PR, Films and Fantasies

Birmingham – a creative city?

Posted on: October 26, 2010

A few days ago we had another talk in class about creative cities.

Which cities are considered “creative”? Why? What do they do to be creative? Who considers them as creative? and What are the benefits of being a creative city?

Generally, in the modern age, with production and industry going down, all the cities that have been build for their mass production functions have to find a new way to survive. Obviously change doesn’t come over night and experts have been working on it for quite a while. First of all it was a matter of structure (new pedestrian city centres, cafes, art galleries, parks etc), then the right people had to be attracted to the area, people who would innovate and re-organise the economy side and last but not least, they had to market it in a challenging and exciting way. The problem would appear when the promoted identity and the one perceived by the public are different… but I won’t go there now.

Obviously we considered Birmingham as our major example as the city is constantly re-inventing itself to enter the modern world in a new formula based a lot on its creative industry. We have new local policies; new “creative” areas (such as Custard Factory, Digbeth); loads of events covering arts, advertising, digital, film and many other; the architecture is constantly changing and the universities cover many creative related courses. Also, if we are to refer to Florida’s writings, Birmingham has all 3 Ts – talent, technology (is coming…) and “plenty” of tolerance (with the cultural, sexual and racial diversity being at home in a big happy family style of a city).

However, as some said – a creative city has to be a place everyone wants to be in, a “cool” and popular environment (I kind of disagree with this as I consider they should appeal first of all to “the creatives”)… and Birmingham obviously has a long way to get there. Since I moved to the UK more than 10 British people said that I should never consider Birmingham as part of England as it is that terrible place everyone avoids… and still somehow it’s the second largest city on the island.

Marketing Birmingham put together this little video about the city…

What do you guys think? And which other cities would you consider creative?

P.S. as my research project for this module I’ll do a bit of research on Bucharest… could Bucharest be the creative city of the East?




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