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Counting on creativity: the creative class as antidote for neighbourhood decline - the case of Rotterdam

Publicatie van Kenniscentrum Zorginnovatie
J.E. Nijkamp, | Proefschrift | Publicatiedatum: 16 november 2016
An important assumption often underlying initiatives that stimulate the creative industries in deprived neighbourhoods is that the presence of creative entrepreneurs contributes to the regeneration of these neighbourhoods. Besides contributing to economic development, creative entrepreneurs are also assumed to bring more ‘buzz’ to the neighbourhood. However, there is a lot of debate concerning the actual contribution of such initiatives to urban regeneration. This thesis contributes to this debate by investigating the effects of two initiatives stimulating creative entrepreneurship in the Rotterdam frikaanderwijk, namely the Creative Factory and Freehouse. The main findings are that the effects of these initiatives on the neighbourhood have been very modest and that the socio-economic conditions in which the various stakeholders had to operate changed substantially. Therefore these stakeholders lost interest in the projects. As a result, the guiding principle of accommodating the creative class became obsolete - not so much because it failed as a theory of how cities work, but rather because it lost its integrative relevance for the stakeholders involved in the initiatives.

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