Beyond the Creative City: Cultural (Policy) Pathways towards Sustainable Urban Development

by Nancy Duxbury (Portugal/Thematic Session) 

Under a ‘creative city’ banner, culture has played a driving role in urban redevelopment, economic and branding strategies, and social inclusion initiatives in many cities. But an unevenness of impacts has become evident in the ‘socially regressive’ form of creative city, and there have been calls for more multi-dimensional strategies, more nuanced approaches that are sensitive to local cultures and difference, and greater attention to redistributive outcomes. There is also growing concern to go beyond ‘creative city’ intercity competition and invent strategies to involve artistic-cultural actors in fostering more sustainable cities. The session investigates local level initiatives that provide insights into emerging lines of local cultural policy interlinked with city development trajectories that lie beyond the heavily critiqued and unsustainable ‘creative city’ intercity competition that prevails among cities globally today. It also contributes to the underdeveloped and emerging interdisciplinary research field on culture and sustainable development. The question of co-constructing appropriate cultural policy for more sustainable living and local development embeds culture within issues of promoting participation, cooperation, and local democracy. The Thematic Session was developed in the framework of COST Action IS1007 Investigating Cultural Sustainability and the forthcoming book, Culture and Sustainability in European Cities: Imagining Europolis (eds. S. Hristova, M. Dragićević Šešić, N. Duxbury), Routledge.

Beside Nancy Duxbury this thematic session will be presented and discussed with Jenny Johannisson, David Stevenson, Anita Kangas, Sakarias Sokka, Elisabeth Auclair.