Green Paper on Cultural & Creative Industries: a lost opportunity?


By URBACT, on October 26th, 2010

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The public consultation period about the Green Paper on Cultural & Creative Industries [“Unlocking the Potential of Cultural and Creative Industries”] made by DG Education and Culture was over last Summer. It is clear that Paper comes a bit late, when many EU cities and regions are displaying strategic visions and specific agendas in promoting creative industries, especially in UK, Portugal, Nordic Countries and in Central Europe.

The document is right in summarizing a range of basic statements, namely: the powerful linkage between cultural and creative industries and education; the promising role of CCIs in the new post-crisis productive model; underlining the connection to the digital economy and the EU digital agenda; ICT-based creative firms and professionals and its role in innovation diffusion; links to the EU strategy on intellectual property; or the cluster approach when addressing this kind of industries.

Nevertheless the Green Paper is clearly poor when proposing comprehensive guidelines to promote creative industries. For instance, it is not enough to demand a place-based approach. On this point the reaction by URBACT Creative Clusters submitted to DG Education and Culture has been focused in enhancing creative-based local strategies as an opportunity window particularly for middle-sized towns in intermediate region contexts, or as a way to re-think rural development nowadays.

Also the Paper is lack of considerations on the nature of the space of the creative class: meeting places, work-private life interactions, mix of uses in promoting creative districts and so on. And it shows an absence of fresh ideas related to specific financial support tools for creative entrepreneurs. Summarizing, in my view the document does not give a basic comprehensive and strategic framework for promoting creative clusters by regional and local governments. Anyway, let’s see how all the contributions submitted during the consultation period can revitalize a flat starting point.

Miguel Rivas
URBACT Creative Cluster Lead Expert

One Response to “Green Paper on Cultural & Creative Industries: a lost opportunity?”

  1. Dear Miguel Rivas,

    I red your brief overview about “creative cluster”. In Germany exists a council of German cities, this council of German cities has different commissions. I work in the commission for comprehensive strategic urban development (planning). In Germany exists also e.g. a commission for (spatial) urban planning, one for traffic, one for youth affairs etc.
    In September 2009 finalized our commission a strategy paper about your subject (in German). The task force was led by City of Cologne ( If it can be helpful for you, I will sent the paper to you.


    Andreas Schubert (Rostock, Germany)

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