Intra-metropolitan Creative Industries Clusters
By Doreen Jacob

Confronting Strategies in Urban Reinvention - The Urban Reinventors, Issue Nr. 1, June 2007

For more than half a century New York City has been one of the international centers for arts and culture (Zukin, 1989). The city is home to 11,671 creative companies and organizations and 79,761 soul proprietors which provide employment to 309,142 people (8.1 % of all city workers) compiling New York’s second largest economic sector after the financial industries and the world’s second largest agglomeration of creative workers superseded only by London (Center for an Urban Future, 2005).

Its scale ranges from the Metropolitan Museum of Art with an annual budget of 130 million US-Dollars (Center for an Urban Future, 2002) to the freelance graffiti artist in the South Bronx.

Yet it is still largely unclear how such concentration and diversity develops, what internal structures the sector entails as well as under which conditions it grows […].

Creative industries have a manifold relationship with locational agglomerations. They tend form clusters - networks of “mainly informal social relationships on a limited geographical area, often determining a specific external ‘image’ and a specific internal ‘representation’ and sense of belonging, which enhance the local innovative capability through synergetic and collective learning processes” (…).

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Doreen Jakob is a Doctoral Student and DFG-Fellow at Center for Metropolitan Studies in Berlin.

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