Filed under: Lifestyle trends, Macro trends, Trends stuff, Urban lifestyles
NEW YORK: It’s not so pleasant to live in New York in the hot days of August. The grime on the sidewalk has really begun to reek. The tourist hordes remind you how little room you have to yourself, and then there’s the noise, seemingly amplified by the heat.
The New York Post reported last week that complaints to the city’s Department of Environmental Protection rose 81 percent over the last year, following the introduction of a new noise code.
For those Manhattanites not fortunate enough to be in the Hamptons, the City That Never Sleeps loses its charm around now. “I don’t like the city better, the more I see it, but worse,” said the writer-philosopher Henry David Thoreau in 1843. And sometimes that seems about right.
Due to some of these frustrations, New York emptied out in the 1970s. Declining transport costs cut the advantage that New York City had long enjoyed because of its proximity to waterways. Its manufacturing heart hollowed out, and the middle class began to leave. As Edward Glaeser, professor of economics at Harvard University, points out, other technological advances contributed to the city’s decline – the car and the air conditioner, which made suburban living easier and helped push the population of the United States to the hotter South and West. As the Northeast emptied, cities like Dallas, Phoenix and Houston became the fastest growing in the United States. New York, on the other hand, lost 824,000 people in the 1970s.
Since then, something remarkable has happened. While parts of America’s Northeast are still depopulating, New York is not. Late last year, the city’s mayor, Michael Bloomberg, stood up to announce that he expected New York – current estimated population around 8.2 million – to add more than 1 million people over the next couple of decades, taking the population to more than 9 million by 2030. The city is growing again.
Why? Glaeser and some other economists have two answers – the first has to do with the triumph of cities as a whole in the age of globalization, and the second with consumer choice.
By next year, according to the United Nations, more than half the world’s population will for the first time live in towns and cities. As Lamia Kamal-Chaoui, author of a recent report on world cities at the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development in Paris, points out, New York’s population growth is not spectacular. It’s in line with the growth of London, which according to John Ross, director of economic and business policy for the London mayor, Ken Livingstone, is adding around 90,000 each year, 40,000 from natural expansion and a further 50,000 from inward migration. (The three biggest sources of immigration to the British capital are China, Africa, and then Poland, he says.)
But other cities have been growing far faster even than New York or London – Kamal-Chaoui points to Madrid, where the foreign population has multiplied four times in about six years, to six million people, chiefly due to foreign migrants from Latin America, and to Istanbul, where economic growth is sizzling and where the population has increased tenfold since 1950 and now, at 16 million, represents one-fifth of Turkey’s total population.
Yet growth has not occurred all over the world. The mirror image of London’s influx of Eastern Europeans looking for work is the emptying of villages and towns in rural Poland and Ukraine. Hungary and the Czech Republic have been losing population in urban areas.
In the United States, the death of distance – globalization – has contributed to the decline of Detroit, as it became less affordable to keep manufacturing in urban areas in expensive Western countries.
New York’s advantage has been to be competitive in the knowledge economy – particularly, in finance – where the city as an economic unit has a comparative advantage, with all its cross-fertilization of ideas.
“For many years, people thought that cities were awful places, hangovers from the Industrial Revolution,” said Michael Batty, a professor of urban planning at the Center for Advanced Spatial Analysis at University College London. “But it’s the place to be in a globalizing world. So many functions now depend on the proximity of people.” Strong evidence of this, says Batty, is the number of inventions and number of Web sites per head, which grow exponentially as the population of any city grows.
Cities may also be growing because individuals as consumers want to live there. In a discussion paper titled “Consumer City,” Glaeser and co-authors Jed Kolko and Albert Saiz call this “the demand for density.” People now want to live in dense areas because dense areas offer what people want to consume – opera, sports teams, art museums, varied cuisine. In France, for example, he and his fellow researchers found a robust correlation between the number of restaurants and the growth of cities.
“The sovereignty of the consumer is inescapable,” he says.
The number of these “consumer immigrants” – those moving back to the city seeking a better quality of life – is relatively small compared with the hundreds of thousands of poorer economic migrants who traditionally head to the inner city.
But the “consumer immigrants” have a special significance because they are rich. They are the wealthy, educated, creative types that Bloomberg wants to engage with in his PlaNYC, his initiative to ensure that the extra million souls he predicts will arrive by 2030 do not produce an unlivable crush in Manhattan.
He is pushing for a congestion charge to cut traffic and pollution, plans an all-hybrid taxi fleet, wants to plant one million new trees, and would like to make sure that every New Yorker lives within a 10-minute walk of a park. These are all innovations that the upper-middle classes increasingly take for granted.
In his reinvention of New York as a greener city, Bloomberg may have drawn comfort from the cover story of New York magazine this week. It showed that, despite the city’s grime and noise, New Yorkers are among the healthiest in the country.
Further improvement will take time, but in the meantime August will soon be past, and Manhattan’s finest season, autumn, will be upon us. With the onset of glorious, cooler, blue skies above the city, it will be easier to overlook the dirt and crowds, and see the beauty.
“The city is like poetry,” E.B. White wrote of Manhattan. “It compresses all life, all races and breeds, into a small island and adds music and the accompaniment of internal engines.”
Article from the International Herald Tribune (
Author :: Graham Bowley
Filed under: creativity, Future of Work, Innovation, Innovation shops, unbusiness, Work Futures
According to Michael Porter the big cheese of marketing & business theory, competitive advantage is built on difference. Yet,companies are rushing toward sameness, fueled by “best practices” and incremental innovations. Why aren’t we looking at the “Most Innovative or Inventive Practice” as well? Why aren’t we looking at people doing it really differently? It’s much easier to do what everybody else has done because if it always looks like it should work and if it doesn’t, well it’s not your fault is it because it’s worked everywhere else so how could you have known…?
I think every strategic business review meeting should include a session at the end after the global best practice has been thoroughly reviewed and applied, a session w
here people celebrate those who hung their balls out in the wind to try something new. After all, innovation is hard and trying something completely new is even harder.
The people we’re most likely to learn from & be inspired by are the people who look at things differently. Who tried something new and it worked, or maybe it didn’t. Which is not to say there’s no value in BestPractice, of course there is value in something which has been tried and tested in other markets and worked. In some industry sectors and business areas, best practice makes the best sense. But when it comes to innovation, “Innovative Practice” is just as important.
Filed under: australia, creativity, Future of Work, Lifestyle trends, Macro trends, Oz stats, Trends stuff
The conventional wisdom says homeownership is a growth spur. This was especially the case in the fordist mass production economy, where long-term employment was the rule for many and home-buying prompted purchases of automobiles, appliances and consumer durables.
Now, maybe not so much. That is, according to new analysis by Joe Cortright which suggests that homeownership may actually dampen economic performance in this highly mobile creative age.
Initial commentary from here (Creative Class Group).
People tout homeownership as a marker of economic success. But high levels of home ownership seem to be strikingly correlated with deeply troubled metro areas. Whereas really vibrant, flourishing cities have lower levels – New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco are at the bottom in terms of home ownership.
There’s probably many things are at work here:
- New rental housing isn’t getting built in slow growth or declining metros.
- Prices are lower in declining metros, so more people can afford to buy.
- Slow growth cities have older average populations (Tampa and Pittsburgh are the two “oldest” cities in the US group sampled. Since older people are more likely to own their own homes, this probably accounts for a significant part of the difference in home ownership rates.)
- High growth cities are attracting new residents (and immigrants) who disproportionately rent their dwellings.
They noted that homeownership is what keeps stagnant or declining cities from losing people even faster: they are “sticky”, keeping people in declining cities longer than they should rationally stay given the opportunities elsewhere, because too much of their wealth is tied up in their house, with few potential buyers. People loathe to abandon functional capital stock like housing (although it is happening in places like Detroit). Non-homeowners are quicker to move to cities with more opportunity, leaving behind a population with a higher percentage of homeownership.
This was lifted from here (via CEOs for Cities).
Many of our parents’ generation worked toward the great Australian Dream and owning your own home in Australia is still thought to be the clearest and most quantifiable ticket to security & success :: there’s a certain amount of status attached to finally making the move to the mortgage side of the fence.
If you wanted more info on Australian stats – home ownership, affordability yad yada then check out the Australian Urban Housing Institute here.
Filed under: Asia, beta, Digital culture, Emergent media, Geek stuff, Innovation, Innovative gaming, Nice products, Second Life
For those of you Second Lifers who are waiting for the next big thing, the first 3D virtual platform from Chinese has just entered public beta testing.
HiPiHi works in a similar way to SL, users can create & customise avatars, own virtual land and share or build pre-fab objects in a similar way to the SL prim system.
If truth be told it looks very similar to SL but we’ll have to wait & see how far it takes the metaverse beyond what’s currently on offer.
The bad news is that whilst the the Beijing based company is looking to cooperate with “global leaders in the Internet and communication industry to establish a set of relevant hardware and software standards for the development of the 3D platform”, they still don’t yet support the mac platform.
Nevertheless this is a market where more than 20 million Chinese game regularly, spending almost US$500m. Although the government in Beijing was reported to be introducing controls to deter people from playing longer than three hours, the measures were designed to combat addiction to MMORPG (massive multiplayer online role playing games) such as World of Warcraft and Lineage II.
Given that metaverses are time intensive games and in fact, depend very much on the amount of time spent in-world (especially for those residents operating genuinely viable virtual businesses), it will be interesting to see how HiPiHi tackles the big men up top.
One to watch. Check it out :: HiPiHi
ENVIRONMENTALISTS have pleaded with authorities to help cut waste caused by Australia’s increasing thirst for bottled water.
Demand for the product is growing by 10per cent annually, adding to the 118,000 tonnes of plastic drink containers manufactured each year.
Latest research by Clean Up Australia shows that just 35per cent of all plastic bottles are recycled. The rest end up in landfill sites.
Figures compiled by the Australian Conservation Foundation (ACF) show the manufacture and transportation of bottled water is leaving a massive “carbon footprint”.
For every tonne of one-litre bottles of Evian water shipped to Australia each year, for example, at least 84kilograms of harmful emissions are created.
About 150 million litres of bottled water is consumed in Australia each year.
Clean Up Australia founder and activist Ian Kiernan said the bottled water industry was a “con”. He has called on governments to discourage people buying water in bottles.
He said a national deposit or refund scheme, similar to the one operating in South Australia, would encourage recycling.
Mr Kiernan said “world health quality water” is available from the tap for the equivalent of $1.20 a tonne, while standard bottled water costs $3000 a tonne.
Mr Kiernan said the bottled water industry is plundering aquifers.
Shadow minister for climate change, environment and heritage Peter Garrett joined the call for action, saying people needed to be responsible when choosing their water source and be aware of the consequences of the choice to drink bottled water.
Environmental campaigns running overseas encourage people to ditch the bottles and switch to tap water.
In New York, city officials have paid for advertising championing tap water, while in San Francisco officials are no longer able to use public money to buy water in plastic bottles if tap water is available.
Top restaurants in California and New York have agreed not to sell bottled water, serving customers tap water instead.
ACF research coordinator Elle Morrell said that despite recycling efforts, 65 per cent of plastic drink bottles still ended up in landfills. The recycling process itself can also have an impact on the environment.
“Even if bottled water is recycled, it uses a huge amount of water and energy in the process,” she said.
Cafes and restaurants should get on board and stop selling bottled water, offering customers a cooler full of tap water instead, Ms Morrell said. A note next to the cooler could reinforce the message that plastic should be shunned.
She said a government-run anti-waste campaign was needed. The ACF suggested a premium be put on the price of bottled water as a disincentive.
Delivering the huge variety of bottled water brands is also taking a serious toll on the environment, producing significant carbon emissions as it is imported from countries such as France, Italy and Fiji.
Source: The Sun-Herald
The great Aussie dream is dying. Owning a beautiful house with a Jamie Durie-styled garden is an unobtainable fantasy for many young Australians due to the nation’s current housing affordability crisis. With soaring rent and exorbitant housing prices—it’s practically impossible for young people to move out of home let alone even consider buying their first house.
The so called ‘housing crisis’ has been splashed across the media in recent months. There is no single solution to the problem, but federal, and state and territory governments need to work together to provide greater support to first home-buyers and low income earners who are being driven out of the housing market.
A lack of affordable housing is clearly making home ownership and even renting a nightmare for ordinary Australians. According to the 2006 Census, over 500,000 Australian households are facing ‘housing stress’, which means they spend more than 30 per cent of their income on rent. Similarly, ‘mortgage stress’ is affecting over 500,000 households, with home owners directing more than 30 per cent of their gross income into mortgage repayments.
Current strategies to resolve the escalating housing crisis do not address the need for ongoing financial support. The First Home Owner Grant and state government schemes that reduce stamp duties are great incentives to buy a home. Yet they remain only launching pads to home ownership, not ways of managing debt and avoiding mortgage stress. For instance, the $7000 First Home Owner Grant can only be a starting point when the median house price in Melbourne is $420,000.
The Howard Government’s solution to the housing crisis is to release more land on the outskirts of metropolitan areas in the hope that it will increase land affordability. While increasing the amount of available land may reduce housing demand, it’s also a one-way ticket to urban sprawl. This means metro regions rapidly grow, which can often result in a delay in establishing community infrastructure like public transport, schools and healthcare facilities.
In July this year, the federal Opposition pledged to create a $500 million fund to encourage local councils to cut infrastructure costs and red tape in the home building process. Local councils would receive grants if they proved they could reduce costs associated with developing new housing, such as installing sewerage, electricity and roads—which are traditionally shouldered by home buyers. Whilst the ALP recognises the burden of taxes, levies and stamp duties on home buyers and the long term benefits of investing in infrastructure in new communities, it remains uncertain whether their strategy can significantly lower housing prices.
One method of addressing the housing crisis is to examine land use in existing suburbs. Rather than simply bulldozing more trees on urban fringes to make way for more housing estates, land use should be in line with a long term housing plan. Usually implemented by state governments, such plans now require an open approach to new developments, recognising the need for a mixture of property types and dwellings, from apartments, to townhouses, to strata titled houses. The ideal of having a house on a quarter acre block is no longer feasible for most people, particularly for first home buyers.
Furthermore, critical ongoing financial support is urgently needed to cover a range of different circumstances—from supporting low income earners to pay their rent, to aiding first home-buyers to pay off their mortgages. Lobby group Australians for Affordable Housing (AFAH) has put forward a proposal for addressing housing affordability. They are calling for the First Home Owners Grant to be extended into a mortgage assistance scheme benefiting those who struggle to pay off their mortgages in the first few years of ownership. AFAH also proposes an increase in Commonwealth rental assistance to a maximum of $20 per week for low income earners who cannot afford their own homes or are unable to access public housing.
Even more pertinent is the need for public housing. In Western Australia, for example, there are 15,400 people on waiting lists for public housing. The WA Government announced a $417 million injection into a public housing ‘rescue package’. Yet the federal government has supported an initiative for private companies to develop public housing, potentially excluding state governments from providing public housing. Nevertheless without increased public housing, the rise of homelessness in Australia is a real possibility.
The key to finding a solution to the housing crisis is cooperation. Federal, state and territory governments need to work together to support young people, ordinary Australians and those living on the poverty line. We need more financial initiatives, more public housing, and opportunities to develop both older and newer suburban areas with greater planning and foresight. Most of all we need these initiatives to begin now or risk severe problems such as rising homelessness.
( via ACT NOW written by Natasha Chow)
Filed under: australia, Lifestyle trends, Macro trends, Oz stats, Trends stuff
August 13, 2007
AUSTRALIANS are sending green power sales surging despite a lack of Federal Government support for renewable energy.
Nearly 8 per cent of all Australian households pay more for their electricity to ensure it is environmentally friendly.
For the average Australian family, a 100 per cent commitment to green power could cost as much as an extra $400 a year. Those buying 10 per cent green power, the minium offered by energy retailers, add more than $50 a year to their electricity bills.
Enthusiasm for renewable energy has prevented nearly 4.2 million tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions entering the atmosphere every year, according to the GreenPower office. “That’s equivalent to taking 930,000 cars off the road and is five times the emission reduction achieved by the Federal Government’s phase-out of incandescent light bulbs,” said Australian Conservation Foundation campaigner Tony Mohr.
Householders who buy green power are paying for a certain amount of electricity to come from a renewable, clean source. Mr Mohr warned the Government and the Opposition not to squander the public’s efforts. “The Federal Government needs to catch up with ordinary Australians by committing to 25 per cent green power for Australia by 2020,” he said.
This story was lifted from The Age
Filed under: Digital culture, Future of Work, Futures, Innovation, Lifestyle trends, Trends stuff, unbusiness, Work Futures
By Greg Olsen
Anyone who works in the Silicon Valley knows the fable of the company that achieves spectacular success, then moves into new luxurious headquarters, and then immediately starts its decline. In this fable, the “new headquarters” event equates to “jumping the shark “. Certainly, there is no scientific basis for “demise by new headquarters,” but every time I drive by the still empty excite@home monument or the former SGI headquarters (the new Google headquarters, btw) with its contemplation fountain set amid lush manicured gardens, I wonder.
For many rapidly growing technology companies, “new opulent headquarters” seem to mark the point where a once innovative and agile company has become big, slow, and distracted. The relevant question for me is whether or not a company’s attitude toward operational infrastructure such as facilities, HR, and internal information systems is an indicator of its ability to resist decay into a bloated, slothful, has been.
A technology startup begins in a state of simplicity and focus – some ideas, a few people and little else to get in the way. As the business grows, however, sources of complexity and distraction seem to appear from every direction.
The source I found most surprising, (when I last helped start a software business back in ’96), was the operational overhead that came with setting up an office, which continued to grow as we got larger. Before we knew it we were dealing with real estate leases, leased-lines, routers, VPNs, servers, workstations, firewalls, DMZs, UPSs, telephone systems, voicemail systems, email systems, web servers & website management software, accounting software, sales & marketing software, software development software, groupware, IT support staff, attorneys, and many other things – none of which were directly related to our core business. The VP of Marketing “had to” spend numerous hours looking at color swatches to select the “right” furniture. While still a small company, an office move (within the same building) required weeks of planning, dedicated staff, and days to complete.
I remember longing wistfully for the days when the company’s infrastructure fit into my backpack.
As I again venture down the startup path, it is clear that much has changed – including new tools, technologies and approaches to support operational needs. Almost everything costs less than it did in ’96 (except possibly the attorneys), and there is an ever expanding set of service-based alternatives to building operational infrastructure. Most companies seem to be employing these new capabilities incrementally.
I’m interested in something more radical. By focusing almost exclusively on service-based infrastructure options, a business could operate as a sort of neo-Bedouin clan – with workers as a roaming nomadic tribe carrying laptops & cell phones and able to set up shop wherever there is an Internet connection, chairs, tables, and sources of caffeine. “Going Bedouin” is an interesting concept, but key questions naturally arise:
- “How do you do it?”
- “Why do it? What are the benefits?”
- “What are the challenges?”
Given peoples’ experience with telecommuting and distributed team projects from the open source community, a neo-Bedouin approach is not as hard to envision as it once may have been. The requirements for a neo-Bedouin business, however, go further and must include support for all business functions (such as sales, marketing, finance, engineering and customer support). A neo-Bedouin approach can be executed through a wide variety of specific choices. Here is a sample recipe:
For me, “because you can” is almost enough reason to “go Bedouin”, but there are much better reasons. Any reduction of distraction or complexity that is due to operational infrastructure is a good thing. The goal of “going Bedouin” is to create a low inertia business that takes less capital to get started and that can react with greater agility to changing conditions. Key areas of agility include:
- Team agility: Reducing the time/effort it takes to make new team members productive. Providing greater levels of flexibility in addressing team needs through short-term contracting or outsourcing.
- Information systems agility: Reducing the effort spent on systems selection, setup, and switching. Providing greater flexibility to change or extend information systems as business conditions change.
- Physical environment agility: Reducing the adverse impact of office moves, power outages, break-ins, fires, floods, earthquakes, hardware failures, stolen laptops, etc.
Reducing operational overhead through a neo-Bedouin approach can definitely produce a “less is more” result. There are, however, challenges and concerns that come with this type of approach.
One of the first concerns is security, particularly security surrounding the hosting of the company’s source control repository. The security of this service as well as any of the others used by the company is a valid concern, but it must be examined from a relative risk perspective. Internet security technologies combined with service provider features can produce a risk level that is comparable to risks present in in-house approaches. Care must be taken in choosing service providers as all do not offer the same levels of security. Because credential sharing across multiple service providers is not well supported today, team members must be cautious in terms of password management and must deal with the nuisance of multiple logins.
Another challenge with implementing a neo-Bedouin approach is in getting people to overcome behavioral inertia. Many people get very used to and comfortable with traditional approaches -to large support staffs, to phones on their desks, to control over all infrastructure details, to large central facilities, etc. Things often get done a certain way because “this is how we always did it” or “this is how everybody else does it”. Some people simply can’t make the transition to a more minimalist approach, and for those who can change, leadership is required.
Not every type of software business can easily “go Bedouin” and neo-Bedouinism need not be absolute. Companies that sell “enterprise application software”, for example, seem to require significant infrastructure solely for the purpose of suitably impressing customer representatives – e.g. giant campuses with requisite sculptures, water features, demo centers, grand entrances, executive assistants to arrange gourmet dinners and golf outings. The specifics of some businesses make outsourcing of infrastructure intensive functions difficult or impossible.
In any business, infrastructure needs will arise that are best served by “in-house” approaches. What makes a neo-Bedouin approach different than traditional approaches is the commitment to seeking service-based alternatives to building or acquiring infrastructure that must be managed, moved or otherwise dealt with. Companies that make such a commitment can focus more of their energy and their resources on building products, supporting customers, or other core business needs.
The primary reason software businesses don’t “go Bedouin” is because they think they don’t have to. Fatness is easy. Executives like to construct monuments. Managers like to build empires. Engineers and IT professionals like to buy and play with technology. People like to settle in and nest. As swifter, more nimble competitors enter the software technology marketplace in greater numbers; however, companies will pay an increased penalty for their fatness. Like many resource rich kingdoms that faced the Mongols, recognition of the threat may come too late.
This article was lifted in its entirety from Charter St
Sydney’s growth & progress post-Federation left Melbourne for dead. Since then Melbourne has been stuck in the position of ugly sister, great personality shame about the face. There’s no question that Melbourne is the city who tries harder to compensate for the lack of natural attractions & global landmarks. In fact it is Melbourne’s inability to rely on big business or holiday weather that has seen it put its heart & soul into creating an innovative urban culture unlike no other.
It is this drive to compensate which has culminated in Melbourne’s push to become the cosmopolitan & cultural capital of the country. Melbourne’s streetscapes & city laneways, innovative buildings and relentless events programs have ensured that Melbourne remains a lively bustling urban metropolis that will never play second fiddle to Sydney.
Melbourne will become one of the leading creative business cities of the world. Just as Silicon Valley was the poster city for the nerd revolution, so too will Melbourne become the pin up girl for the creative generation. Due to its progressive culture & ethnic diversity, Melbourne will become the hot market for new products & entrepreneurs across the world. Melbourne will be the creative centre of Australia; a city that appeals to imaginative & inventive minds across the globe, participation will be the cost of entry.
In Sydney people you’ve just met will tell you over dinner how much they just dropped on their new pad at Double-Pay. In Melbourne the richest dude in the bar is probably the one in the corner dressed in the faded cords & rocking out with a glass of red. You wouldn’t have noticed him and that’s the point. In Sydney it’s great because anyone can make it here. In Melbourne it’s all about the “old boys” connections. You need to be from the right family, have the right connections or make friends with the right people. No matter how much your house is worth.
Sydney can be financially exclusive. Melbourne can be culturally exclusive.
Sydney means big business but Melbourne means creativity.
If Sydneysiders want to know ‘where do you work and how much do you earn ?’ then Melbournians want to know ‘What footy team do you barrack for and what are you into?’. f Sydney is a beer in the sun where you can be seen then Melbourne is a glass of red in a basement bar where you can’t be found.
If Sydney is the one night stand then Melbourne is the girl you bring home to mum.
Sydney is up there and in your face, showing you her ways. Melbourne says, ‘You have to discover me.’
Bernard Salt has a nice quote “What Melbournians see as a strong & vital Melbourne-based culture, other Australians sometimes perceive as nothing less than self-absorbed arrogance. It all depends on whether you are viewing Melbourne rom the outside in, or the inside out.” it’s probably true, but that doesn’t mean we’re not right now does it…?
Filed under: Futures, Innovation, Lifestyle trends, Macro trends, steal or borrow info, Trends stuff
UNESCO (United Nationals Educational Science & Cultural Organisation) fosters exchange of ideas & knowledge between top creative cities around the world. It recognises that cities are increasingly playing a vital role in harnessing creativity for economic and social development.
- Cities harbor the entire range of cultural actors throughout the creative industry chain, from the creative act to production and distribution.
- As breeding grounds for creative clusters, cities have great potential to harness creativity, and connecting cities can mobilize this potential for global impact.
- Cities are small enough to affect local cultural industries but also large enough to serve as gateways to international markets.
Creative cities have managed to nurture a remarkably dynamic relationship between cultural actors and creativity, generating conditions where a city’s ‘creative buzz’ attracts more cultural actors, which in turn adds to a city’s creative buzz. This virtuous cycle of clustering and creativity that is shaping the foundation of creative cities is also perpetuating the evolution of the ‘new economy’.
The new economy is making it possible for creative clusters that are equipped with local content to interact on a global level, evoking a competitive environment that further generates creativity. Harnessing this creative energy of cities in a way that allows local cultural actors to benefit from global interaction embodies great potential for the development of local cultural industries.
Berlin is one of the top 3 creative cities according to UNESCO. The program in Berlin is called CREATE BERLIN and is an initiative by and for the Berlin creative community.
CREATE BERLIN unites creative minds and design producing talent from agencies, companies and institutions in Fashion Design, Product / Interior Design and New Media / Graphic Design as a network spanning all design disciplines. As ambassador of Berlin Design, CREATE BERLIN presents the creative variety of the Berlin design scene. With national and international commitment it promotes the economic potential of Berlin’s design industry; it strengthens Berlin’s reputation as a unique and aspiring design metropolis and as the UNESCO “City of Design”.
CREATE BERLIN lives through the commitment of the people of Berlin’s creative industry – their energies invested in the city have a trend-setting effect on Berlin and accelerate the heartbeat of the city.
If you remember back to Richard Flordia’s Book ‘The Creative Class’ you’ll see how a ‘creative city’ can not only be selected and evaluated, but also what kinds of activity and ‘buzz’ are self generating and self propogating to shift a city’s energy forward.
Although I live in Sydney there’s no doubt that if down under ever got on top, it would be the Mexicans south of the border who would take the cake. Melbourne is the more creative city.
If you’re interested to read up any further on UNESCO’s creative cities check it out here or Richard Florida’s book