Green Creative Cities : On Contemporary Urban Developments in European Port Cities

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Urban revitalization strategies imply principles to transform urban areas. These principles are urban planning paradigms as they are subject to planning “fashions” (see Streich 2005) and thus to social, political, and economic ideologies. Therefore, they can also be labeled as programmatic principles. In this paper, urban revitalization strategies are conceptualized as constitutive parts of the greater planning strategies applied in a city. Such planning strategies aim at influencing a city’s development, either in terms of conservation or transformation. The formulation of certain planning strategies is a reaction to social, political, and economic developments within a society. Although planning paradigms and the connected strategies travel around the world as “traveling concepts” (Czarniawska and Sevón 2005), the planning strategies applied in a special city have concrete characteristics. They can be described as locally specific reactions to – again locally specific – societal phenomena. This paper argues that a combination of the paradigms of sustainability and creativity is currently used for transforming industrial port cities into creative sustainable cities (Müller 2013). Based on empirical data from the cities of Dublin (Ireland) and Gothenburg (Sweden), I show that the sustainability paradigm is combined with the creative city paradigm to revitalize inner-city quarters in port cities. This revitalization strategy is part of a greater urban planning strategy. It includes a focus on the creative class (Florida 2004) and aims at integrating the old in the new, both in architectural and social terms. With this, it tries to be an integrative urban revitalization strategy.
City on water : 6th AESOP European Urban Summer School 2015, Bremen
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