CfP | Opening the Black Box of ›Creative‹ Policies

Session at the Annual Meeting of the Association of American Geographers (AAG) in New York (February 24-28, 2012)

Orga­ni­zers: Bas van Heur, Iris Dzudzek
Chair: Peter Lindner

[Spon­so­red by the Eco­no­mic Geo­gra­phy Spe­cialty Group, Urban Geo­gra­phy Spe­cialty Group, Cul­tu­ral Geo­gra­phy Spe­cialty Group]

For cities and regi­ons the crea­tive eco­no­mies dis­cus­sion poses a chal­lenge: it has long ago been swept away from  the con­fined play­grounds of aca­de­mia, appro­pria­ted by urban poli­tics and recast as a prompt to plan­ning and deve­lop­ment depart­ments to »do some­thing« wit­hout spe­ci­fy­ing what that might ent­ail. This has trig­ge­red a wave of crea­tive indus­tries reports that typi­cally iden­tify a high poten­tial for local eco­no­mic deve­lop­ment and rei­te­rate the demand that sup­porting mea­su­res are in need, some­ti­mes merely con­clu­ding with this state­ment and some­ti­mes naming more con­crete future objec­tives and tar­gets. But what usually remains unad­dres­sed is the ques­tion of how these recom­men­da­ti­ons could be put into prac­tice, what the appro­priate tools should look like, and how they could be applied.

This ses­sion aims to open the black box of crea­tive poli­cies by asking the ques­ti­ons: how, by whom and for whom crea­tive poli­cies and tools are dis­cus­sed, desi­gned, assem­bled and applied; which forms they take; what effects they pro­duce; and how they are con­tes­ted in the urban arena. Thus it intends to go beyond the strand of cri­ti­que which pri­ma­rily sees a uni­form neo­li­be­ral deve­lop­ment script at work to allow for a bet­ter under­stan­ding of the loca­li­zed con­di­ti­ons and con­te­sta­ti­ons which shape and in/transform the imple­men­ta­tion of crea­tive poli­cies. We are par­ti­cu­larly inte­res­ted in dis­cus­sing these topics in the con­text of broa­der deba­tes on the shif­ting eco­no­mic, cul­tu­ral, social, wel­fare and plan­ning logics of urban poli­tics, since these shifts pre­pa­red the ground for the imple­men­ta­tion of crea­tive policies.

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