June 18, 2012

Editing of Documentary

CityLite is in the process of editing the footage (including interviews, pictures and videos) that has obtained.

We are currently selecting footage from our collection for our final version that will lead to the finest results.

Further updates will be available again soon.


Besides the several interviews with people from the creative industries, academics, policymakers and members of the subcultures of Birmingham, CityLite also travelled to Birmingham to see for themselves what's going on there.

Pictures of Birmingham's places were taken including

  • Custard Factory (special thanks to Juliet Carmen Teksnes)
  • Birmingham City Center (Bullring)
  • Brindleyplace and the canals
  • Ikon Gallery and the current exhibitions there (special thanks to Emily Luxford, Marketing Assistant of the Ikon Gallery)
  • Jewellery Quarter
  • The new Birmingham Library (will be open in September 2013)
  • The Gay Village in Birmingham


During the past weeks CityLite has managed to arrange some interviews regarding the project on creative cities and Birmingham more specific.

The people that have already been interviewed are the following:

Joey Smith - A really creative figure and the Store Manager of Urban Village, Custard Factory

Dr. Caroline Chapain - A lecturer of the Department of Management of University of Birmingham

Dave Viney - Health & Wellbeing Manager at Birmingham LGBT

Symon Easton - Deputy Head of Culture Commisioning, Environent and Culture Directorate, Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery

During this week another interview will be taking place with the people from Marketing Birmingham.

May 28, 2012

Affordable City

'We say: A city is not a brand. A city is not a corporation. A city is a community. We ask the social question which, in cities today, is also about the battle for territory' (Manifesto Not in our Name, Marke Hamburg!).

Affordability of creative cities is becoming a problem. To attract new talents cities should be more moderate.

The documentary film Creativity and the Capitalist City shows a struggle for the space in Amsterdam.


Creative Cities' Indicator

Criticizing Richard Florida's theory, John Montgomery (2005) writes: 'The only indicator that matters is the strength of a city's creative economy, measured in the number of businesses and employees, and by the wealth they produce'.

Following the route of critique, David Wilson and Roger Keil (2008) have another point of view: 'We suggest, first, that that the real creative class in these cities is the poor'.

So creativity is not a privilege of a higher class. And it should be measured by results of work, not by the nature of people. Cities are considered creative not because of its citizens' status, but due to their creative projects.

May 27, 2012

Big City Plan Part 1

This is the pdf version of the Big City Plan of Birminghambig-city-plan-part-1.pdf in which I have highlighted several things that may interest us

May 18, 2012

The rise of the creative class by Richard Florida

  • Where people once found themselves bound together by social institutions and form identities in groups, a fundamental characteristic of life today is that we strive to create our own identities. It is this creation and re-creation of the self, often in ways that reflect our creativity that is a key future of the creative ethos. p.7
  • Creative class: people in science and engineering, architecture and design, education, arts, music and entertainment, whose economic function is to create new ideas, new technology and/ or new creative content…. Creative professionals in business and law, finance, health care etc. All share a common creative ethos and values creativity, individuality, difference and merit. p.8
  • Components of creative class: scientists and creative professionals. The rise of the creative class is reflected in powerful and significant shifts in values, norms ant attitudes.

o Individuality and self-statement: creation of individualistic identities that reflect their creativity.

o Meritocracy: hard work, challenge and stimulation. Members have a propensity for goal-setting and achievement. They want to get ahead because they are good at what they do.

o Diversity and openness: signal of meritocratic norms at work. They seek an environment open to differences. Diversity of elites, limited to highly educated, creative people. p.79

  • Location: people need to live in places that offer stimulating, creative environments. Primary criterion in a proactive sense: pick a place they want to live and focus a job search there. p.95
  • Key elements of a new workspace includes: open office design and layout, high ceilings, exterior wall circulation path, communal spaces, abundant ¡hang out¢ spaces, no clutter, lots of concealed storage, an experiential environment (high- quality design, bold colors, exposed structural elements etc), indirect lighting, abundant art. p.123
  • Lifestyle and experience: Lifestyle comes to a passionate quest for experience. Members of the creative class prefer more active, authentic and participatory experiences. It¢s not only about fun. New lifestyle-> new leisure. Experience, adventure, activities, recharging batteries -> creative ethos. p.166
  • Street-level culture: grows organically from it¢s surroundings and a sizable number of the creators and patrons of the culture live by (¡indigenous¢). Street level culture gives a chance to experience the creators along with their creations. Street level: a cluster along certain streets lined with a multitude of small venues (coffee shops, restaurants, bars) which offer performance or exhibits (art galleries, bookstores, theaters, live performances). p.183

May 15, 2012

Alternative subculture

Writing about web page http://www.theoasisfashionstore.co.uk/index.asp

I was browsing through subcultures of Birmingham and came across Alternative Subculture. The term 'Alternative' means anything that is different from the main stream popular cultures such as pop music or high street fashion. It is quite a big thing in Birmingham especially when Birmingham is said to be the birthplace of heavy metal music. The tradition is carried on but became the 'alternative'.

The link is for Oasis market, which is quite similar to Camden town in London. Apart from that, there are many clubs that dedicate to this music genre such as Subside, Black Horse

Subside: http://www.subsidebar.com/

Black Horse: http://www.blackhorserockbar.com/

Apart from the LGBT subculture, the Alternative subculture also gives Birmingham a touch of distinctiveness. Very fascinating, I think...

May 13, 2012

Creative Neighbourhood

'The bottom line is that cities need a people climate more than they need a business climate' (Richard Florida, 2002). People form a ''soft' infrastracture' which is 'the system of associative structures and social networks, connections and human interactions, that underpins and encourages the flow of ideas between individuals and institutions' (Charles Landry, 2008).

Such infrastracture consists not only of work communications, but any kind of creative interactions. For example, there could be a Creative Neighbourhood.

Artists Open Houses festival in Brighton can be considered as one of projects aiming to develop a Creative Neighbourhood concept.


Open Houses

May 11, 2012


According to Charles Landry (2008), the process of developing creative cities should be ‘people-centred’. Such cities are ‘human capitals’ (Richard Florida 2002). If in the past times a beneficial location was a guarantee of success nowadays the ‘creative class’ is the main resource (ibid).

The question is whether it is more important to attract creative people to a city or to develop creativity among local citizens? The project THECUBE works in the second direction.


'We use the orientation meeting to understand how you think and begin to change thought patterns. Business is about two things, people and being a great problem solver'


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  • And i also have the second part which is too big to upload! :D by Efthymia-athina Grigoriou on this entry

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