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Constructions of Neoliberal Reason$
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Jamie Peck

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780199580576

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199580576.001.0001

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Creative Liberties

Creative Liberties

(p.192) 5 Creative Liberties
Constructions of Neoliberal Reason

Jamie Peck

Oxford University Press

This chapter presents a critique of the recently popularized concepts of the ‘creative class’ and ‘creative cities’, focusing on the work of urban-policy guru, Richard Florida. It explains the geographic reach and policy salience of these discourses not in terms of their intrinsic merits, which can be challenged on a number of grounds, but as a function of the profoundly neoliberalized urban landscapes across which they have been traveling. For all their flamboyant display of liberal cultural innovation, creativity strategies barely disrupt neoliberal urban-policy orthodoxies, based on place promotion, market-led development, gentrification, and normalized sociospatial inequality. But these strategies also extend and recodify entrenched tendencies in neoliberal urban politics, seductively repackaging them in the soft-focus terms of cultural policy. They elevate creativity to the status of a new urban imperative — defining new sites, validating new strategies, placing new subjects, and establishing new stakes in the realm of competitive interurban relations.

Keywords:   creative class, creative cities, sociospatial inequality, interurban relations, liberal cultural innovation, gentrification, Richard Florida

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