And there are many more

creative places both today and from yesterday. Let us remind ourselves of one from the past. Ragusa, now Dubrovnik, in Croatia was a classic example of a creative, knowledge-based city.52 Perhaps in its historical context it was a creative city for the world. For instance Ragusa's slogan was 'oblivi privatorum, publica curate' (forget the private issues and tend to the public ones). The government of the Ragusa Republic was liberal and early showed its concern for justice and humanitarian principles. With no resources apart from a fleet it had to live on its wits, be a broker, a diplomat and intermediary. It traded knowledge and had a sophisticated network of spies; it based its ethos on dialogue rather than conflict. 'Always sit down with your worst enemy' they still say in Dubrovnik or 'keep your friends close and your enemies even closer'. It had no army of its own. As early as 1272 the Republic had its own statute and codified Roman practice with local customs. The statute included town planning guidelines. It was very inventive regarding laws and institutions: a medical service was introduced in 1301; the first pharmacy (still working) was opened in 1317; a refuge for old people was opened in 1347; the first quarantine hospital (Lazarete) was opened in 1377; slave trading was abolished in 1418; an orphanage was opened in 1432; the water supply system (20km of it) was constructed in 1436.

From its establishment in the first half of the seventh century Ragusa has been under the protection of the Byzantine Empire, Venice, the Hungarian-Croatian Kingdom and the Ottoman Empire. But it always managed to negotiate its relative independence and made itself useful to others with far greater power, who in turn protected Ragusa from invasion. As a free state it reached its peak in the 15 th and 16th centuries. But a crisis of shipping and a catastrophic earthquake in 1667 killed over 5000 citizens and levelled most public buildings. It ruined the well-being of the Republic and, while it fought back, it never reached the same heights and the final straw was when Napoleon conquered the city in 1806.

Although all effective power was concentrated in the hands of the nobility, Ragusa was governed in a radical way. The head of the state was the Duke or Rector, elected for a term of office for one month and eligible for re-election after two years. Every noble took their seat in the Grand Council. The Senate was a consultative body and consisted of 45 invited members (over 40 years of age). The rectors lived and worked in the Rector's Palace but their families remained living in their own homes.

The pride in Dubrovnik, an urban gem, is pervasive and citizens today speak of it as if it were a person etched into their inner being and not as a detached thing. When asked where they come from, in Zagreb, say, they simply say from 'the city'.

And what has become of this jewel today that until recently had a fine balance of trade and visitors? It is overwhelmed by tourists with little chance of maintaining its identity; at times over 2000-3000 tourists are flushed from cruise liners into this very small city. They take a two-hour walk, leave practically nothing behind and move on. As Vido Bodanovic, the mayor of Dubrovnik from 1998 to 2001 noted: 'Tourism is essentially a form of prostitution.' Some visitors attracted by its beauty buy houses, which they rarely go to, and as a consequence the permanent population in the city has declined from 10,000 to 5000 over the last decade, and there are more souvenirs than you want to see.

Amsterdam is another city of creative power that has had to reinvent its primary purposes again and again in acts of imagination. Interestingly, Amsterdam City Hall is billing the city as a creative city par excellence and supporting conferences such as 'Creativity and the City' and 'Creative Capital'.53 It is a cruel irony of sorts that Amsterdam, historically a centre of creativity, has to proclaim its creativity in a mundane way to be heard among the hubbub of other cities now branding themselves as creative.

A helpful guide, Amsterdam Index 2006: A shortcut to creative Amsterdam,54 provides a contemporary overview. Like a personal guide, the index 'gives tips and escorts you to the city's special places and invites you to get to know the people who make up this innovative capital'.

The question always lurking 'is not whether Amsterdam will become a creative city or not, but above all whom that city is aimed at: a creative city for the highly educated and prosperous upper class or a creative city for all the city's inhabitants'.55

A port and hub for centuries, its openness has attracted outsiders, many of them edgy. The multilingual capacities of the Dutch reinforce its accessibility. Let's consider the old, the new and the alternative as three elements. Many are beguiled by Amsterdam's dense urban fabric and the canals dissecting the city. Some find its 'olde worlde' beauty too cutesy. Yet it is precisely the planning restrictions in the older, intimate core that allow small, often fashionably designed outlets to survive and intense interaction and stimulation to occur, as witnessed in areas like Nine Streets. There is a relief at not seeing a McDonald's, Burger King or Subway.

Can the city recreate this sense of place that triggers imaginative responses in its new development areas like the Zuidas (South Axis) area, a Dutch version of La Defense in Paris, Potsdamer Platz in Berlin or Canary Wharf in London? This business hub, with its increased residential buildings, currently has a global style, like many places that attract bankers and accountants. Will its aim to insert a repertoire of city-making - cultural activity, greening and public squares - create a feeling of compelling and urgent vitality? They say, 'Culture plays an important role all over Zuidas. One area in particular, the Museum Quarter, is almost entirely dedicated to culture.'56 Can one area be dedicated to culture? Although amusing, will naming areas Gershwin, Mahler 4 or Vivaldi create vitality? Zuidplein at the bottom of the World Trade Centre (how many are there of these in the world?) has street life at lunchtime, but is this creative? Some of the architecture, like Meyer en van Shooten's Ing House, has a playfulness seen from a distance, but how lively is it at street level?

Amsterdam's underground breeding ground of inventiveness was inextricably linked to its squatter movement, as activists and artists occupied abandoned structures and buildings. With names like Silo or Vrieshuis Amerika, these often acted as experimentation zones. Crucially, in contrast to most cities in the world, Amsterdam recognized the importance of these alternatives. In 1999 it set up the Breeding Places Fund, whose aim is to provide affordable small-scale infrastructure for artists and cultural entrepreneurs in response to dramatic changes in the cultural landscape of Amsterdam. Amsterdam's popularity and gentrification had threatened the city's cultural ecology, but since then, around 1000

spaces have been provided in 35 projects, ranging from the dramatic old shipyard, NDSM, to Plantage Doklaan and Elektronstraat. Other spaces include the Westergasfabriek, a modern park and a cultural complex etched out of an old gas landscape, which balances well the need for innovation with economic sustainability and has been one of the more successful examples of balancing innovation and economic sustainability.57 As an example to remind ourselves of the fragility of these places, however, take the 0T301, an artist studio and performance complex:

At the end of the month, the lease runs out for the OT301, and looming in the air are potentially big rent hikes, smells of third-party investors and questions over the subculture's future... So take a quick walk through the OT- it may not be there much longer.58

There are many other cities which have recaptured their public space, such as Copenhagen, Portland, Vancouver and Melbourne. Each has a dimension of creativity to offer. Many of these are well documented in Jan Gehl and Lars Gemz0e's New City Spaces.59 The authors describe Copenhagen's ten-step programme to humanize the city: convert key main streets into pedestrian thoroughfares; reduce traffic and parking gradually; turn parking lots into public squares; keep scale dense and low; honour the human scale; populate the core; encourage student living; adapt the cityscape to changing seasons; promote cycling as a major mode of transportation; and make free bicycles available.

Then there is Vancouver, one of the North American cities cited as most liveable. Greater Vancouver has gained an international reputation for various innovative planning initiatives over the years. A healthy economy, employment opportunities, rapid population increases and the desirability of a West Coast lifestyle have contributed to the region's urban design, the architectural character of its neighbourhoods and its general prosperity. The limited land base of the region, surrounded by mountains, the US border and the sea, increased development pressure and created challenges for both the public and private sectors. Successful planning initiatives include the rejection of extensive freeway systems, the redevelopment of the south shore of False Creek and the transformation of former industrial lands into town houses and apartments in the mid-1970s and the creation of eight regional town centres, such as Metrotown in Burnaby, Lonsdale in North Vancouver and Haney Town Centre in Maple Ridge. These town centres provide a focal point for higher-density residential neighbourhoods combined with business and commercial opportunities easily accessible via the regional transit system. They serve as an alternative to the familiar suburban commute into downtown Vancouver and as an effective way to accommodate urban growth and decentralize employment opportunities within the region.60

The emphasis on neighbourhood planning began in the 1970s with the creation of citizens' planning committees. Different approaches were needed in each neighbourhood. Vancouver led the way with plans involving citizens, resulting in specific policies for a diversity of communities - Strathcona, the West End, Grandview and Shaughnessy, for example. The emphasis from the outset was on a two-way planning process with community participation.

John Punter argues61 that since the early 1970s Vancouver has devised and implemented a distinctive, clear-sighted approach to its urban planning and design which has provided a frame within which the city could build itself out, focusing on making the urban core mixed-use - residential, offices and shopping. This gives the city its vitality. It was based upon discretionary zoning, cooperative megaproject schemes, development levies, managed neighbourhood change and building intensification. The success of these strategies has created Vancouver's outstanding reputation in international planning circles.

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How To Have A Perfect Boating Experience

How To Have A Perfect Boating Experience

Lets start by identifying what exactly certain boats are. Sometimes the terminology can get lost on beginners, so well look at some of the most common boats and what theyre called. These boats are exactly what the name implies. They are meant to be used for fishing. Most fishing boats are powered by outboard motors, and many also have a trolling motor mounted on the bow. Bass boats can be made of aluminium or fibreglass.

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