HafenCity Hamburg GmbH and Hamburg Kreativ Gesellschaft mbH invited Andy Pratt on March 24-26th to launch a two-day meeting in Hamburg Auftaktsymposium Kreativquartier Oberhafen HafenCity to discuss the re-development of part of the port area (overall one of the largest in the world) for cultural and creative activities. Andy spoke about the characteristics of the creative economy, and the need to foreground why they have changed, and in which ways they have changed, in the last half century and how this sets the agenda for urban regeneration in sites like HafenCity. Andy discussed the following three points:
a.the definition of the creative economy (conceptual and technical), the challenges this presents, and is further extended into a discussion of the nature of the creative economy’s relationship(s) both to the rest of economy and society.
b. with issues associated with the organisation of the cultural economy – its ‘peculiar’ production and labour processes, the internal differentiation of the creative industries, and the blurring of traditional divisions between production and consumption, the informal and the formal, and the for, and not for profit sector – and how these aberrations underpin and inform future changes.
c. the range of challenges and opportunities that the creative economy presents societies with: in particular the new forms of economic, social and cultural development that are found in many creative industries.
Finally, Andy appealed to participants to rethink governance and regulatory responses to the creative economy in the light of the aforementioned issues, and move beyond extant policy formations found either in cultural policy or in industrial policy.
The creative economy is a big issue in Hamburg right now, especially as the elections that took place recently have led to a change of political control: the new culture minister gave her inaugural speech at the event. The redevelopment of the harbour area and what role the creative economy, creative practitioners and activists might have is generating strong opinions on all sides. No doubt this debate will remain ‘live’ for some time.
Information and powerpoints of lectures that were given (including Andy’s) here:
Photos of the event are published on the Oberhafen facebook page: