Creative industry clusters in Shanghai : a success story?
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In 2005 the Shanghai municipal government adopted the notion of ‘creative industries’ as part of their economic development strategy. At the same time, they officially recognized a number of ‘Creative Industry Clusters’ (CIC) in the city; over the next five years these official clusters grew to over ninety in number. The active promotion of CIC by the local state can thus been seen as central to its adoption of the creative industries agenda, in turn part of its aspiration to become a modern, global metropolis. In the first part of this paper we look at the emergence of the creative industry agenda in China, making some general observations about the need to place such policy transfer in its specific context. We suggest how this agenda might be understood in the national context of China’s economic and cultural policy development. In the second we give a critical account of the development of the creative industries agenda in Shanghai and its relationship to that for CIC. We argue that this agenda had more to do with real estate development than the promotion of a ‘creative milieu’ or ‘ecosystem’, and we also give some reasons as to why this was the case. In the third section we provide some new evidence to suggest the increasing disjunction between CIC and such a wider ‘creative milieu’. In the final section we suggest some new ways in which these CIC might be approached by local government in Shanghai .
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