Chapter

Creative Liberties

Jamie Peck

in Constructions of Neoliberal Reason

Published in print October 2010 | ISBN: 9780199580576
Published online January 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191595240 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199580576.003.0005
Creative Liberties

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This chapter presents a critique of the recently popularized concepts of the ‘creative class’ and ‘creative cities’, focusing on the work of urban-policy guru, Richard Florida. It explains the geographic reach and policy salience of these discourses not in terms of their intrinsic merits, which can be challenged on a number of grounds, but as a function of the profoundly neoliberalized urban landscapes across which they have been traveling. For all their flamboyant display of liberal cultural innovation, creativity strategies barely disrupt neoliberal urban-policy orthodoxies, based on place promotion, market-led development, gentrification, and normalized sociospatial inequality. But these strategies also extend and recodify entrenched tendencies in neoliberal urban politics, seductively repackaging them in the soft-focus terms of cultural policy. They elevate creativity to the status of a new urban imperative — defining new sites, validating new strategies, placing new subjects, and establishing new stakes in the realm of competitive interurban relations.

Keywords: creative class; creative cities; sociospatial inequality; interurban relations; liberal cultural innovation; gentrification; Richard Florida

Chapter.  15818 words. 

Subjects: Political Economy

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