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The Creative Capital of Cities: Interactive Knowledge Creation and the Urbanization Economies of Innovation

ISBN: 978-1-4443-3621-4
260 pages
October 2011, Wiley-Blackwell
The Creative Capital of Cities: Interactive Knowledge Creation and the Urbanization Economies of Innovation (1444336215) cover image


This book challenges the new urban growth concepts of the creative class and creative industries from a critical urban theory perspective.

  • Critiques Richard Florida's popular books about cities and the creative class
  • Presents an alternative approach based on analyses of empirical research data concerning the German urban system and the case study regions, Hanover and Berlin
  • Underscores that the culture industry takes a leading role in conforming with neoliberal conceptions of labor markets
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Table of Contents


1. Creativity and innovation under the command of capital.

The capitalist imperative of creativity and innovation.

Generalizing models of urban economic development.

The role of innovation and inter-urban competition in Harvey’s theory of capitalist urbanization.


2. Creative cities as a new urban growth ideology.

The impact of creative occupations on regional economic success.


Critique of Florida’s conception of the creative class.

An assessment of regional economic success factors and the impact of creative workers on regional development.

The impact of creative occupational groups on regional economic development in Germany.

Relationship between ‘qualities of place’ and the regional concentration of scientifically and technologically creative workers.


3. Innovation and knowledge networks in a metropolitan region.

The impact of localization economies and networking on technological creativity.


Innovation and knowledge networks: Theoretical approaches.

The application of network analysis to urban regions’ knowledge networks.

Geographic scales and structural properties of knowledge networks in the metropolitan region of Hanover.

Assessment of network impacts on regional firms’ innovation output.


4. Creativity in the culture and media industries.

The impact of commercial imperatives on artistic creativity.


The institutional order of the cultural economy: Creativity in a capitalist context.

Global centres of the culture industry and the production of lifestyle images.


5. Local clustering of the cultural economy in the metropolis of Berlin.

The urbanization economies of artistically creative occupations.


The rise of the cultural economy in Berlin’s inner-city area.

Creative cities and the role of the culture industries in urban economic and spatial development: Implications for urban regeneration.


6. Synthesis: The creative capital of cities.




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Author Information

Stefan Krätke is Professor of Economic and Social Geography at the European University Viadrina in Frankfurt, Germany. He is the author of a wide variety of publications, in both German and English, that include The Metropolization of the European Urban System in the Era of Globalization (2007) and City of Talents? Berlin's Regional Economy, Socio-spatial Fabric and 'Worst Practice' Urban Governance (2004).
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"This is an outstanding addition to our understanding of the role of creativity and innovation in urban growth and competition. Especially nuanced regarding governance implications, the rise of creative industries is firmly located within geographies of uneven development, with Harvey taking precedence over Florida in fruitful mixture of insightful theoretical engagement and significant empirical analyses."
Peter Taylor, Northumbria University

"At last, a cogently argued and empirically well-founded analysis of the much-vaunted 'creative city'. Cutting through the hype, Stefan Krätke presents a compelling political economy of creative capital(ism), with important implications for both theory and policy."
Jamie Peck, University of British Columbia

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