The term ‘creative’ as city-label has reached more and more European and North American cities by now.

It  was  in  1998  when  the  UK-government  published  a  study  concerning  the  characteristics of what was called the creative industries, the Creative Industries Mapping Document. Since  then,  the  term has entered  the public and academic sphere, describing  a  field of work  that  is  concerned with  arts  and  culture  in  a broad sense, while at the same time having an undeniable economic dimension (cf. Hartley, 2004; Howkins, 2004; Leadbeater & Oakley, 1999).

In that respect, the  creative  industries imply what  is  known  as  cultural  industries,  adding  a strong(er)  economic  orientation.  In  some  cases  the  terms  are  used interchangeably  –  that  depends  on  the  relative  theoretical  point  of  view  (cf. Hesmondhalgh, 2002).

Two  years  after  the  UK-report,  Charles  Landry  published  his  book  on  the Creative City (Landry, 2000) after having worked on that topic for some time. In this book he discussed the question why some cities were more successful than others in coping with changes and in developing further – concluding that using the  potential  of  a  city  in  a  creative way  is  the  reason.

A Creative City in this respect is a city which is planned in a new, innovative way – and Landry claims to be able to give instructions for what he calls “urban innovators” (as the book’s subtitle indicates). The  book can  be  regarded  as  the  starting  point  for  a  broad discussion around  the so-called Creative City.

When Richard Florida published his  book on  the  interdependence  of  cities  and  the Creative Class  in  2005,  the term finally entered both the public and the academic sphere.

More and more cities started to call themselves creative, but it served also as an attribute coming from the outside.

Sociologists, registrating  this phenomenon, started  to  work  on  it;  this  resulted  in  a  growing  number  of  publications (cf. Carta, 2007; Heßler, 2007; Heßler & Zimmermann, 2008; Sako Musterd, 2005).

All these publications capture aspects of the phenomenon, but what they hardly do  is  assessing  the  following  questions: What  is meant  by  ‘creativity’ when  it comes  to  a  city  and  its  planning  processes,  and what  implications  do  these planning processes have on the city itself?

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