Arguably Richard Florida succeeded best at constructing the much sought-after narrative for the future of the post-industrial city. In the wake of 9/11, he prophesized the ‘creatification’ of the city and quickly became compulsory reading for mayors, (regional) politicians and policy makers world-wide. As a perfect match between real-estate opportunism and institutional hunger for public approval, Florida’s ideas helped transform abandoned factories and districts all over the world into creative clusters supported by a high level of bureaucracy and endless arrays of think tanks, panels and working groups bound together by a commitment to life ‘outside of the box’. The irony is that contrary to all investments made, Europe today seems less instead of more creative as its member states dwindle in the global rankings for competitiveness and innovation. On top of that, the Creative Class is now encountering increasing financial and public opposition.
Drawing from his experience as Managing Director and Partner of OMA, a leading creative company encompassing architecture, design, media, branding, and cultural analysis, Victor van der Chijs revisits Florida’s Rise of the Creative Class on the brink of its 10th anniversary. He suggests alternative ways of being creative by bringing business and creativity closer together, and giving the creative industries new significance by stepping out of their habitual realm. To rephrase Florida’s words, it is indeed time to grow up and take responsibility if the Creative Class wants to remain relevant.