29 Jan 2008 5:15pm - 7:00pm CRASSH


Dr Franco Bianchini (Professor of Cultural Policy and Planning, Leeds Metropolitan University)

One of the central arguments of the talk will be that both the rhetoric of urban cultural strategies and the conclusions of influential works on ‘creative cities’ and ‘creative local economies’ do not give sufficient consideration to a range of trends which have the potential of undermining the conditions for cities’ creativity and distinctiveness. These include the following: the dispersal of urban functions and the problem of the ‘hypertrophic’ city; the emergence of ‘non-places’ and of the ‘experience economy’; the reduction in leisure time for people in work; the consequences of 'information overload' and of the 'audit explosion', particularly for organisations in the cultural sector. The talk will then discuss the creative potential of a further trend: the increasingly multi-ethnic and multi-cultural composition of European cities. The concluding part will focus on the potential of urban cultural policies in counteracting an emerging crisis in urban creativity and distinctiveness.   

Franco Bianchini started in his post as Professor of Cultural Policy and Planning, in the Faculty of Arts and Society at Leeds Metropolitan University, in October 2007. From 1995-2007 he was Programme Leader for the MA in European Cultural Planning course at De Montfort University, Leicester.
His publications include Cultural Policy and Urban Regeneration: The West European Experience (with M. Parkinson, Manchester University Press, 1993), The Creative City (with C. Landry, Demos, 1995) Culture and Neighbourhoods: A Comparative Report (with L. Ghilardi Santacatterina, Council of Europe Press, 1997), Planning for the Intercultural City (with J. Bloomfield, Comedia,  2004), and Urban Mindscapes of Europe (Godela Weiss-Sussex with Franco Bianchini,  Amsterdam,  Rodopi, 2006).

He has acted as advisor and researcher on urban cultural policy for organizations including Arts Council England, the Council of Europe and the European Commission, and has given invited lectures in most European countries, as well as Australia, China, Colombia and Japan.  

Part of Cambridge City Seminar

With this seminar series  Cambridge City Seminar wishes to encourage discussions that dovetail questions concerning the urban environment, and the ways in which it is culturally constructed and represented. These questions include the political and aesthetic investments in the built environment, the city as a setting for social practices, as well as the representation of the urban in film, visual arts, digital media and literature.

 All welcome. No registration required.



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