Creative Urban Environments
Cities are not just about retrofitting and re-making the material fabric, but developing new and creative responses to increasingly complex challenges. In the 21st century, they are often seen as hot-beds for innovation and creativity – where exciting alternatives and experiments can be forged.
Greater Manchester is an Original Modern city: a strong industrial heritage coincides with multiple future imaginaries around the promise of the ‘creative city’. At grassroots level, cultural and creative responses typify many community responses to contemporary urban challenges - through events, forums, festivals, demonstrations, guerrilla activities etc. New alternatives are being articulated through thinking about sustainability as a socio-cultural transition and not a technical fix. Who is involved? What kinds of experiments, examples and exemplars exist? Why? What are the resources and means they have? What difference do they make?
This three-year project addresses these issues through a series of research- and practice- case studies and experiments. It examines how different interests in the ‘creative city’ do and could contribute to the development of a sustainable Greater Manchester and whether and how creative and cultural means can be deployed to create more sustainable communities across Greater Manchester. The project will build an understanding of landscapes, contexts and conditions and identify historical and contemporary cases to feed into a city-regional database of sustainability initiatives. It will then build on this baseline assessment to develop coordinated actions and evaluate learning outcomes and transferable lessons.
Photo: University of Salford