastrophic tourism (not to save someone/something, only to watch a disaster and its aftermath); dark tourism (searching places related to death); pop-culture tourism (specifically visiting places that we have read about or seen in a movie); Vacilando (travelling is more important than destination itself); bizarre -experimental tourism (choosing the target destination on the basis of experimental ideas -visiting the "centres" of bureaucracy -waiting rooms, social service agencies, municipal offices, police stations, and using their equipment -copiers, leaflets, magazines, samples, etc.); over- 23 night travel (arriving to the target destination at night and examining it just then). 25 ...
... Interestingly, only 10-20% of this investment goes into event-specific installations such as stadiums while 80-90% goes into urban and countrywide infrastructure -for instance, new streets, metro stations, safety and security systems, housing and, even, new power plants. 23 All of this has generated new forms of urban governance whereby sports mega-events promote the spirit of collaboration in the various cross-sector partnerships. Increasingly, local populations rely on sports mega-events to generate oppor-tunity that improves their lives. ...
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... To provide context, we begin our analysis with what has come to be known as the 'creative cities thesis' -largely because this topic has attracted much recent attention, both among academics and policy-makers (Romein and Trip, 2009 review key aspects of this literature). Spurred by the decline and outsourcing of manufacturing in Western economies since the 1970s, many cities have sought alternative sources of vitality. ...
... Nurturing and attracting such persons, however, may depend on a city's broader social climate. Indeed, many authors posit a link between, on the one hand, diversity, openness and tolerance, and, on the other, innovation (Florida, 2002;Kotkin, 2001;Romein and Trip, 2009). Tolerant residents, they argue, support an environment in which alternative styles, unconventional ideas, and diversity in thought and practice can ourish. ...
... Creativity literature also stressed creative infrastructure for fostering creative environments or building creative cities (see, e.g., Bayliss, 2007;Comunian, 2011;Darchen, 2013;Evans, 2009;Hartley, Potts, & MacDonald, 2012;Markusen, 1999Markusen, , 2006McGranahan & Wojan, 2007;Sasaki, 2001;Yum, 2016). For instance, Romein and Trip (2009) suggested eight key elements of the creative city, including rest infrastructure (diversity of cafes, restaurants, and parks) and culture (foreign-born population, subcultures, and cultural heritage). Sasaki (2001) defined the creative city as a city that cultivated new trends in arts and culture and promotes innovative and creative industries. ...
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... To shed light on this dilemma we may identify creative city policy approaches on the basis of a literature review (e.g. Duxbury, 2004;Romein and Trip, 2009;Smith and Warfield, 2008). In order to shed light on structural aspects, we rely here on three social sectors: civil society, business and government, and relate them to the assumed base of creative economy: local culture, creative industries and prestigious cultural institutions. ...
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... However, not only is there a real difference between actually being intelligent and simply lauding a label (Hollands, 2008), but there is a difference between what being "intelligent" in one city means and what being "intelligent" means in another. At minimum, it seems that an "intelligent" city will have a coherent framework and a unified methodology for the design and implementation of its "intelligence" (Romein and Trip, 2009). ...
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