Friday, August 7, 2009

China Pushing Forward Creative Industry Zones

One of the major ways that the Chinese government has been pushing forward creative industry in China is through the development of creative industry parks or zones. According to Eugenie Birch, chair of the University of Pennsylvania’s Department of City and Regional Planning, “China’s investing heavily in the knowledge worker writ large, and this has become another part of that investment…And when China does something, it does it at full force.”

The most common creative industry zones consists of an old factory or warehouse converted into an area designed for art galleries, entertainment venues and offices for designers, architects, artists and other creative types. Beijing’s 798 Art District stands out as the most well-known archetype that many developers attempt to replicate.

There are still many obstacles that creative industry needs to tackle before reaching a level of maturity seen in other countries. One of the central challenges is understanding how to foster grassroots creativity, starting with students and young creatives who all too often lack the means to develop their talent. However, the 20+ zones in Beijing, 70+ in Shanghai and many more scattered throughout the country are a welcome development for creatives looking to become a part of China’s creative industry.

Related PSFK Post: The Rise of Creative Industry in China

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