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Urban Regenerate Themselves Through Culture in Growing and Attracting the ‘Creative Class’


In the modern era, the traditional economic factors such as capital, labor force as well as other resources have become easy to obtain and are surplus to requirements today. Value creation in the various areas of the economy is now based on intangible assets where the shifting focus is placed on qualified human capital. It is within this sphere that the creative class comes in who is defined as a collection of individuals that specialize in the combination of ideas and knowledge to create value and solve problems. This class construct is used in the explanation of the variance in regional and urban economic performance where capacity is through to be a central factor to growth in the developed market economies (Florida, 2006, p 22). The modern emergence of the knowledge economy does emphasize the idea that business competitiveness and innovation depend on the ability to increase quality, productivity, and value through the creation of new products and services. It is this element provided by the creative class that contributes to the accelerating scientific and technical advancements. This means knowledge development and technical innovation are factors that are fed by the workforce through science and technology (Clifton, 2008, p 63). In view of advanced nations such as Japan, USA and Singapore reveal that culture-led urban regeneration is a fundamental promoter of economic growth. Considering that these nations exist within a knowledge-based global economy, it becomes crucial to draw and keep professionals. Through the integration of innovation and technology, cities have sought to go through culture-led regeneration by placing emphasis on the creation of knowledge-based economies that would grow and attract the creative class.

Culture-led Urban Regeneration

As highly qualified professionals, the creative class offers their specific regions an opportunity to be better prepared to meet the economic and social demands of regeneration through culture hence making them more competitive. According to Yin-Hao Chiu (2019), culture-led urban regeneration has become recognized as a means for cities to increase their global competitiveness in addition to improving their cityscapes and their overall urban economic performance. The cultural and creative industry, which is considered part of the knowledge economy, has become a key factor when it comes to urban development amidst the increasing reputation and interest in creative city concepts in addition to the expansion of creative and cultural applications, which play, into the realms of social and economic development. Pratt (2008) notes that culture and creativity have become valuable forms of urban capital within the context of globalization as well as the continued reforms of technology. The definition of culture in this instance does move towards the areas of continued social development where within a knowledge-based economy there is a creation of value. It is this culture that contributes to a city’s or region’s self-esteem in which community consensus is developed. Significant breakthroughs have been made on the front of understanding urban designs, cultural development, and economics with attempts being made to the adoption of art and culture as a means of achieving urban regeneration of public spaces as well as the development of a city’s cultural industries.


The apparent basics of the built and physical environment do matter within the culture and creative urban revitalization. This means it is not about the creative and cultural components but rather the combination of the urban infrastructure that is restored along with the heritage of the city along with the new cultural provision. Richard Florida (2005) presents the creative class as individuals whose occupations do range from artists, legal experts, designers, and management experts. These occupations become the magnet to which high tech, mobile, and high growth companies are drawn. Thus within a knowledge-based economy, the ability to attract and retain skilled labor belonging to these occupations is crucial to the current and future prosperity of the region. Through the development of infrastructure via information technology adoption, regions do get to develop advantages based on their capacities to draw in the best resources, people as well as capabilities required to alter innovations into commercial products and new business ideas. Culture, art, and innovations thereby become tools that help in the creation of unique urban atmospheres that would promote urban agglomeration, attract creative talent and enhance the overall urban competitiveness (Pavelea et. al, 2021). The promotion of innovation and culture within a knowledge-based economy can as well breathe in new life and vitality within old systems as well as urban spaces. These highly talented individuals thereby become important factors when it comes to the economic development of cities. The generation of innovation and the development of high-tech industries influence the attraction of these members.

Enabling Capacity and Environment

Cities have sought for urban regeneration through culture by enabling capacity and ideas of environmental sustainability as an attempt to grow and attract the creative class. Some of the successful urban projects do set out a strategic direction and vision that builds in creativity, culture, and heritage (Peck, 2005, p 741). Within the urban setting, it takes the form of explicit policies that are required for major development. Romania does present a critical area for socio-economic analysis of how urban regeneration can benefit from the creative class focusing on creating capacity and environmental sustainability. Attention can be directed to the level of urbanization and workforce mobility in the country. The country does stand as the least urbanized nation within the European Union with half of the population percentage living in cities. The nation does have the highest rates of homeownership in addition to exhibiting cultural ideals that would reduce individual mobility. The apparent lack of occupations such as operations specialists as well as other financial specialists within the country does make it difficult for the nation to present urban regeneration. Florida (2005) does argue that human capital does contribute to the development of urban regions through income. Human capital does have a higher effect on income where this capital is drawn from the creative class. The creative class, therefore, does affect productivity where the nation’s capital is involved. In the case of Romania, the failure of the nation to create capacity and focus on environmental sustainability does determine their level of urban regeneration.

Culture, art, and innovation can create unique urban atmospheres that would attract and promote talent. Policy on the other hand can produce varying results within the different systems and economic conditions. The city of Montreal for example features the promotion of capacity as well as the enabling of the environment when it comes to vision and decision-making. The city’s recent redevelopment plan is aimed at creating areas with green spaces as well as affordable housing, which would make the neighborhoods appropriate for collective and active transportation and in turn attract a diverse population. The city did become the first to create the position of design commissioner owing to the number of professionals who work within the design field. Through this, the theory of the creative class is noted in its assumption that within the globalized economy, innovation does become the main competitive advantage (Grant, 2014). The most important component when it comes to urban regeneration is the social, technical, and artistic workforce behind the restructuring of the cities’ feature environmental sustainability. Economic growth thereby does depend directly on creativity and innovation. Cities such as Montreal have managed to regenerate themselves owing to the presence of the members of the class who do have specific preferences when it comes to private life and work. This includes high-quality housing, specialized consumption along work empowerment. Preference is made for an experience as compared to the consumption of some of the traditional services and products. Thereby the success of cities such as Montreal comes down to the economic value created by the creative class.

Technology Integration

Cities have sought to regenerate themselves through a culture of technological adaptation and this purpose has attracted the creative class who in turn contribute to urban development. Clifton (2008), notes that attracting the members of the creative class to the various regions is impacted by the creation of innovation as well as the development and lure of high technology industries. The mobility of the creative class in this instance becomes a major factor of production. It is linked to the search for newer experiences and greater power when it comes to the choice of work and housing owing to their higher-income as well as their qualifications. According to Kratke (2004), knowledge-intensive activities strewn along with the creative economy are the most important resources for the development of the urban economy. They are greatly based on the socio-cultural aspects of the presented place mixed with the dynamics of economic cluster creation. Creativity and talent in this instance do depend on the interaction between economic, spatial, and sociocultural factors. The city of Dublin in this instance presents a good case study of an attractive cosmopolitan city. The government projects featured in the city did stimulate inclusion, cultural diversity as well as migration and allowed renovations to be made for urban generation on the technological front. This did provide a definition for areas of entertainment, neighborhoods as well as cultural preservation. At the same time resource policies, as well as tax incentives, were created for filmmakers as well as media professionals to promote regional growth through art and culture.

The process of innovation along the lines of technological adoption drives the economic evolution and urban regeneration of cities. The creative class within the context of urban regeneration through culture takes on the position of the agents of technological engagement as they do create the institutions that facilitate the use of this technology. The economic growth of a region is based on the factors of accumulation, institutional facilitation that is provided by the government, technological change, and innovation (Scott, 2010). Culture and art sectors within this process are classified within the position of consumption in various forms. The implication of technological adoption as a means of attracting and keeping creative class lies in the evolution of the urban economic system, which would allow these creative classes to afford more of the cultural consumer goods that are offered with high-level technology and subsidized production. Economic growth on the urban front does enable the protection of the creative and cultural industries placing them behind a wall of special treatment that is financed by the development of the industrial economy. Through technological adoption, the creative industry and class facilitate economic evolution, as they are part of the process itself. The occupations taken up by the creative class become magnets to the growth of firms and it is this that draws people to populate some of these important occupations thereby creating work environments that lead to urban regeneration (Potts, 2009). Value creation becomes a major factor towards technology adoption in cities which in turn contribute to their overall development.

Creativity fused with the creation of knowledge and innovation does translate to regional competitiveness and in general urban regeneration. The collection of people working with similar knowledge as presented in the case of Montreal presents high levels of collaboration where geographic proximity and specialization increase productivity. The models of economic development for these creative cities present innovation as a key ingredient for economic performance where a city can create a culture that is focused on attracting such talent and also use local quality such as the arts and culture of creating value. The central factor to the theory of creative class lies in the idea of skilled workers with knowledge-intensive occupations that would be attracted by an active society and a friendly environment with resources. Cites can engage in the process of value creation through culture by bidding and securing major sporting and cultural events that can be used as means to enhance and push culture and creative industries. Creative and cultural urban revitalization projects are in most cases lengthy and expensive. To provide continuity and stability, the funding sources have to feature a mix of both private and public funds, which would make the creative class beneficiaries of this move. The creative class does depart from the traditional business communities and move towards places that are called creative centers. These centers on the other hand are areas with increased concentration of economic results with the markers being increased technological adoption and awareness on sustainability.


Chiu, Y.H., Lee, M.S. and Wang, J.W., 2019. Culture-led urban regeneration strategy: An evaluation of the management strategies and performance of urban regeneration stations in Taipei City. Habitat International86, pp.1-9.

Clifton, N., 2008. The “creative class” in the UK: an initial analysis. Geografiska Annaler: Series B, Human Geography90(1), pp.63-82.

Florida, R., 2005. Cities and the creative class. Routledge.

Florida, R., 2006. The flight of the creative class: The new global competition for talent. Liberal education92(3), pp.22-29.

Grant, J., 2014. Seeking Talent for Ceative Cities. Toronto, Canadá, eds. University of Toronto.

Pavelea, A.M., Neamțu, B., Nijkamp, P. and Kourtit, K., 2021. Is the Creative Class a Game Changer in Cities? A Socioeconomic Study on Romania. Sustainability13(11), p.5807.

Peck, J., 2005. Struggling with the creative class. International journal of urban and regional research29(4), pp.740-770.

Potts, J., 2009. Why creative industries matter to economic evolution. Economics of innovation and new technology18(7), pp.663-673.

Pratt, A.C., 2008. Creative cities: the cultural industries and the creative class. Geografiska annaler: series B, human geography90(2), pp.107-117.

Scott, A.J., 2010. Creative cities: The role of culture. Revue d’économie politique120(1), pp.181-204.


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