Formation Cycle of Creative Region


Creative regions and their formation in a region depend on several factors. These factors are effective when placed side by side and have a positive impact on the establishment of the physical system of area. In fact, continuous and chained activity of these factors will play an important map. The connection between the key factors of creative region is named creative ecosystem that starts from a point, and after a few steps becomes a creative idea. Finding this ecosystem is particularly important in formation of the creative region. With proper understanding, apropos analysis, and timely use of this chain, actual and virtual potentials of region will be stimulated and pleasant result will come out. This paper explores the creative region factors and components that can be involved in the creative ecosystem. These factors are sometimes fundamental and sometimes minor considered compared to the current situation in the region. The used research method is grounded theory and in fundamental extent, it is seeking to achieve an underlying or grounded theory. After investigations and the results of this study, a creative region cycle theory has been reached and is presented as a fundamental theory that is a basis for formation of future researches. In the cycle of creative region, innovation, social capital, creative human capital and living quality are discussed that as the criteria for the formation of a creative region have numerous separated indicators.

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Dorostkar, E. , Habib, F. and Majedi, H. (2016) Formation Cycle of Creative Region. Open Journal of Geology, 6, 553-560. doi: 10.4236/ojg.2016.67043.

Received 24 March 2016; accepted 2 July 2016; published 5 July 2016

1. Introduction

Creative region has worldwide relatively high position and the formation of creative region in a territory is composed of several programs. Creative region can be placed in the context of the formation of economic system of the region and can have effective influences. Formation of creative region takes place from a specific chain. Usually creative regions are formed to change the current status of a region with specific objective. These objectives can be general, partial or minor. The aim of this paper is achieving a specific cycle in formation of creative region that could be extended to other regions. On the other hand, achieving this cycle requires many factors that must be evaluated in this system. Hence, in the following, firstly region principle and common theories will be discussed and then an introduction to planning will be presented and definitions of criteria and components of creative region will be pointed. Taking into account the views of experts and global experience of creative region, the factors of formation of creative region will be discussed and then we find out the output of creative cycle. In this paper, the research method is grounded theory and in fundamental extent, it is seeking to achieve an underlying or grounded theory.

2. Discussion

While all regional development theoreticians are willing to understand the process of regional growth and stagnation, it is surprising that there is little agreement among theoreticians about how regions should be defined. Assumption of some of theoreticians is purely based on the prior reason of existence of a coherent economic and geographical entity which is called the region, while others base their assumption on more obvious definitions. A number of more common approaches of definition of regions have been studied. Christaller (1933) and Losch (1954) present a primary approach for defining a region.

In Christaller and Losch’s central place theory, regions are defined as hierarchical systems of places or central cities. Each region has a small number of high-ranked large counties and a lot of low-ranked smaller counties. Ranking of a county is determined by the variety of products it provides, which in turn will be determined by the relative size of markets for various commodities. It is assumed that products are imported from high-ranked counties and exported to low-ranked counties and same ranked counties do not have interaction with each other. One of the limitations of this definition is that it is useful only as a way to determine the spatial structure of regions with marketing companies (unlike manufacturing companies) [1] .

A more common approach among recent theoreticians is defining the region based on a spatial linked or nodal labor market. According to Hoover and Giarratani (1985), nodal regions have two features: 1) the integrity of their inner operation is of the extent to which the flow of labor force, capital, or commodity within the region is more common than to out of the region, and 2) within the region, activities tend towards a point, or node, where control or rank of the node on adjacent surrounding area is known for granted. Therefore, various definitions and concepts of the region is provided by individuals [2] .

In fact, due to the multiplicity of definitions of the region, a single concept of the region cannot be offered. That’s why Fisher and West have divided these definitions into subjective definitions and objective definitions: subjective definition tries to specify the nature of the region in terms of intellectual properties such as home, neighborhood and other places where people do their activities. Here, acknowledging the country as an economic region, the region is regarded as a subjective phenomenon and the country is divided into different parts. While in the objective definition, an independent identity is considered for region [3] [4] .

Some, like Ziolkowski define region as a group of people that have rational mutual relations with each other in a certain range and under interconnected conditions. Based on this definition, region is considered a constant social phenomenon without borders. In fact, the region is flexible and can be changed and extended in proportion to our desire from land surface. In the first decade of the twenty-first century, the objectives and the nature of planning had been debated. This has been evident over the past century and it is expected that this trend will continue in the next decades.

So it is necessary to achieve a proper and unique definition of planning before expressing other points about region and creative region. It is a fact that urban planning is not a science, i.e. an analytical field, it is rather a method, i.e. a functional field, which has inseparable links with the political field [5] . Patchy Healey (1996) points out that in the last fifty years, two major trends have characterized the history of urban and state planning. On the one hand, there was a tendency towards centralization and non-politicization of decision-making and increasing the role and power of technical experts. On the other hand, there were requests for participation in decision-making, the demand for accountability from politicians and local authorities, and increase of criticism of technical expertise. These two trends that are very different from each other, have been named as top-down and bottom-up planning approaches [6] . Planning has always been in fluctuation between physical control practices or land use and a wider range of activities to guide the future of locations or regional territories [7] . Thus, planning has always had forward-looking orientation and had deep attention toward relations of objectives and comprehensive decisions that sometimes is represented with separate approaches in different regions.

Creative branch covers a very broad sense, as in every field and discipline creative and creativity has a new interpretation. It is obvious in the social field with paradigm shift and in the physical and structural field in cities and regions with application of new policies and cultures. The point which distinguishes creative concept in different branches and fields, is the creative thinking or the creative mind which is the source of all new ideas and superior practices. Everyone is not equally creative, traditional psychological definition of creative and creativity consists of two parts, originality and practicality. You cannot be creative unless you bring something that has not been done in the past. At the Patent Office of United States, there is a third criterion specified in the approval of intellectual property rights for emerged creative products and ideas that the creative idea should not be a clear extension of something that already exists1. In the past decade, the creative region has been of interest to scholars and of course implementation examples can be cited as the world experience. In the following, the experts' views and implemented experiences will be discussed in-detail and specifically by the provided denotative tables (Table 1 and Table 2).

Classification and taxonomy of creative regions in the world is introduced as practical experiences:

Due to the expansion trend of cities into metropolis, large cities have become multicenter areas. As such, these cities are known as metropolitan area, some of which are new centers of successful economic development (e.g. in Asia and particularly in China). In another form of development, a series of cities become interconnected and create urban metropolis. We are witnessing the formation of metropolitan regions networks that have different performances due to the cultural structures. Thus, in recent decades there has been special attention to the region and regional planning and regional policy have been proposed following regional competitiveness and to address challenges such as the economic and social differences after the development process, reconstructions due to globalization, technologic revolutions, and knowledge-based socio-economic development. Objectives of creative region also include:

- Investigation of demographic changes and their direct and indirect effects on the regional comparability.

- Development and investigation of creative ways to extend the working life and working ability.

- Transferring successful opportunities management experiences to create regional networks.

- Development of awareness and free access to information to all relevant actors (Meskine, 2014) [12] .

The following basic processes are done in creative areas:

- Technology watch.

- Technology transfer.

- Product development.

Table 1. Emergence, background and historical trends of theories related to the creative region.

Source: Authors, 2016.

Table 2. The classification/taxonomy of global experience of creative region.

Source: Authors, 2016.

- Coordination of flows inside the company/organization.

- Knowledge sharing along the supply chain.

Considering the points that prevent the formation of creative cities and regions and trying to solve them is essential. Some of these barriers are: although big cities may contain unique creativity talents, but if in these environments prominent social, cultural and economic inequalities prevail, the proper access to the creative city and region is not possible. In other words, the formation plans of creative cities and regions should cover basic citizenship and democracy issues [8] . Cooperation of all social policies in active urban life is necessary in a large scale not only to achieve the social objectives, but also to remove barriers of creative power of citizens. In general, any pressure to achieve urban creativity in the absence of special attention to cooperation and expressed interest in urban society (acceptance and social participation) is doomed to remain unfinished [8] . (Map 2 - 4) is an example of creative region called Carbondale 2015 Creative Region. In the end, it should be mentioned that creativity is not something that comes easily into the city along with computer hackers, skate boards, happiness and etc., but it should be organically developed and spread in the community associated with the production, work and social life in various urban aspects [13] . In creative regions, innovation has a regional system as a dynamic mechanism and process with many different components and subsystems, which together support the process of innovation and are constantly reproducing it, that its main components are the following:

- Universities and research institutes.

- General research and development laboratories.

- Private research and development sectors or centers.

- Technological Information System: patents, standards, publications, market needs, anticipating trends.

- Clusters (group of companies in longitudinal and transverse cooperation).

- Technology Exchange Organizations: technology parks, technology networks, intermediaries, consultants.

- Financial and Capital Affairs of Innovation: banks, business owners, joint venture risks, regional incentives [12] .

Creative Industries: An early recognition of the distinct contribution of the creative industries came in the Creative Industries Task Force Mapping Document (CITF, 1998) in the UK. This document defined creative industries as “activities which have their origin in individual creativity, skill and talent and which have the potential for wealth and job creation through generation and exploitation of intellectual property”. It mapped into the creative industries sector the following activities: Advertising, Architecture, Arts and Antique Markets, Crafts, Design, Designer Fashion, Film, Interactive Leisure Software, Music, Television and Radio, Performing Arts, Publishing and Software. Since then, researchers have revised this definition over time. Creative Industries: Contracts between Arts and Commerce, which magisterially canvasses the economic and contractual dynamics that link the established arts and media while giving us handy watchwords by which to grasp these dynamics-as a harbinger of things to come in that market [14] .

Creative Tourism: Expressions of creativity in tourism in rural areas reflect some of these markers, although often in rather different clothing. Rural spectacle will often be based on particular forms of nature-society relations in which people either collude with, or pit their wits against, the non-humanity of nature. Creative spaces might represent the humble multifunctionality of a village hall rather than the sweeping artistic quartiers of metropolitan space. Creative activities might again consist of a seemingly mundane learning to appreciate local produce rather than more glitzy skills acquisition. Alternatively, creativity in rural tourism may suggest new ways of understanding creativity, for example in terms of hybrid nature-society performances based around eco-experience or adventure. What is clear, however, is that various practices which offer tourists the opportunity to develop their creative potential through forms of active participation in rural contexts are likely in turn to lead to further reproductions of rural space in terms of Lefebvre’s triad. In particular, new creative spatial practices will begin to offer potential for gluing space together differently, and providing space with a different performed identity. Here one can recognize a trend that is avoiding absolute consumption pattern. Creators should bear in mind that they have to integrate the consumer in the design, distribution and playing experience. Consumers are turning to professional consumers. The following Creative Tourism Development offers can attract the target group [15] :

- Creative media consumption.

- Active creative participation of tourists.

- Traditional type of tourism that are used or developed in a more creative approach.

Richards and Wilson have also devised principles for creative development and marketing approaches:

- An interesting sight, meeting and conversation, multiethnic.

- Traditional or more unusual artistic scene.

- Exciting nightlife with places for youth.

- Public places such as specific parks, sports and historical buildings.

- Excellent education opportunities for youth and volunteers.

Creative Agriculture: A key element affecting regional planning is agricultural sector. This sector plays a major role; since this role is one of the main sectors of the economy and solely can have an impact on the local economy. Creative agriculture, as well as other components considered in the creative region, is complex due to its weight in the region. Creative agriculture is defined and executed differently in different countries and runs. One of the latest examples of creative agriculture has taken shape in China. In China, due to the increasing development of cities and regions in the country, officials of some cities of China proceeded to form the idea of air agriculture, air fields [16] .

Creative Mines: Another important element in the region that is important in proper and effective planning is mines. Mining, like agriculture, is considered as one of the main elements and attracted the attention of planners. At first glance to the title “Creative Mines”, this question emerges in mind that could mines also be creative. To announce that, Yes. Mines can be creative as well as other components of the creative region. The only criterion of creativity of mines is their location. Thus, the space and location of the mine in this field, will be a main criterion. In many theoretical texts, according to multiple searches that were conducted, in Latin and Persian sources it is not possible to note certain theoretical principles in this area that are dedicated to mines. But in the conducted searches, an executive sample of creative mines was found in United States. The name of this mine is Creative Mine that is reflected in its logo2. The mine is located in North of America and its activity is in the field of natural stones for construction materials (external stone facades). The creativity of this mine is in the production of natural stone. In this way, milling machine is by no means used for milling stone and cutting produced stones into parts and stones are supplied with natural cuts, which has been shaped over many years3 [17] . In some cases of the product machine cuts are used due to the customer’s request, but even in this type of cut, significant parts stone has preserved their natural cuts. This has led to the formation of creativity in the construction industry and building stone houses in America. The reason for the formation of this type of creativity in this area and titling this mine as a creative mine is primarily the space and environment of this mine that has high potentials, and secondly the stone building practices in North America, acclamation of these types of materials and respect for nature. This is required for the participation of the people that in this case the mine has a great fortune.

Creative Services: Services are considered as one of the main sectors of the economy. Services have appeared with various species over time. Services include a broad range of regional functions. The real question is that if services combine with innovation, creativity would take place or not? The answer of this question can be complicated. Since many experts consider creativity and innovation separately from each other, while others consider them the same. In the services sector there is more strength in developing creativity compared to agriculture and industry. This may be due to different factors that are involved in the services sector. Sometimes these factors have creativity abilities in different aspects of services. From educational services to economic services and etc. can be mentioned. Another reason for creativity in services is the formation nature of the services. The main purpose of providing services is to create greater prosperity for the residents and the people. The main reason why services are more susceptible to creativity, can be noted as their higher efficiency and usage by people that will lead into searching new and innovative ways of greater prosperity. For example, in Silicon Valley in United States because of the creative informative region, IT, and placement of world IT corporates in this part, a Development Center has been formed. In this center, small and newly established companies gather together and continue their activities. With the enlargement of each of the companies placed in this center that develop their work, they leave the place and go to an independent place. The creativity of this center is in providing informatics services to newly established companies, which is a launching pad for them. In fact, the center has founded and run by an Iranian who has established this center for the proper development and evolution of new companies. There is a lot of similar cases in the world that provide various services. Being aware of the fact that creativity in services is more than other areas and will have a good potential, the field of services is not important, it is important that in any field new words should be expressed with a touch of creativity.

Creative Talent: Creative forces are introduced as the main troops to achieve economic growth in the new economy. In fact, talent has become the main source of creative cities. Human capital model have also introduced skilled users as administrators of urban and regional development. Places with higher levels of human capital, are more innovative and rapidly grow over time. Florida believes that talented people share certain values such as creativity, diversity, freedom and mobility, independence, and meritocracy, and these people choose location of their residence based on the quality of the location and accommodations rather than job opportunities. Thus, the winners and losers of creative economy are the people who are able to attract, retain and develop their creative talents in the best possible way and prepare creative capacities and assets for work (Florida, 2002). In addition to attracting and retaining creative people, it is important to note that the potential educational system of places should be noticed to develop talents and creative minds that is called “Local Creative Education Ecosystem”. This aspect has more attention to the principles of sustainability rather than simply attempting to import talented people to the cities and regions.

Creative Technology: Many chains of new knowledge have transformed from science to modern technology, as well as basic researches that become marketable products and services through several stages. This kind of technological product and modernization process is incessantly happening in the creative economy. Despite the fact that academic and creative researches have mutual benefits, mechanisms of governments do not properly support creative research methodologies and collaborative projects. Fortunately, a growing number of countries are creating operating systems to encourage innovative projects that require science, creativity, and integration of technology. Many use meetings, website, training, rewards for creating strong communities and collaboration between knowledge institutions and creative organizations in applied fields and civil society. For example, in the Netherlands an innovation operating system related to ICT, which is supported by the Ministry of Economic Affairs and the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science, is working on the media industry, information and communications to implement strategic research agenda for creative industries. Initiatives such as Dutch Living Labs encourage creative outputs, in which the technology, interaction, and communications help creative test in a real live environment.

Creative Region Cycle: Region is formed of a specified range specific performance and creative region will be a region that demonstrates creativity in one of the economic sectors in the specified range and boosts economic growth of region. Increase of economic growth indicates the efficiency of the region and its success in the land surface area. As it is mentioned in the creative cycle section, we can witness the formation of creative cycle when innovative and creative factors take place in the cyclical system of the region and lead to creative outputs. For the formation of creative region cycle a series of criteria and sub-criteria (indices) are introduced (Figure 1). In this cycle, in which the abovementioned factors are mentioned as creativity factors, it is expected that taking place in the cycle would lead into creativity regional aspect. The factors of creative region cycle process used in this research are: Innovation, Social Capital, Living Quality, and Creative Human Capital (Figure 2). Each of these factors or criteria have various sub-criteria (indices).

3. Conclusion

In this study, after examining the factors and criteria of formation of the creative region, we have reached a pattern called creative region cycle that is presented as an underlying and fundamental theory. In this pattern, innovation, social capital, human capital and living quality are demonstrated as the four pillars of the creative region

Figure 1. Criteria and indices of formation of creative region cycle (source: authors, 2016).

Figure 2. Creative region cycle process (source: authors, 2016).

cycle and influence the creative ecosystem. Creative ecosystem in a region is formed of a chain that involves many factors in the region. When these factors fit within the creative region cycle, they can represent a specific system. This system may not be able to lead to formation of creative region in its segregated parts, but with exposure to a cycle and effective and impressionable communications, it could help the formation of the region and emergence of creativity in it. This result can be considered as future research questions whether the creative cycle can affect economic growth or not? And as well other analyzable questions can be formed.


*Current paper is obtained from master’s thesis of Ehsan Dorostkar, “The feasibility of forming a creative district in the city of Yazd with a sustainable approach”, supervised by Dr. Farah Habib and advised by Dr. Hamid Majedi that has been presented in the Faculty of Arts and Architecture of Science and Research Branch of Islamic Azad University in February 2016.

#Corresponding author.



Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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