For urban development policy and cities, Richard Florida’s theory of ‘creative class’ was incredibly valuable. Florida (2005) has an interesting idea about the success of a city: ‘cool’, liberal, diverse cities are more likely to succeed…
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In truth, the ideas of Florida are radical, debatable, controversial, and very appealing for avant-garde scholars and policymakers (Kong & O’Connor 2009). It is hence vital to have a better understanding of the creative class thesis and what it means for cities across the globe. If this is the case, numerous urban development policy models adopted by countries should be re-evaluated. The creative class perspective is becoming a component of the established knowledge about how to improve the performance of cities. Thus, this essay tries to explain Florida’s argument that creativity is the key to successful regeneration and growth of cities. The theory of Florida rests on the idea that societies are going through a major shift from an industrial structure to a knowledge-based structure wherein ‘creativity’ is an ever more crucial asset. Creativity is defined as the capacity to produce new ideas or to transform current ideas into productive economic models (Bocock 1992). Using the United States as a prime illustration, Florida (2002) has shown that the ‘creative class’ is unevenly scattered within the nation’s regional structure, and that urban areas where the bulk of the ‘creative class’ resides successfully attains stable progress in high-technology industries. Derived from the premise that newly created jobs in knowledge-based and innovative economic industries are formed mostly in cities where creative potentials are strong, Florida examines particular forces that enhance cities’ attractiveness to creative class members (Miles & Paddison 2005). Above all, he highlights appealing socio-cultural features like cultural diversity and broad-mindedness. As stated by Florida, “Essentially my theory says that regional economic growth is driven by the location choices of creative people—the holders of creative capital—who prefer places that are diverse, tolerant, and open to new ideas” (Florida 2002, 223). According to Pike and Tomaney (2010), this theory works as the foundation for a notion of ‘creative cities’ that separates a specific group of local growth variables which can be exercised for the expansion and strengthening of entrepreneurial systems of urban management. Even in the international discourse on urban development policy, innovation and creativity are underlined as the new crucial approaches towards city regeneration and progress. Hence, terms such as ‘creative class’, ‘creative industries’, ‘creative economy’, ‘creative city’, and so on, are governing and reorganising modern scholarly discourses about urban development (Eckardt 2011, 560). As explained by Peter Hall: “Culture is now seen as the magic substitute for all the lost factories and warehouses, and as a device that will create a new urban image, making the city more attractive to mobile capital and mobile professional workers” (Eckardt 2011, 560). However, the stress on the importance of cities as sources of creativity and as sites of cultural creation, innovativeness, and motivation is certainly not an unfamiliar one. As underlined by Peter Hall, cities have ever since been associated with innovation, creativity, and culture, whilst they manifest various kinds of innovation and creativity at various times; for instance, the intellectual and artistic landscape in Berlin in the mid-20th century or the dramatic consequences of London’
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