Creative Industries and the Hype of the Creative Economy: The Evolution from Blue to White to No-Collar Workplace
Creativity as a notion has a central place in the context of the creative economy, responsible for creating competitive advantage and prosperity. Creativity and innovation, alongside culture and knowledge, play an important role in today’s economy and become key drivers for economic growth. Howkins (2002) states that “the creative economy will be the dominant economic form in the twenty-first century” (p.xiv) and Landry (2006) observes that “we live in a weightless economy, or an economy of ideas, where 80 per cent of wealth is created through intangibles” (p.199). This trend demonstrates a definite shift from a world that valued the abundance of natural resources and the availability of cheap labour to a world that appreciates the wealth-generating potential of intangible assets.
The contribution of the cultural sector to the prosperity of the creative economy has been manifested in increased employment, contribution to GDP, urban regeneration and improved quality of life, leading to its pervasiveness. The shift of focus from manufacturing to creative industries is in fact a shift from mass employment to an exclusive well educated sector of the workforce engaged predominantly in self-employment and small-sized businesses. Bilton (2007) makes the statement that “creativity and the creative industries are the success stories of the new century” (p.xiii), and represent some of the fastest growing sectors of the global economy. A clear distinction between the traditional and creative industries lies in the nature of creative employment, which is unpredictable, temporary, project-based and devoid of career progression and job security.
Establishing a link between creativity and urban design or how the creative economy shapes urban planning becomes an issue of paramount importance. The relationship between culture and urban development explores a cultural dimension alongside environmental concerns for sustainable urban regeneration, identifying emergent local clusters of cultural production as a key characteristic of urban transformation.
Keywords: Creative Economy, Creative Industries, Urban Regeneration
Lecturer, School of the Built Environment