This chapter presents a critique of the recently popularized concepts of the ‘creative class’ and ‘creative cities’, focusing on the work of urban-policy guru, Richard Florida. It explains the geographic reach and policy salience of these discourses not in terms of their intrinsic merits, which can be challenged on a number of grounds, but as a function of the profoundly neoliberalized urban landscapes across which they have been traveling. For all their flamboyant display of liberal cultural innovation, creativity strategies barely disrupt neoliberal urban-policy orthodoxies, based on place promotion, market-led development, gentrification, and normalized sociospatial inequality. But these strategies also extend and recodify entrenched tendencies in neoliberal urban politics, seductively repackaging them in the soft-focus terms of cultural policy. They elevate creativity to the status of a new urban imperative — defining new sites, validating new strategies, placing new subjects, and establishing new stakes in the realm of competitive interurban relations.
Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.
If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.