Creating the city

Paul Owens

The our experience in cities is that I would say there is a very well estabilished template now for the creative city or a culturaly led city. You see many cities adopting the same line with the same approach and same strategies. You know around creative people, around developing cultural quarters, around external marketing. There is actually quite a formula like approach to developing creative cities. I would say that some of those formulas have merit and every city should follow them.

But when we talk to the cities we look at the cultural sector of the cities we have focused mostly on people who are leaders. The message that we carry to cities is that you have to make loose the individuals, the eccentrics, the geniuses and the visionaries and enable them to create the city for you. Your plans where to create the city, your strategies where to create the city yourselves. You have to untie and unchain the potencial and that is mostly around the creative leaders and creative individuals. And when we work with cities to achieve this it is very much in a role as kind of a supporter or a coach to help them identify those people and let those people to do the things.

So for example we worked extensively in the city of Manchester over many years around the development of the kind of creative enterprise center. We were involved in setting up some creative industries development service. Now it is really very much about trying to get the experienced organizations and individuals in the city to mentor and coach a nurture of young emerging generations. So finding the support for sector in sector itsefl not trying to impose some kind of mechanical artificial top-down support mechanism.

And similary we have done a lot of work in London. We are based in London. We are all adoptive Londoners. We love London. Most of our work in London is really about working with creative individuals on interesting sometimes crazy ideas to try make things happen. So we worked with the mayor of London on Creative Idustries Commission. That was really about to identify key individuals and key leaders to take London’s creative sector forward.  

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Paul Owens

Paul Owens

Co-founder of BOP Consulting in London, United Kingdom

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