What is Creative city making?

Charles Landry

Hello I am Charles Landry. I am here in Tate Modern in London. And the weather is quite cold but otherwise it is absolutely fine. I am associated with having set up an organisation called Comedia in 1978 which is a long time ago. But in essence what Comedia was for many years established the link between creativity, culture and the city and how these things connect. How cities therefore reinvent themselves. How you understand the resources of the city and how you make the most of your potential. I wrote a book called Creative City in 1995, another version 2000 and that basically began to summarize my thoughts which included how you could feed the creative economy sectors into these new transformed cities and so on. So that is me and that is Comedia.

Creative city making is basically creating or establishing places at the conditions where people can think, plan and act with imagination. And that is important today because, of course, so many things are transforming: industries are transforming from more physical things in touch to creative products that are more to do with ideas and so on. And that obviously has an effect on what the city should look and feel like. So people want different things from their city now. They want experience which feels enriching when they feel they could communicate with others, be convivial and so on. So all of these industrial changes over the last 30-40 years affect what the city itself is like. And that is what creative city making is about. It is thinking through what are the resources we need, what are the skills we need, and so on. One primary thing is really the difference between hardware approach to cities that only thinks about roads and things like that; versus an approach which combines hardware and software, which is much more concerned about the atmosphere of the city and how that hardware fits into creating the experience of place, that is much more interested in deep. So that is probably creative city making.

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Charles Landry

Charles Landry

Director in Comedia in London, United Kingdom

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