Creative Cities - Unlocking the potential of the creative industries

Target Sector(s): 

Creative Cities is an European project within the Central Europe Programme that foresees cooperation between five Central European cities: Leipzig (DE), Genoa (IT), Gdansk (PL), Ljubljana (SI) and Pecs (HU). The project specifically addresses creative industries that are defined as “those industries which have their origin in individual creativity, skill and talent and which have a potential for wealth and job creation through the generation and exploitation of intellectual property.” (UK Department of Culture, Media and Sport 2001).

Within global competition cities need to win investors and create more and better jobs. The exploitation of creative industries, which have high, but often unrecognised potential, contributes to the fulfillment of the Lisbon objectives on local levels. The challenges for creative industries are high (low capital endowment, poor networking, low external visibility), although they do not have enough capacity to develop their potentials as they lack resources and know-how. Most European cities are not aware of the benefits which creative industries can offer and have not yet developed suitable policies or instruments. That goes hand in hand with a lack of transnational comparable data on the impact of creative industries for economic growth. At the same time a lobby for creative industry needs to be strengthened. CREATIVE CITIES fosters the exploitation of unused potentials (e.g. improvement of income situation to stabilise and increase employment, international marketing). Improving the creative industry sector's environment enhances competitiveness and employment opportunities as significant contributions of the project towards the achievement of the Lisbon agenda. “Creative Cities” project team – the 11 project partners from five different countries, consisting of actors from the public authorities and their local partners.
Objectives The main aim of the project is establishing a transnational network of creative industry clusters of major Central European cities. More specifically, Creative Cities aims to: • improve framework conditions and to initialize creative industry clusters • promote entrepreneurial skills and competitiveness of creative industries, creating positive climate attracting different investments and exchanging know how • improve their external visibility through transnational marketing and networking • exploit potentials in the development of decayed urban areas through the allocation of creative industries in those city districts. Actions The project is promoted by five local public authorities, who have the political competences to integrate project results into local plans and strategies, and their local partners, who have the capacities to reach out to creative industries. Together, they combine professional know-how and suitable structures to improve framework conditions for the sustainable promotion of creative industries. Besides the elaboration of recommendations for other cities and contributions to political policy debates, main activities of CREATIVE CITIES are the elaboration and testing of transnational cluster marketing tools, the promotion of creative clusters’ competitiveness and the creation of qualified cluster contact points. Working together in a transnational cooperation project, the participating cities (Gdansk, Pecs, Ljubljana, Genova, Berlin, Leipzig)will have the opportunity to elaborate new solutions jointly based on knowledge and experiences available in the different participating countries through the different activities.
Output The result of the project will be a set of guidelines and recommendations for other cities interested in replicating the approaches taken by the project and promoting their creative industry potentials. Whereas the elaboration and testing of transnational cluster marketing tools act as planning instruments as basis for investments to be financed through other sources, further results include a Joint Action Plan for the promotion of creative industries, a contribution to the Green Paper on Cultural and Creative Industries, institutionalised clusters and durable transnational networks, qualified cluster contact points, tested and endorsed cluster marketing programs, a transnational study on urban location factors of creative industry enterprises and recommendations for other cities on “creative” district development. Before starting to elaborate and implement approaches in the promotion of creative industries, it was necessary for the project partners to gain better knowledge about the sector’s status quo. To that aim, the Creative Cities partners developed a joint methodology to carry out a SWOT analysis for each of the five partner cities’ creative industry sector. The completion of the research represents the achievement of the project’s first milestone.