Designing Creative Clusters 3 November, 2009
Clusters of diverse creative businesses are increasingly important for creative industries and urban policy makers across the globe. Traditionally seen as ‘organic’, because of the pressures on urban real estate and the increased centrality of these industries to the cultural economy of cities, they are now increasingly being set up by city governments and the private sector. To plan and design such clusters in way that responds to the needs of these businesses, and the dynamics of the urban cultural economy, we need a much better understanding of how they work. The success of creative clusters depends as much on their ‘soft infrastructure’ (networking, knowledge, human capital, sense of identity etc.) as on their ‘hard infrastructure’. A crucial addition to this soft infrastructure are new forms of digital networking, advanced workspace design, urban screens and other kinds of digital place- making – all of which build on the fluid, face-to-face interaction of physical space.