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What if -


What if

What if? … there were no cultural institutions and we reinvented them again?

A meeting of cultural leaders were from a wide range of fields was held in Berlin in June 2017. The aim was to explore how culture and cultural institutions are and could develop so they are tune with the emerging world of antagonistic politics, social media and immersive experience, they included: The directors of the Berlin Ensemble, The Royal Academy, the Berlin Museums, the Library service, David Chipperfield, who redesigned the Neue Galerie, the inventor of the Love Parade and experts in creating experience as well as thought leaders. The aim is to instigate a series of experiments in Berlin where new thinking is trialled and put into practice.

Cultural planning or planning culturally -

Cultural planning or planning culturally

A series of concepts emerged in the late 1980s in city making always including the word ‘culture’. Cultural resources, cultural mapping, cultural planning, cultural literacy. It felt exciting as a participant. It was as if we were creating a new conceptual landscape. It had some impact, yet as I reflect back today, in 2019, I believe we did not achieve enough. The thinking we proposed – thinking culturally or a culturally driven approach – has not embedded itself sufficiently into how city development is conducted.

The invisible hand of city-making -

The invisible hand of city-making

The cultural dimension is the invisible hand of city-making, the core through which ultimately all of our decision-making flows. If a city’s culture is open-minded, potential grows. If it’s closedminded, it shrinks or nothing happens. But culture is mostly not a central plank of the operating system for the classic company or city. A central feature for an urban culture in a globalizing world is the balance between their
distinctiveness and the extent to which cities are merely a showcase for global brands.

Every city needs creative hubs: EMMA Pforzheim’s Creative Centre -


Every city needs creative hubs: EMMA Pforzheim’s Creative Centre

Pforzheim is a city of 120,000 in the federal state of Baden-Württemberg, the industrial hub in the southwest of Germany. Known for its jewellery and watch-making industry it gained the nickname “Goldstadt” (“Gold City”). But bombing in the war meant the historic part of the city was destroyed and over time with foreign competition its role as Germany’s ‘Gold City’ declined. Now it is in search of a new role.

The Digitized City -


The Digitized City

The Digitized City, launched in the Summer of 2016 in London and Helsinki has been  translated into German, Spanish and Portuguese. It outlines the climactic changes that are sweeping through our world that will be as powerful as those of the industrial revolution 200 years ago. The tectonic shift unfolding enabled by digital devices with their disruptive potential are changing cities, society and social life, connectivity, the economy and cultural life.

Maximizing the Potential of the Creative Cities Network: Reflections & Advice -


Maximizing the Potential of the Creative Cities Network: Reflections & Advice

The collaborative project between UNESCO, Charles Landry and his team reviewed UNESCO’s Creative Cities Network in summer and autumn 2016. This involved 133 interviews, including 103 of the 116 network member cities and 19 external people of significance. It’s aim is to be a helpful discussion document. Readers who immediately want to go to its essence can look at pages 14-17 where the inevitable faultlines of a global organization dealing with local urban creativity and the subsequent recommendations are explored.

Civic Urbanity: Looking at the city afresh -


Civic Urbanity: Looking at the city afresh

Ten themes shape the dilemmas, challenges and opportunities for the 21st century city. Each has relevance to how we live and shape our places. They provide an urban narrative I call civic urbanity that seeks to contain the explosive mix of centrifugal and centripetal forces we increasingly find in cities. They help reshape how we can rethink urbanity.

The City 1.0, 2.0 & The City 3.0 -

The City 1.0, 2.0 & The City 3.0

People complain how complex urban transformation is and how it might be possible to describe this in understandable terms. In giving talks I have discovered a very simple and useful way to characterize the different phases of urban development in the post-war period. Every shift in the means of economic wealth creation creates a new social order, a new type of city, new ways of learning and things to learn and new settings in which learning takes places. It requires different cultural capabilities.

Fragile or vigorous: Two narratives of the contemporary city -


Fragile or vigorous: Two narratives of the contemporary city

Cities are compelling, but they also have a darker shadow. Cities are the most complex artefact created by human beings and their most significant investment. They make civilisations manifest. They drive cultures, they embody their values, they push development. They are accelerators of opportunity, hubs of potential, they force feed transactions and
connections. Expertise and talent cluster in them as do trade, commerce and industries. This generates vitality, energy and the possibilities from which prospects and cultural richness grows.

The City We Need: The Mannheim Manifesto -


The City We Need: The Mannheim Manifesto

Too often the cities we have disappoint and there is an urgency to make dramatic changes. Too often they are ugly, too often there are sharp divisions between the rich and the poor, too often corrupting influences hold sway, too often there is an insufficient balance between public and private interests.

Qualities of ambition -


Qualities of ambition

The Cities of Ambition project explores how cities that are not major global hubs and with fewer resources ‘punch above their weight’ and make the most of their potential. Cities that fall back are consumed by micro politics and parochial thinking and this disturbs their wider focus, they look inward rather than outward. Things never seem bad enough to trigger action. For cities we regard as global models, the relative feeling of comfort is not enough. They say ‘It is not OK to be OK’.

The changing face of urban planning -


The changing face of urban planning

The world of cities is changing and with it how we plan for them. Every shift in the means of wealth creation creates a new social order, a new type of city, new ways of learning and things to learn and new settings in which learning takes places. It requires different cultural capabilities. To plan an industrial city is different from planning a city where knowledge intensity is key or a city where individuals or organizations are encouraged to be imaginative or feel commitment to their place.

Creativity, Culture & the City: A question of interconnection -


Creativity, Culture & the City: A question of interconnection

There is a need to switch the question: Not what is the value of imagination creativity, culture, heritage, the arts or design for city development. Instead, what is the cost of not thinking of imagination, creativity, culture, design, art and heritage? These are assets. Name a city that is globally important, but weak in these spheres. They are needed to increase wealth creation prospects, to harness potential, to keep their best talents and attract interesting new people

Talented Taipei and the Creative Imperative -


Talented Taipei and the Creative Imperative

Taipei’s greatest assets are the skills, expertise and talents of its people and how energized, motivated and confident they are about the city’s future. This determines its success or failure.

Taipei has great potential but faces a number of challenges and the most important is that many of its talented people are leaving. This short book describes what the city can do to make its physical and cultural environment more attractive.

Helsinki as an open and intercultural city -


Helsinki as an open and intercultural city

Helsinki is attempting to be an open city and openness is one of its main strategies. Easy to say and difficult to do.

First institutions need to be open and collaborative. Second a city needs to bring talent and skills from all over the world to enable it to compete economically and technologically. Finally a city’s spatial and physical structure need to encourage openness as does its overall culture.

Charles Landry & Phil Wood

Creativity, Culture & the City -


Creativity, Culture & the City

A review of the last 25 years assesses how cities have been harnessing creativity and culture. It suggest that the spin-off power has not yet been properly considered.
It reviews Bilbao, Liverpool, the Ruhr, Lille, Bologna and Cracow. It focuses on switching the question: Not what is the value of imagination creativity, culture, heritage, the arts or design for city development. Instead, what is the cost of not thinking of imagination, creativity, culture, design, art and heritage? Name a city that is globally important, but weak in these spheres.

The Creative City -


The Creative City

The original 1995 short Creative City by Charles Landry and Franco Bianchini. This publication first put the creative city concept onto the wider public agenda with lots of examples from around the world.

This short book notes that historically, creativity has always been the lifeblood of the city. Cities have always needed creativity to work as markets, trading and production centres, with their critical mass of entrepreneurs, artists, intellectuals, students, administrators and power-brokers. They have mostly been the places where races and cultures mix and where interaction creates new ideas and projects. It discusses the tough period of transition for cities. Nothing much has changed.

Museums at their best -


Museums at their best

Navigators of what really matters : Museums at their best, An introduction to the brochure re-launching the Newcastle Museum in Australia.
Museums are special. It took me a long time to encapsulate my view of their overall essence. At their best they are: Places of anchorage, places of connection, places of possibility, places of learning, places of inspiration. Rarely do they all come together and when do they it is exceptional.

Capturing the value of major rail investment: -


Capturing the value of major rail investment:

An analysis of the effect on London and the regions. Who will benefit most?

The balance of probabilities is that the London global region will benefit disproportionately from any major investment in high speed rail, unless there is a bigger vision and investment for optimising the benefit of high speed rail for cities on its routes and even those that are not. The London maelstrom effect is dramatic. The London global region is a major attractor for skills, expertise and talent at every level from Britain, Europe and the world.

WHO Healthy and creative cities -


WHO Healthy and creative cities

‘Healthy & Creative Cities’ describes why the two movements concerned with ‘health and ‘creativity’ are deeply connected as they share common concerns. What cities look and feel like and how they are put together determines how healthy and creative we are and can be.

Both movements, which have developed over the last two decades, challenge the urban planning orthodoxy. They put the human being at the centre and are concerned about the whole person: Their physical, mental and psychological condition. It is only then that people can function at their full potential.

The Creative Bureaucracy – Original Think Piece -


The Creative Bureaucracy – Original Think Piece

Is there a new organizational ethos which should shape the characteristics and operating dynamics of the early 21st century public bureaucracy? Is this radically different from the efficiency and effectiveness paradigm associated with the late 20th century? Does being resourceful, strategically agile, responsive and creative lie at its core?

Emscher Park – A model of culture led regeneration -


Emscher Park – A model of culture led regeneration

The IBA-Emscher Park project in the middle of the Ruhr area – Germany’s most industrialized zone is one of the most comprehensively thought through and innovative urban regenreation projects. Emscher Park in Germany is the name given to the 70 km long area comprising 800 sq. km straddling the Emscher river in which 2 million inhabitants live in 17 cities. It lies at the heart of the Ruhr area – the Ruhrgebiet – a dense urban agglomeration of 5.3 million people and one of Europe’s most heavily urbanized and industrialized areas. It is within the Land North Rhine Westphalia with 17.6 million people and is located around the valleys of the Lippe, Ruhr and Emscher rivers and their confluences with the river Rhine. It includes the principal cities of Essen, Dortmund, Bochum, Gelsenkirchen and Duisburg. It has been a crucible of intense economic and social development in both the past and current industrial revolutions.

Lineages of the Creative City -


Lineages of the Creative City

Lineages traces the development and influences on the creative city notion – a useful background

What makes museums special -


What makes museums special

The 1st Kenneth Hudson Lecture on the occasion of the European Museums of the Year Award

Superficially the world of museums seems buoyant; their growth continues worldwide, and they are usually built by an architectural star. The October 2001 issue of ARTnews in its global survey alone listed £2.8billion worth of new museums, refurbishments and extensions. And that figure even omitted a large number of UK novelties. Why is there this curious burst of new museums? In urban regeneration the use of culture is now a central part of the toolkit whether as in the building of cultural centres or in the form of activity programmes. Yet this rush of activity masks a deep sense of disquiet on the cultural front. What does this growth say about the situation of culture? What values are being asserted? Is it all a matter of image transformation and tourist attraction? Or are the new cathedrals of the post-industrial age? What is the source of this disquiet?

Can Artists Make Great Places -


Can Artists Make Great Places

Do professionals concerned with city making change their mind about what they do when they involve artists. The answer is yes. Artists on the other hand are unfortunately less flexible in trying to learn from the other professionals.

Intercultural city article -


Intercultural city article

We contrast the ‘intercultural’ with the ‘multicultural city’ in which at its best we acknowledge and ideally celebrate our differing cultures that in essence remain separate. In the intercultural city we move one step beyond and rather than focusing on what is different we concentrate on what we can do together as diverse cultures in shared space. Our contention is that the latter leads to greater well being and prosperity. On the ground this is already happening far more than the media would suggest.

Dossier (Italy) -

Dossier (Italy)

The ‘smart city’ idea is becoming popular as technology companies seek to harness the power of smart grids and sensors and real time monitoring. This is part of the solution to our urban problems especially those concerned with climate change. There is an intense debate as to what is more important behaviour change or technology and how both can work together.

Culture at the Crossroads -


Culture at the Crossroads

This highly acclaimed short book explores the disquiet on the cultural front brought about by clashes between commerce and culture and how to think through the dilemmas.

Imagination and regeneration -


Imagination and regeneration

Cultural Policy and the Future of Cities.
Imagination and regeneration’ reviews how the debate on culture and cities has developed world-wide over the last two decades. Written for the Council of Europe to help their cultural programme the first part takes a broad historical sweep and the second is more like a toolkit providing a typology of how the arts might help in regenerating cities as well as a template for developing a cultural strategy.

Creative Bureaucracy Think Piece -


Creative Bureaucracy Think Piece

A short think piece about the concept of Creative Bureaucracy.

Perth – Town or City -


Perth – Town or City

The result of the ‘Creative Capital Thinker in Residence’ programme. A rather provocative document, which may be useful for those wishing to assess how a city’s psychology can be shifted in order to maximize its opportunities.

The Intercultural City -


The Intercultural City

The Intercultural City: Making the most of diversity By Phil Wood, Charles Landry & Jude Bloomfield 2006

The first publication of the long term intercultural city project. The fundamental assertion of the work is that increased interaction between ethnic cultures will produce social and economic innovations which will drive the prosperity and quality of life of our cities. The purpose is to give cities the encouragement and some of the tools to achieve this. It aims to get beyond the ‘diversity profession’ to politicians, professionals and activists across the breadth of urban issues. For too long, discussions about cultural diversity have been the preserve of a few and locked into a formulaic pattern.

Energy Cities -


Energy Cities

Energy cities power our world today. Without the resources that flow from these hubs our machines and computers would not work, planes could not fly, cars would be stationary and our houses too cold or too hot. To date, energy cities have played a crucial role in the development of our global economy and lifestyles. More recently we have found ourselves in an intense period of transition and change on many fronts.

Culture at the heart of transformation -


Culture at the heart of transformation

Assesses the transformative effects and lessons learnt from 12 long term co-operation projects in South Eastern Europe – Serbia, Bosnia, Macedonia, Romania, Ukraine, Bulgaria, Albania – which used great diversity of culturally driven approaches and projects to development. Provides an analytical framework to think through how to evaluate the broader role of cultural projects.

Risk consciousness and the creation of liveable cities -


Risk consciousness and the creation of liveable cities

The evaluation of everything from a perspective of risk is a defining characteristic of contemporary society. Risk is the managerial paradigm and default mechanism that has embedded itself into how companies, community organizations and the public sector operate. Risk is a prism through which any activity is judged. Risk has its experts, consultants, interest groups, specialist literature, an associational structure and lobbying bodies. A risk industry has formalized itself. It is similar to how acute awareness of marketing emerged as a core idea to operate business over 30 years ago.