User participation in creative cities.

Jacob Urup Nielsen has recently visited the CoDesign Cluster to give a presentation of his work, which has mainly been focused around creativity, culture and creative industries. 

He has been project manager for British Council on projects such as Creative Cities and Future City Game. He is now working with Copenhagen Municipality as an advisor for city development under the Cultural and Recreational Committee.

Below he has written an introduction to some of his projects and thoughts:
I recently had the pleasure to present some of the work I have done on user participation and citizen involvement in a number of European countries. Over the recent number of years I have experienced a growing acceptance of more soft skills in urban planning an city development. A tendency which is probably most readily seen in the work of Charles Landry.

My work has mainly been focused around creativity, culture and creative industries. In a nutshell, my thinking is that we can utilise the power of creativity to achieve other things in our cities. You can read a little more here :
What I find so fascinating is that creativity resides in everyone of us, it is inherently in the fabric of homo sapiens.

When I worked for British Council, we had developed a product Future City Game which harnessed creativity of citizens in a neighbourhood for the greater good of that area. The gaming element drove the process forward and enhanced the quality of the ideas in the game:

Finally, I think many of the businesses working in social and creative industries are also a good example of how creativity can be applied for other purposes than solely an end in itself. Business models in creative industries often prioritise the aesthetic and social qualities over the financial returns, which for me is what distinguishes them from traditional businesses. This does not mean that they don’t want to earn money, however this is not their main concern. You can read a little more on creative industries here:


Foto: Flickr @Cayusa

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