The destructive distance between the ideological discourse and the practical management of the ”creative city”

Mika Mård


In this paper I will use three illustrations to illustrate a gap between the discourse of the “creative city”, and the way the concept is managed at the street-level. The illustrations draw attention to the phenomenon of the problematic inclusion of a certain definition of skateboarding into the concept of “the creative city”, but spatial exclusion of other forms of street skateboarding from the city space. I will hence raise a critique about how the concept of the “creative city” tries to conceptually incorporate street-level cultures, but ignores the practical, everyday life of these cultures. To do that I use the case of skateboarding to show how it is defined as “in place” in the discourse of the “creative city”, but still defined as “matter out of place” in the practical management of city space. The three illustrations in this paper will show how clashes and disputes are inevitable when only a certain narrowed-down definition of these subcultures is included into the discourse of the “creative city”. As the illustrations indicate there is a need to address the distance that has been created between the discourse of the “creative city” and the reality on the streets.

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Scandinavian Journal of Public Administration

School of Public Administration, Box 712 - SE-405 30 Göteborg

ISSN: 2001-7405, E-ISSN: 2001-7413