City Research Online

Creative hubs: A critical evaluation

Pratt, A.C. ORCID: 0000-0003-2215-9648 (2021). Creative hubs: A critical evaluation. City, Culture and Society, 24(1), article number 100384. doi: 10.1016/j.ccs.2021.100384


The aim of this paper is to interrogate the idea of the creative hub. It argues that hubs are more than buildings or containers, they can provide a crucial link between intermediary activities (social and economic). It argues against generalisation of an abstract and general hub model and in favour of an understanding of creative hubs in their empirical diversity embedded local conditions. The paper is divided into four parts. The first, explores how creative hubs are framed by economic theory; the second explores the importance of context – the specificities of history and place – in shaping our notions of creative hubs. The third part examines the ‘user experience’: the cultural economy and the cultural workers occupying such spaces, finally we explore evaluation of hubs concluding with the importance of shifting the focus from infrastructure provider to that of supporting user needs.

Publication Type: Article
Additional Information: © 2021. This manuscript version is made available under the CC-BY-NC-ND 4.0 license
Publisher Keywords: Creative hubs, Cultural hubs, Intermediation, Creative clusters, Cultural industries, Creative industries
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GF Human ecology. Anthropogeography
H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
Departments: School of Communication & Creativity > Media, Culture & Creative Industries > Culture & the Creative Industries
SWORD Depositor:
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