Creative economy

Charles Landry

Now the question that is quite important is how do things like art fit in. How do the creative industries fit in. How do ideas fit into that. Now in my point of view, the art and art history are incredibly important as part of this process of thinking through the new way of developing cities. Equally important are, of course, the new sectors from film to media performance design. These are incredibly important in creating the cities that have some sort of substance and so on. 

But they are not in totality the creative city. For that we all need something more. In my view we need a culture of creativity where, for example, the bureaucracy understands the shift to the knowledge based economy, the knowledge intensive economy which uses of course the creative industries very strongly. So you need creative bureaucrats, creative citizens, you need many people to solve problems and create opportunities in interesting ways. You need interesting hospital managers, you need interesting business people, you need interesting social workers. So a creative city requires many things within which there are specific roles for things like creative economy. 

The reason why the creative economy is particularly important is not only that these are sectors in their own right: like the music sector, the design sector, the performance sector and so on. It is the spin-offs that they create. Because if you look in any industry even traditional industries but especially modern industries, you will see that the creative economy activities embedded within them. For example, in mining if you look at mining which looks very traditional if you look down, there are lots of video machines. If you try to discover oil in the sea bed, you use the sonic equipment which is to do with sound. If you look at medicine, you are using video cameras. If you look at the logistics, of the flow of logistics, you are using lots of new media and so on.

So in fact, the creative economy is not a sector in its own right, but it is also like electricity: you could not run the economy without it. So it is completely ridiculous if people start saying things like: "Oh, that is not important". Because the main traditional industries that they have talking about could not run without the sectors and that is the most important thing. I have done a lot of research in that field and feel that this is really where we need now to focus.

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Charles Landry

Charles Landry

Director in Comedia in London, United Kingdom

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