Breaking new ground: relational mapping of the creative economy

Granger, Rachel C. and Hamilton, C. (2010) Breaking new ground: relational mapping of the creative economy. Discussion Paper. Institute for Creative Enterprise, Coventry University, Coventry. . [Monograph]


Throughout the past decade, the emergence and then rapid growth of the creative economy has come to signal a new and distinct phase of capitalism, which has been driven by several processes:

Post-Fordism and the transition to a knowledge-driven economy, providing the rationale for the • economic valorisation of cultural and creative activities;

Post-Industrialism, which has stimulated new service sectors and new outlets for creative • enterprise;

The increasingly creative and entrepreneurial policy basis for economic growth, manifested in the • ‘cultural turn’ of the 1997 Blair Government;

The reinvigoration of towns and cities as centres of cultural consumption and the concomitant • reimagining of places, spurred by Richard Florida’s pronouncements on creative investment and place appeal.

As a result cultural and creative activities have become the cornerstone of contemporary society and the economy and a legitimate focus of policy and research in its own right. The role of the creative sector, specifically the arts, in the economy of Britain was first widely discussed as a result of the Policy Studies publications in the 1980s including John Myerscough’s influential report on the economic importance of the arts in Glasgow (Myerscough, 1988), the publication of which coincided with Glasgow’s bid to be European City of Culture 1990. In 1995 the Arts Council of England and Scottish Arts Council published an analysis of employment in the creative sector based on Census information from 1991 and identified the size and structure of the sector in terms of occupations and industries (Feist et al, 1995). Both approaches, the former based on the use of survey methods, the latter on standard classification of census data, built a picture of the way in which culture could be recognised and valued in economic terms in the context of different cities, regions and nations across the UK. This has paved the way for more comprehensive debate, discussion and policy development around the creative industries over the last 15 years. It has also produced intense debate about the precise meaning of the creative economy: its definition; measurement; and analysis.
In this paper we explore some of the limitations of current analysis of the creative economy and suggest a more nuanced approach, based on the mapping of creative interactions and activities. This type of relational approach provides a more empirical basis for policy makers to determine who and how best to support the creative economy. It therefore has considerable scope for mainstream policy application.

Item Type: Monograph (Discussion Paper)
Additional Information: External Report: Coventry University
Keywords (uncontrolled): Creative economy; economic geography; the spatial economy
Research Areas: A. > Business School > Marketing, Branding and Tourism
Item ID: 10722
Useful Links:
Depositing User: Rachel Granger
Date Deposited: 17 Jun 2013 07:08
Last Modified: 13 Oct 2016 14:27

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