Socially Creative Regions and Cities: The Iberian Peninsula Case

By Isabel André, André Carmo

Today, creativity is considered as a decisive factor for territorial development. Within this framework, the works of Richard Florida and Charles Landry on the creative class and the creative city have been very influential for urban and regional development strategies. However, these models often produce social exclusion and fragmented urban spaces. Their adverse effects were responsible for the emergence of the concept of the socially creative territory (region, city or neighborhood), where innovation is promoted in an integrated fashion, i.e. combining technology, economy, culture and social and political relations. Based on the available information regarding regions and cities of the Iberian Peninsula this article explores two aspects considered to be relevant for the debate about on the creativity of territories. The first one concerns the heterogeneity of the creative class, a group including socioprofessional segments with different values, attitudes, and sociabilities. The second aspect concerns the conditions defining a socially creative milieu’s socio-cultural diversity, tolerance, civic participation and collectively appropriated social capital. The analyzed analyzed data confirms that there is no close correlation between the socially creative milieu and the geographical expression of the creative employment, with the exception of few Spanish regions (Basque Country, Aragon, Baleares and Canary Islands) where a virtuous relationship between both seems to exist, clearly generating new opportunities for the development of these territories. JEL codes: R11, 030


  • creativity
  • social innovation
  • creative city
  • territorial development
  • socially creative milieu
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