Creative industries, a key factor to drive the creative economy, do not happen over night. In order for creative people to become excellent entrepreneurs, continuous government support is absolutely necessary to create a creative class.
Creative city has become an important policy for the government, aimed to attract creative people or companies to live and run their businesses in the city.
Richard Florida, the author of The Rise of the Creative Class, says that an attractive city must be open for newcomers to fit in harmoniously, or have cultural flexibility, definitely not a conservative city. An attractive city must have enough social stability to create continuity, yet enough diversity to generate creativity in many forms.
According to a study conducted by Sommers and Carlson, those who use their knowledge in work want to change the city so that it has the combination between history and modern structure, good public transportation, restaurants, music and entertainment spots. More importantly, the city needs to have footpath space available to organize activities, along with various shapes of buildings. These needs influence how architects design modern office buildings to stimulate creativity.
However, a community culture alone is not enough to make a city that attracts creative entrepreneurs. Business facilities, especially knowledge and technology, are needed to support business growth.
In the US, San Diego is an example of a city that has recovered from economic recession and developed into the city with the highest growth rate, thanks to biotech study and clinical trials, despite situated outside California’s high-tech industrial estate and small amount of government investment. Its success is due to many components happening simultaneously, for example, the business operation done by University of California, San Diego (UCSD) or Connect, an organisation that connects the university, finance and business together to attract investors and entrepreneurs across the world by providing help to entrepreneurs since the start of business. In meanwhile, Connect, in cooperation with UCSD, holds graduate and doctorate courses. In addition, BIOCOM not only provides assistance regarding skills enhancement and network building, but also stimulates the government to organise several initiatives, such as cooperation with local government to allocate sufficient water supply for industrial sector’s use, and policy to push the city as the region’s biotech center.
In addition to personnel and technology, the city’s real estate developers have built special labs and offices as working spaces for biologists. These companies are located only 10 minutes away from UCSD and the industrial estate, giving birth to the city’s Biotech and R&D cluster that is active and stimulates other industries in the city.
Illustrations by http://www.flickr.com/photos/elephipelephi/377944550/sizes/o/
By: Montinee Yongvikul
Translated by Siritharin Chareonsiri