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

ISBN: 978-1-4443-4225-3
264 pages
May 2012, Wiley-Blackwell
The Creative Capital of Cities: Interactive Knowledge Creation and the Urbanization Economies of Innovation (1444342258) 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

List of Illustrations vii

Series Editors’ Preface x

Introduction 1

1 Creativity and Innovation under the Command of Capital 12

The Capitalist Imperative of Creativity and Innovation 12

Generalizing Models of Urban Economic Development 18

The Role of Innovation and Interurban Competition in Harvey’s Theory of Capitalist Urbanization 24

Conclusion 34

2 Creative Cities as a New Urban Growth Ideology: The Impact of Creative Occupations on Regional Economic Success 37

Introduction 37

Critique of Florida’s Conception of the Creative Class 39

An Assessment of Regional Economic Success Factors and the Impact of Creative Workers on Regional Development 47

The Impact of Creative Occupational Groups on Regional Economic Development in Germany 52

Relationship between “Qualities of Place” and the Regional Concentration of Scientifically and Technologically Creative Workers 77

Conclusion 88

3 Innovation and Knowledge Networks in a Metropolitan Region: The Impact of Localization Economies and Networking on Technological Creativity 92

Introduction 92

Innovation and Knowledge Networks: Theoretical Approaches 97

The Application of Network Analysis to Urban Regions’ Knowledge Networks 104

Geographic Scales and Structural Properties of Knowledge Networks in the Metropolitan Region of Hanover 109

Assessment of Network Impacts on Regional Firms’ Innovation Output 121

Conclusion 125

4 Creativity in the Culture and Media Industries: The Impact of Commercial Imperatives on Artistic Creativity 128

Introduction 128

The Institutional Order of the Cultural Economy: Creativity in a Capitalist Context 131

Global Centers of the Culture Industry and the Production of Lifestyle Images 146

Conclusion 155

5 Local Clustering of the Cultural Economy in the Metropolis of Berlin: The Urbanization Economies of Artistically Creative Occupations 158

Introduction 158

The Rise of the Cultural Economy in Berlin’s Inner-City Area 163

Creative Cities and the Role of the Culture Industries in Urban Economic and Spatial Development: Implications for Urban Regeneration 183

Conclusion 191

6 Synthesis: The Creative Capital of Cities 194

Appendix: Grouping of Occupations and Subsectors 208

References 219

Index 234

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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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"On the whole, The Creative Capital of Cities makes a valuable contribution to the urban economic literature. It provides a critical and quite comprehensive overview of a number of issues that have so far been left too much aside in the current debate."  (J Hous and the Built Environ, 8 September 2012)


"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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