Wednesday, 19 September 2007

Are we a Creative Town yet?

A debate featuring Charles Landry and Paul Chatterton.

The American cities guru Richard Florida has said that: “Time after time the people I speak with say there are signals that a place “gets it” – that it embraces the culture of the Creative Age”.

So does Huddersfield ‘get it’?

Someone must have thought so once because in 1997 Huddersfield dubbed itself ‘The Creative Town’. The inspiration for that bold gesture came from Charles Landry, who went on to celebrate the town as an model for how small places could reinvent themselves in his book The Creative City.

We have invited Landry back to take the pulse of the town. Ten years on what does he feel about the creative city in general as an idea and has Huddersfield fulfilled the promise he thought it showed back in 1997? And what new insights does he have to share from his most recent book The Art of City-making?

Paul Chatterton, from the University of Leeds, was never convinced by the Creative City idea. He describes it as “a comfortable ‘feel good’ concept for consultants, policy makers and politicians rather than a serious agenda for radical change”. We have invited him along to challenge Landry and put forward his own ideal of how Huddersfield and towns like them should be going forward.

More information at:

Charles Landry is the founder of Comedia. He is a leading advisor on city revitalization and has worked throughout the world, most recently as ‘thinker in residence’ for the city of Perth, Australia. His books include The Art of City Making (2006); The Creative City: A toolkit for Urban Innovators (2000), published to widespread acclaim; Riding the Rapids: Urban Life in an Age of Complexity (2004) and, with Marc Pachter, Culture @ the Crossroads (2001). His association with Kirklees first began in 1993 when he advised the Council on its first cultural policy. He was a board member of the Huddersfield Creative Town Initiative from 1997 to 2000.

Dr Paul Chatterton is a geography lecturer at the University of Leeds, his home town. His interest is in urban change and regeneration policy and alternative models for organising social and economic life and his work focuses on both British cities and Latin America. He did a major study of the growing night-time economy in 6 cities. His two current projects are which explores the ways in which social activists and community groups are developing self-managed models for organising social and economic life beyond the welfare state; and Who runs Cities? (see which promotes citizen engagement in urban governance.

Tuesday, 18 September 2007

Don't get me started!

The Huddersfield Salon is a new space in Huddersfield for people who are interested in hearing provocative ideas from engaging speakers, and participating in stimulating debate.

Three upcoming dates for your diary:

Monday 8th October
6.30 till 8.30pm
‘Are we a creative town yet?’
Speakers: Dr Paul Chatterton (leeds University) and Charles Landry (Comedia)

Thursday 8th November
6.30 till 8.30pm
‘Are you happy now?’
Speakers: Dolan Cummings (institute of Ideas) and Tessa Peasgood (Imperial College, London)

Thursday 6th December
6.30 till 8.30pm
‘Is multiculturalism dead?’
Speakers: Munira Mirza (The Manifesto Club) and Phil Wood

VENUE: Café Ollo, The Media Centre, Northumberland Street, Huddersfield

Ticket price: £5.00 or £12.00 for three, available from The Media Centre reception or telephone 0870 990 5000

Refreshments available.

Brought to you by a Fine Bunch of people.