Approaching Urban Competitiveness in Europe: which factors play a key role? Montserrat Pareja-Eastaway Coordinator ACRE Barcelona University of Barcelona Creativity and talent in an urban environment 2nd Conference of “International Regions Benchmarking Consortium” Barcelona, 11 November 2009
Contents • ACRE project: the added value 2. Theoretical framework • Definitions and literature • Research questions • Methodology • Some results • 13 ACRE case studies • Barcelona 4. Conclusions
Objective: tolearn more about the conditions that are important to the development of creative and knowledge intensive industries in various European urban regions
In particular, what is the role of so-called ‘soft’ factors in creating and stimulating ‘creative knowledge regions’?
City-regions and partners • Amsterdam institute for Metropolitan and International Development StudiesUniversiteit van Amsterdam, the Netherlands • University of Barcelona, Spain • Centre for Urban and Regional Studies, University of Birmingham, UK • Institute of Geography, Hungarian Academy of Sciences, Hungary • Department of Geography, University of Helsinki, Finland • Leibniz Institute of Regional Geography, Germany • Department of Geography, Ludwig-Maximilian University, Germany • Institute of Socio-Economic Geography and Spatial Management, Adam Mickiewicz University, Poland • Stockholm School of Economics, Latvia • Centre for Social Practices, New Bulgarian University, Bulgaria • Interdisciplinary Centre for Urban and Sociological Studies, University of Toulouse-II Le Mirail, France • Department of Sociology and Social research, University degliStudidi Milan Bicocca, Italy • School of Geography, Planning and Environmental Policy, University College Dublin, Ireland
Key facts • EU 6th framework program, Integrated Project • October 2006-2010 • 4.5 Million Euro • 13 urban regions / partners
Buzz??? Learning region Pathdependency Institutional thickness Industrialdistrict Creative industries Creativeclass Symbolic analysts Bourgeois bohemians Creative cities Regionalinnovation system Embeddedness Bohemia Neo-Marshallian nodes Window of opportunity Clusters Evolutionaryeconomics
Törnqvist (1983) Key aspects Creative milieu… Andersson (1985) Prerequisites a sound financial basis; original knowledge and high levels of competence; an imbalance between experienced need and actual opportunities; a diverse milieu; good possibilities for personal transport and communication; and structural instability (uncertainty about the future) facilitating synergetic development. • information transmitted among people; • knowledge (based partly on the storage of the information); • competence in certain relevant activities; • and creativity (the creation of something new as an outcome of the former three activities) Malecki (1987) Synthesis 1) the presence of professional labour, representing competence; 2) urban agglomeration, or a threshold size of place, where cultural activity and communication is heightened, and 3) conditions that ‘promote synergy or instability’.
Starting point: defining the object of study What’s creative…?
Industrial Design European approach… CREATIVE INDUSTRIES AND ACTIVITIES Education Consumer Electronics CULTURAL INDUSTRIES Film and Video Performing Arts Books and Press User Generated Content Tourism Advertising Luxury brands CORE ARTS FIELDS Visual Arts Fashion Design Heritage Video Games Television and Radio Music Telecommu-nications Design Software Architecture RELATED SECTORS
ACRE definition of creative and knowledge sectors Creative industries Knowledge-intensive industries Law (legal sector, accounting, bookkeeping, auditing, etc), financial sector, R&D, ICT, higher education Advertising, architecture, arts and antiques, crafts, design, designer fashion, video, film, music, photography, visual and performing arts, publishing, computer games, software and electronic publishing, radio and TV
Approaches considered… • Classic location theory • Path dependency and embeddedness • Soft conditions theory • Cluster formation
Hypothetical ranking of urban regions on deep structural positions Known as (inter)national political and economical decision making centres Cities with high-tech or early service profile, never dominated by just one sector Cities with good governance and financial & organisational resources Active innovation and technology policy Internationally known historical-cultural centres Welcoming and pluralistic
Hypothesis in ACRE case studies suggest… • Amsterdam and Barcelona would be expected to have the best chances for economic success and creative and knowledge industries; • They are followed by Munich and Dublin which lag behind only in tolerance and level of pluralism; • Toulouse ranks high but is further behind the first four cities by not being a pronounced decision-making or cultural centre; • Birmingham, Helsinki and Milan do not have advantages of the other Western cities but are still expected to be in a better position than Eastern Europe and Leipzig; • East European cities seem to be in a relatively disadvantageous position because of the inadequate level of city governance, lack of proper financial and organizational resources and the weakness of innovation policy.
Initial typology of cities with different background conditions for creative and knowledge intensive industries
Rankings vs. reality • Confronting theoretical positions based on deep structural positions with employment and GDP information per region • 13 European metropolitan regions • (data for 2000-2006)
Employment in creative and knowledge intensive industries in 13 European metropolitan regions (data for 2000-2006)
Discrepancies…Why? • Due to current “hard” or classic location factors? • agglomeration economies (clustering) • connections (road, air, water, rail, telecommunications) • capital • labor (jobs available) • wider institutional setting (including taxes regimes, etc.)
Discrepancies…Why? • Due to current “soft” conditions? • Attractiveness (urban atmosphere; housing availability and affordability) • Diversity • Welcoming • Historical assets • Tolerance • Openness • Safety
Estimated positions Position according to hard factors Strong position according to soft factors W. Europe: Amsterdam, Munich, Barcelona E. Europe: Budapest, Leipzig, Riga • Milan, Munich, Amsterdam • Helsinki, Barcelona, Dublin, Leipzig • Birmingham, Budapest, Riga, Toulouse • Poznan, Sofia
Or maybe other “network” conditions play a decisive role? • Born in the region • Family lives there • Studied in the city • Proximity to friends
From theory to ACRE hypothesis • What are the development paths of creative knowledge regions and how are these informed by the wider economic and societal contexts? • How important are hard (classic), soft and other conditions for the creative and knowledge intensive industries in European urban regions? • What are the settlement considerations of managers, highly skilled employees and transnational migrants in the creative knowledge sector when they decide to settle in an urban area?
Integrated methodology • Comparative • Similar sectors • Similar target groups • Similar questionnaires • Similar item lists • Systematic approach • Inclusion of different theoretical perspectives (path dependency, clustering, classic conditions, soft conditions, networks…)
Target groups Satisfaction with work and city Reasons for settling in the city Labour opportunities Leisure facilities … • Employees • Managers • High skilled immigrants
ACRE Survey 2007 Employees Selected sectors • Computer games, software, electronic publishing • Video, Film, + Radio and TV • Architecture Creatives • Sample • 75 workers in creative sectors • 75 workers in knowledge sectors • 25 graduates • 25 art and media graduates • Law and other business services • Finances • R+D and higher education Knowledge
Managers Selected sectors • Computer games, software, electronic publishing • Video, Film, + Radio and TV • Business services
Qualified inmigrants Representativity • Sector • Company dimension • Country of origin • Gender
Percentage of highly skilled employees that ranked indicators as most important, classified as indicators for networks, hard, and soft factors (red: > 1 st. dev. above the mean).
The importance of employment opportunities and personal networks…
¿Why? ¿Professional networks?
¿Why? ¿Working environment?
¿Why? ¿Job security?
¿Why? ¿Expectations on professional future
Young people do not behave as expected… • Young talented workers stay where they have personal connections or relationships • The much celebrated ‘soft factors’ appeared less significant in attracting and retaining young creative knowledge workers • They do not necessarily respond to the image of a highly mobile group who respond to the image and buzz of the city • Public funded institutions related to higher education and research may not only contribute to attracting talented people, but also to retaining them • young creative knowledge workers provides indications of a high degree of job mobility and flexibility
Employment in creative sectors over total employment in creative and knolwedge sectors Barcelona province (%)
Employment in knowledge sectors over total employment in creative and knowledge sectors Barcelona province (%)