Creative property development

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Property prices are central to developing a creativity strategy. Young innovators and start-up companies need low prices to get going. The constant search for low rents or property values is what drives the movement of people around a city. Artists in particular need larger spaces to work that now equally attract creative industry sector workers. Inevitably this pushes them to explore older factories whose future is not yet determined yet which afford generous working space. However, over the last 25 years it is precisely these places that are attracting non-artists in search of a hip lifestyle. Whether they like it or not, these creative types act as the vanguard of gentrification, making areas 'safe' for others who are less adventurous to follow. Practically all of these buildings have been reused in the more central areas of the major cities. The equivalent industrial buildings today are short-life industrial sheds. As I mentioned earlier, it is difficult to imagine trendsetters in 20 years' time searching out a shed lifestyle. These processes of gentrification are a double-edged sword, pushing up prices, which makes upscale development possible, yet also pushing out those who gave a place an interesting flavour in the first place. Artists then move to discover new areas. Perhaps the outer urban estates unloved by most will be their next target?

Individual creativity and urban creativity We understand what creativity can mean in the context of individuals, for example the capacity to think across boundaries, to roam across disciplines, ideas and concepts, to grasp the essence of an issue, and to connect the seemingly unconnected; or in the context of teams or organizations, which is the capacity to draw out individuals' diverse talents, open out the barriers between individuals, reduce obstacles and procedures so as to allow many people to contribute, and meld potential into a cohesive whole. But to think through and implement a creative city agenda is of a different order of magnitude as it involves conjoining the interests and power of different groups, who may be diametrically opposed and whose goals may contradict each other. It involves certain qualities: the capacity to bring interest groups around the table within a commonly agreed agenda, to learn to work in partnership between different sectors that share mutual respect, and, most importantly, to develop civic creativity.

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