- Creative spaces in the Netherlands    click here to open paper content703 kb
by    Saris, Jeroen | j.saris@destadbv.nl   click here to send an email to the auther(s) of this paper
Short Outline
In the project Creativity as a Production factor we explore effectual approaches to the transformation of the post industrial into the new creative economy.
Creativity as production factor

Until very recently creativity, the heart of innovation, was a neglected factor in attempts to strengthen the economic position of cities, regions and countries.
In the Netherlands we have been doing research which has shown that local and regional efforts to create a diversity of places for creative industries do enhance creativity. This, in combination with the lobby by the most innovative and creative regions has persuaded the national decision makers to place creativity as an economically essential part of the production chain on the agenda.

The project leading to the acknowledgement that innovation is not merely technology-driven but also springs from creative cross-overs between alpha and gamma knowledge, or between socio-cultural trends and economic development, comprises three parts:

After mapping out (January 2004) the distribution of the creative class and the creative industries in different urban regions, we first made a quantitative analysis of creativity as a production factor. There proved to be a strong correlation between general employment growth in the Dutch urban regions investigated (Amsterdam/Zaanstad, Nijmegen/Arnhem, Dordrecht) and the growth of their creative employment.

In the second part of the project (Spring 2004) by meetings and interviews with the creative sector we explored the conditions and potentials of the creative industry, learning to recognize the needs of the creative entrepreneurs.
For the analysis of spatial conditions we used a graphic model, which offers four kinds of creative environments, enabling us to define each region's character and to compare it to the other ones.

The final goal of the project was to spur the creative and other economic sectors into creative collaboration. This usually led to new initiatives to stimulate the creative economy and projects are proposed to local and regional politicians.

At a working conference organized by de Stad bv in Amsterdam (November 2004), participants from the project exchanged experiences with each other and with speakers from abroad. This resulted in a document of recommendations to national policy makers, and the National Innovation Platform has since invited all Dutch regions to propose projects to stimulate the creative industry.

The tools developed in this project have proved to be strong strategic instruments that will definitely be useful for investigating creative production in other European countries.
Conditions and chances for creative industries
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