Potentials of Creative Urban Regeneration

»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).

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.

The concept of the »creative city« encompasses various dimensions, but the main idea behind it is that creativity is somehow related to a specific location and its milleu, a place. This has important implications both for creative economy and policies supporting the creative industries on the one hand, as well as for urban development and urban policies on the other hand.

The study »Potentials of Creative Urban Regeneration«, made by Institute for Spatial Policies within the »Creative Cities« project, contributes important insights into spatial distribution of creative industries in the Ljubljana urban region and assesses location factors that affect this distribution. The results should be a valuable contribution to both, policies aimed at stronger creative economy as well as urban development policies, especially with regard to urban regeneration. The results can be particularly useful with regard to supporting the development of creative quarters, being the main policy tool for both mentioned policies.

The biggest and most successful branches of creative industries are located in the city center of Ljubljana, which represents the primary location from where the secondary hotspots of creative industries expand in concentric form (from the center towards the periphery). The two most evident hotspots of creative activity are located in the city center: the first one is the area around the Tabor district and the second one is the axis from the Tobačna factory along the Rimska street.

Other findings include low functional heterogeneity of the creative industries in Ljubljana urban region, as the most successful branches are the ones that have a wide background and can respond to the broad needs of business and economics. Lack of economies of scale hinders the growth of specialized branches of creative industries.

Low spatial and functional diversification of creative industries is the result of »incremental« approach that does not follow elaborated development strategies of creative industries in the global context, but only responds to the current situation and is confined to the local and regional market. The main recommendation with regard to support for creative economy therefore addresses the need for targeted strategies aiming at more specialized branches of creative industries.

From the urban regeneration point of view, it is in fact not the city center that is most in need of urban regeneration, so the focus of urban policy should be on supporting creative clusters outside of city center. Secondary hotspots and hotspots of specific specialized branches, such as radio & television, software, arts & antiques market or video, film & photo, which are distributed in a relatively few locations outside of the city center, can thus present the greatest potential for creative clusters and thus for urban regeneration. This is of particular importance for the two large urban regeneration projects, Partnerstvo Šmartinska and Partnerstvo Celovška, initiated by the City of Ljubljana.

Timing: June 2011 – November 2011

Client: Regional Development Agency of the Ljubljana Urban Region


Full Study (PDF, 19,8 MB)

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