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Osaka: The cultural contradictions of the creative city

Andy Pratt gave a lecture at an International Symposium ‘Towards the Century of Cities’ Urban Regeneration through Cultural Creativeness and Social Inclusion organized by Osaka City University Urban Research Plaza (URP),Osaka December 15-17, 2010. The symposium celebrated the launch of the new journal City, Culture and Society. The symposium had speakers from all over the world.

Andy’s lecture was entitled ‘The cultural contradictions of the creative city’. It was written as a (critical) acknowledgment of Daniel Bell’s (1978) book ‘the cultural contradictions of capitalism’ this paper is concerned with both what creative cities are imagined to be, as well as what they actually are. Overall, the paper seeks to create a platform for a more nuanced and subtle approach of creativity, culture and cities, one that is situated and not universal; and, one that is centrally concerned not simply with the growth possibilities, but also redistributive strategies: in so doing make creative cities a truly progressive field of policy and practice, in directed contrast to what I judge to be a socially regressive form at present.

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