Creative clusters and place-making: analysing the quality of place in Soho and Beyoglu

Durmaz, S. Bahar (2012) Creative clusters and place-making: analysing the quality of place in Soho and Beyoglu. PhD thesis, University of Nottingham.

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During the last decade creativity has become one of the buzz concepts of urban practice and research, and new concepts such as the creative city, creative economy, the creative class, creative industries and creative clusters have emerged (Florida, 2002; Landry, 2000). There are studies in economics and cultural geography, sociology and, to some extent in urban planning, exploring the creative city phenomenon. To date, however, there have only been a limited number of studies on understanding the dynamics and factors of the spatial conditions of the creativity debate in the discipline of urban design. The growing body of literature in these disciplines emphasises the need to identify and define the preferences and tendencies of creative industries, and also clustering activities.

Hence, the characteristics of cities that attract and retain the creative industries and creative types have become important; this concept is termed quality of place (Florida, 2002). In this context this research focuses on the morphological analyses of film industry-based inner-city creative clusters and explores the dynamics between creative clusters, quality of place and place-making processes. It aims to understand the spatial conditions and factors relating to the emergence, sustainability and growth of creative clusters, focusing on the location decisions of creative types (i.e. companies and people involved in creative production).

This exploratory, cross-national case study is conducted in Soho-London and Beyoglu-Istanbul. They are the inner-city locations where creative industries, in particular the film industry, and creative people cluster. The study applies qualitative and quantitative research techniques such as interviews, questionnaires, observations, and cognitive and cluster mapping.

The research concludes that there are three main factors contributing to the emergence, growth and sustainability of creative clusters; these are economics of clustering, location and quality of place, and face to face interactions. The research suggests a tentative analytical framework for understanding the quality of place for the film industry-based inner-city creative clusters and for mapping the creativity potential of places. The overall quality of place involves the process of place-making of a particular location, not just the product it represents.

Walkability and permeability are identified as the key performance criteria of urban place, providing the movement and interaction which are the necessary conditions for clustering. Permeability of urban form enhanced with interactive micro urban public places plays a major role in facilitating the social interactions which collectively comprise the key aspect of urban and individual creativity, as people are inspired by each other. In addition, these complex layers, juxtaposed with urban form and land-use activities, are also interlinked with the socio-cultural setting and hence café culture, sense of community, and image also appear to be other factors contributing to clustering.

Participatory planning enhanced by community leadership and the involvement of landowners, creative entrepreneur-led initiatives and other informal processes related to the organic spatial dynamics of the place contributes to clustering; particularly the small-scale interventions. In addition to these organic approaches, research suggests that urban design and planning could contribute to sustainability of these clusters through ensuring the right scale of intervention, through controlling mechanisms and place-management strategies.

Key words: Creative clusters, quality of place, place-making, the film industry, Soho, Beyoglu

Item Type: Thesis (University of Nottingham only) (PhD)
Supervisors: Heath, T.
Platt, S.
Keywords: creative industries, turkey, england, london, soho, istanbul, beyoglu, placewalkability, pearmeability
Subjects: N Fine Arts > NA Architecture
Faculties/Schools: UK Campuses > Faculty of Engineering > Built Environment
Item ID: 12720
Depositing User: EP, Services
Date Deposited: 05 Nov 2012 15:34
Last Modified: 15 Dec 2017 14:36

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