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【媒库文选】城市不是非要赶时髦才能繁荣

Cities Don't Have to Copy Hipster Trends to Prosper 城市不长短要赶时髦才能繁荣

Emily Hopkins 埃米莉·霍普金斯

London, New York, Tokyo and Paris– these famous cities dominate the world economy and are home to millions of people, as well as internationally renown arts, culture and educational institutions. But they are hardly representative of the rest of the world's cities. While 54% of the global population lives in cities, around half of those live in cities that have 500,000 inhabitants or fewer.

These “ordinary” cities can be overlooked by politicians, investors, researchers and big businesses. But they are dynamic places with many layers of social, cultural and economic significance. After experiencing a period of post-industrial decline, many such cities are looking to change their fortunes, through urban regeneration programmes.

But that doesn't mean they have to follow the same path as other urban areas. In fact, my research into urban development has found that ordinary cities can avoid some of the ill-effects of regeneration, by embracing what makes them unique.

At the turn of the century, city leaders became increasingly fixated on the idea of the “creative city”. The idea was to encourage a “creative class” of talented workers to make their homes and businesses in cities, by creating urban spaces that are open, inclusive and diverse, as well as attractive and technologically advanced.

“Regeneration” became a buzzword associated with these types of strategies, which seek to repurpose seemingly disused or rundown spaces to support an economy led by creative and technological industries. The apparent success of creative city policies was seen in post-industrial centres such as Detroit, US, following investments in cultural, artistic and musical urban renewal.

Such policies swiftly became the go-to strategy for seemingly “ordinary” post-industrial cities around the world, even resulting in new rankings that pit cities against each other, based on criteria including entrepreneurship, urban leadership and “liveability”. Having plenty of former industrial spaces that can be adapted for new uses, and a desire to be noticed on the national or global stage,encourages investment in urban regeneration from both public and private sources.

Yet regeneration programmes inspired by the creative city agenda can cause problems. Property developers and foreign investors have recognised the economic potential of real estate in “creative” cities. This has led to rocketing land costs, and many low-income residents have felt the effects of being displaced from their homes.

But “ordinary” cities can champion their individuality to avoid this fate. Take my home of Coventry, UK, for example: a post-industrial city looking to modernise. Located in the West Midlands, with a population of around 360,000, Coventry will be the third UK City of Culture in 2021 – a title designed to “use culture as a catalyst for economic and social regeneration”.

Coventry's City of Culture bid sought to show how the regeneration programme would be local, personal and inclusive of the city's diversity. And in some ways, it has been successful.

Yet as more cities seek to emphasise their cultural assets, city leaders and policy makers must be aware of the negative impacts that can arise if local residents are not central to the decision-making process. For example, in Lisbon, Portugal, the arrival of the Time Out Market and LX Factory creative village have increased tourism, leading to anti-gentrification protests and even laws being enforced to avoid displacing long-term residents, as rents continue to rise. This highlights the need to consider local contexts and communities before implementing copy cat creative policies.

伦敦、纽约、东京和巴黎——这些闻名城市主导着天下经济,也是成百上切切人的家园,照样国际有名艺术、文化及教导机构的所在地。但它们很难代表天下其他城市。虽然举世54%的人口生活在城市,此中约折半生活在居夷易近民数在50万以下的城市。

这些“通俗”城市可能遭到政治家、投资者、钻研职员及大年夜企业的漠视。但它们充溢生气愿望,具有多层社会、文化与经济意义。在经历了工业期间过后的一段式微期后,许多这种类型的城市正着眼于经由过程城市再生存划来改变命运。

但这并不料味着它们必须走其他城市的老路。事实上,我对城市成长的钻研发明,通俗城市可以经由过程采取让它们环球无双的举措来避免再生存划带来的一些不良影响。

本世纪之初,城市引导者越来越关注“创意城市”的理念。这一理念旨在打造既开放、包涵和多样化又具有吸引力且技巧先辈的城市空间,从而鼓励有才华的劳动者所形成的“创意阶层”在城市安家立业。

“再生”成为与此类计谋相关的盛行语,这些计谋试图从新使用看似废弃或破败的空间,从而支持由创意和技巧行业引领的经济。在为城市的文化、艺术和音乐中兴投入资金后,创意城市政策在像美国底特律这种后工业中间显然取得了成功。

这些政策迅速成为天下各地看似“通俗”的后工业城市争相奉行的计谋,以致由此孕育发生新的排名,让城市根据创业活动、城市领军职位地方和“宜居性”等标准互相竞争。因为拥有大年夜量可以洗面革心的往日工业空间,再加上愿望在全国或举世舞台上引起留意,政府和私人渠道都向城市再生存划投入资金。

然而,创意城市行动所引发的再生存划可能会带来一些问题。房地产开拓商和外国投资者已经熟识到“创意”城市的房地产所具有的经济潜力。这导致地价飙升,许多低收入居夷易近感想熏染到被迫脱离家园的后果。

然则“通俗”城市可以倡导自己的独特点来避免这种命运。就以我的家乡——英国考文垂为例,它是一座想要实现今世化的后工业城市。考文垂位于西米德兰兹郡,人口约36万,它将在2021年景为英国第三座“文化之城”——这个称号旨在“把文化作为经济与社会再生的催化剂”。

考文垂在“文化之城”方面所做的努力试图展现再生存划若何本地化、个性化并且包涵城市的多样性。从某种程度上讲,它是成功的。

不过,跟着更多的城市试图强调自己的文化资产,城市引导者和决策者必须意识到,假如本地居夷易近不是决策历程中的核心要素,那可能会孕育发生负面的影响。例如,在葡萄牙里斯本,休闲市场和LX工厂创意村子的到来扩大年夜了旅游业,导致否决翻新改造的抗议活动,以致强制出台司法步伐,以避免经久栖身者因房钱持续上涨而被迫脱离家园。这凸起注解,在实施盲目跟风的创意政策之前,必要斟酌到当地环境和各个群体。(李凤芹译自英国“对话”网站10月29日文章)

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