The inner city as site of cultural production sui generis: A review essay

TitleThe inner city as site of cultural production sui generis: A review essay
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2009
AuthorsHutton, TA
JournalGeography Compass

The creative sector within the inner city constitutes a defining spatial imprint of the cultural economy of the metropolis, and a motive force in the reconstruction of the urban core. The centerpieces of the cultural economy include galleries, museums, theatres, markets, exhibition spaces, and schools of art and design. But amid these institutions thrives a specialized production economy, including computer graphics and imaging, Internet design, software, and video game development, as well as creative industries such as architecture, industrial design, and advertising, complemented by local amenities. The growth trajectory of the cultural economy, the insertion of creative industries within the contested spaces of the inner city, and the rise of a putative creative class concentrated within gentrifying neighbourhoods have stimulated new scholarly discourses and debates, as well as media attention and a prominent place for contemporary culture and its signifiers within the public imagination. This essay traces the origins of cultural production in the central city, and more recent growth processes; examines the mix of regeneration and dislocation effects; and offers a synthesis of recent research drawn from instructive cities and sites.