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.