Biography

Charles Landry is an international authority on the use of imagination and creativity in urban change. He invented the concept of the Creative City in the late 1980’s. Its focus is how cities can create the enabling conditions for people and organizations to think, plan and act with imagination to solve problems and develop opportunities. The notion has become a global movement and changed the way cities thought about their capabilities and resources.

Charles helps cities identify and make the most of their potential by triggering their inventiveness and thinking. His aim is to help cities become more resilient, self-sustaining and to punch above their weight.

Acting as a critical friend he works closely with decision makers and local leaders in the short and longer term.. He stimulates, facilitates and inspires so cities can transform for the better. He helps find apt and original solutions to seemingly intractable dilemmas, such as marrying innovation and tradition, balancing wealth creation and social cohesiveness, or local distinctiveness and a global orientation. His overall aim is to help cities get onto the global radar screen.

Charles facilitates complex urban change and visioning processes and undertakes tailored research often creating his own projects. These include the ‘Creative City Index’ in collaboration with Bilbao. ‘and developed with colleague Jonathan Hyams. It is a strategic tool that measures, evaluates and assesses the innovative eco-system of a city and its capacity to adapt to radical global shifts and adjustments. So far 23 cities have taken part from Helsinki to Adelaide, Taipei, Mannheim and Plymouth.

His latest major project ‘The Civic City: Urbanity & Citizenship in a Nomadic World’ brings together how work over the last decade including the concept of ‘civic urbanity’, the ‘creative bureaucracy’ and ‘the management of fragility’. Is it due to be published in early 2017.

Charles was born in 1948 and studied in Britain, Germany and Italy. In 1978 he founded Comedia, a highly respected globally oriented consultancy working in creativity, culture and urban change. He has completed several hundred assignments for a variety of public and private clients and given key note addresses and workshops in 58 countries across the continents including: Britain, Australia, Germany, Finland, Spain, Italy, Portugal, Brazil, the Netherlands, China, Japan, Korea, Cambodia, India, the UAE, Qatar, Albania, Croatia, Hong Kong, New Zealand, Poland, Russia, South Africa, Sweden, Taiwan, Ukraine, South Africa, Ecuador, Canada, the USA and Yemen.

His many books include most recently a series of short, illustrated books, including: The Digitized City; Cities of Ambition; The Fragile City & the Risk Nexus with Tom Burke; The Sensory Landscape of Cities; The Origins and Futures of the Creative City and Culture & Commerce. He is best known for The Creative City: A toolkit for Urban Innovators (2000); The Art of City Making (2006); and The Intercultural City: Planning for Diversity Advantage with Phil Wood.