- Creative Neighborhoods   click here to open paper content366 kb
by    Brown, David F. | david.brown@mcgill.ca   click here to send an email to the auther(s) of this paper
Short Outline
This paper identifies neighborhoods in Montreal where ''creative'' people live and assesses the extent to which they meet sustainable criteria. Reference is made to recent municipal plans and recommendations for the use of the creative city paradigm at the neighborhood level are offered.
Abstract
The notion of Creative Cities is the most recent in a long line of planning paradigms that include Smart Cities, Sustainable Cities, Healthy Cities, Quality of Life Measures and a host of approaches to local and regional economic development. Each of these paradigms has enjoyed a moment of fame during which researchers crunched vast quantities of data that planners packaged to focus the attention of politicians and other decision makers on critical social, economic and environmental issues. In effect, each has served as a lens that has allowed us to see urbanization patterns and their underlying processes from different perspectives and, for a few years at least, point to a brighter future.

Currently the notion of a Creative City which has been advanced by Richard Florida enjoys central stage among a great number of politicians, planners and researchers. The paradigm is attractive as it provides a rational to invest in urban infrastructure and facilities that are of particular interest to the creative class, a group that includes most of the cityís decision makers. However, while investment in education, art, culture and entertainment, as well as, the movement toward policies that promote diversity and tolerance are clearly welcome, it is important to examine how the perception of issues and solutions under a Creative City lens are complementary or contradictory to the issues and solutions that seemed especially salient using other paradigms that garnered similar levels of interest just a few years ago.

This paper reports on an analysis of creative neighborhoods within the Montreal Metropolitan Community. There are six main sections: First, an overview of Montrealís place among creative cities will be presented. Second, an analysis of the location of neighborhoods with high levels of people in creative occupations is completed. Third, consideration is given to the extent to which creative neighborhoods meet selected sustainable development criteria. Fourth, a regression analysis identifies key explanatory socio-economic characteristics associated with creative neighborhoods. Fifth, the planning proposals in the City of Montrealís Master Plan (December 2004) and the Montreal Metropolitan Community Plan (2005) that address creative city issues are reviewed. Finally, recommendations for the use of the creative city paradigm at the neighborhood level are offered.
Keywords
creative neighborhoods and sustainability
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