Creativity vital to city’s success: report

By Adam Coleman

Cities that embrace creativity and cultural diversity are more economically prosperous, according to a recent report from the Sydney Chamber of Commerce.

Vital Signs is an annual report card which charts Sydney’s social and economic development and compares it with other leading cultural cities including Berlin, Dublin, Milan and San Francisco. 

“The report highlights that Sydney’s wealth is directly related to its cultural vibrancy,” Sydney Chamber of Commerce executive director, Patricia Forsythe.

“We acknowledged early on the theory about having that link between cultural vitality and economic growth."

The report rated Sydney highest in the Liveability rating, which is rating is based on 39 political, economic and social indicators. 

In the Workforce category, Sydney’s was rated as the second most educated city behind San Francisco. 
Almost 40 per cent of Sydney’s adult population boasts university or professional qualifications, compared to just one in ten in Milan. San Francisco came out in front on 45 per cent. 

The report drew in part from the research of Dr Richard Florida, who developed the concept of a new ‘creative class’ that he believes are a key driving force for the economic development of post-industrial cities.

International studies have also shown that cities with a prominent creative class have higher levels of economic development than those which do not. 

“Sydney’s cultural vitality is shown by events such as the Sydney Festival, which this year attracted over one million people," she told

“Cultural and creative infrastructure is in many ways just as important as physical infrastructure.
“The more you attract the well educated creative class the more you are going to have a vibrant cultural community. Relying on Dr Florida’s research we drew out those conclusions.
“I think there is ample evidence to suggest that one of the features that business will look at their decision to invest or locate in region will be much greater than a straight out business case."

The benefits will then flow through to Government in many other ways, she says.

"They feed off each other. The more Government plays to those strengths the more it will grow those strengths as well.”

Government News explores the link between the arts and economic prosperity in the March edition’s Creative Capital feature located on page 25.

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