The paradigm of the creative class in regional and urban development revisited. An overview

Julianna Faludi


Since the era of industrial capitalism when location started playing an important role in attracting industry and trade and boosting the economy, the role of knowledge and a high level of skills has grown in post-industrial regional economic theory. What makes the heated debate around creativity and the contribution of Richard Florida’s work particularly valuable is that it fosters an interdisciplinary discussion about the role of creativity, culture, talent, and diversity in urban and regional development. Despite the vividness and edginess of these debates at times, it seems that the related criticisms, based on a body of evidence, did not originally penetrate policymaker discourse, and only one-and-a-half decades later were embraced when problems stemming from socioeconomic crises and the flaws of creative policymaking reared their head more explicitly. Florida’s revelations, which were elevated into the popular arena of city-level policies and governance, did not contain much that was new. This paper tracks how the concept of the “creative class” has been tested, argued about, rejected and applied since then on a wide set of practices and experiences in the urban and regional framework.


creative class, urban development, regional development, human capital

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ISSN: 2062-087X

DOI: 10.14267/issn.2062-087X