Creative Spaces in Suburban Places: Creative Place Making within the Suburban Context
In the 1970s, urban regeneration processes that took place in many industrialised inner-city cores initiated a new economic and cultural vitality that made a departure from an industrial past, on towards a post-industrial future. Today, these postindus- trial cities are home to the 'creative industries', in which through their development, economic and social benefits have become increasingly visible. Hence, urban planners and policy makers worldwide are working to create strategies to ensure certain places become or remain 'creative places.' Richard Florida’s work has become particularly influential within the creative development discourse, as has Charles Landry’s. But as the first wave of creative development planning and policy implementation wanes, important questions are emerging. It is by now clear that most creative development approaches in the attempt to create an 'ideal creative place', have only yet focused on the inner-city core. In this research, the focus is shifted away from the inner-city to where most people of the developed world live: the suburbs. The thesis therefore, asks how a suburb can better provide for its suburban creative class, support creative processes and regenerate into a creative place. This is explored by the formulation of a creative development strategy for Johnsonville; a suburb within Wellington City of New Zealand. The research’s findings suggest that within any suburban creative development agenda, there should be: - An underlying urban development plan that sets out measures in strengthening the suburb’s Diversity, Connectivity and Authenticity; - An explicit attempt in supporting creative enterprises and their functioning, such as proposing ‘Creative Cluster’ formations and associated ‘Incubation’ facilities; - An overall consciousness for the suburban community’s social cohesion and wellbeing. The usefulness of this research and its findings lies within the practise of urban planning, design, and policy implementation, offering a theoretical basis and template for the evaluation and development of suburb’s urban creativity.