The nature of the creative economy we live in is characteristic of high levels of flexibility, job market volatility, and technological advancements enabling unprecedented levels of business collaboration. The new weightless economy of ideas gives new meaning to work-live-leisure choices integrating these everyday core activities and resulting in huge urban transformation. CBD (Central Business District) fringe areas start to flourish and become increasingly popular among creative professionals, attracting talent with cheaper rents, exciting business opportunities, easy access for customers, and abundant high-quality amenities and experiences. The clustering and concentration of talented and creative people in such areas fosters idea generation and an increase in productivity, leading ultimately to significant economic growth. Parnell, a trendy suburb adjacent to Auckland’s CBD with high concentrations of design creative clusters, is presented in this study to exemplify a trend of urban regeneration.
The aim of this paper is to examine the formation of creative clusters in Parnell and their impact on urban life in Auckland. The main focus is on Parnell-based creative professionals employed in small, medium and large-sized architecture, design and advertising firms, representing the largest creative sector in New Zealand. Mapping techniques are employed to generate location distribution in Parnell across the three creative subsectors in order to identify possible patterns and trends. The resulting 2010 crosssectional surveys of sixty-seven creative businesses illustrate well defined areas of creative clusters in Parnell. Further to the mapping techniques, a twenty year (1990-2010) longitudinal study of the evolution of the architectural creative clusters in Parnell illustrates patterns of spatial dynamics. The paper concludes that whilst considering the specifics of Auckland’s urban planning policies, the potential impact on the urban environment is on a micro level transforming live-work-leisure spaces and on a macro level, transforming the urban environment and ultimately changing the city’s image.
|Keywords:||Creative Industries, Creative Clusters, Urban Mapping, Location Distribution|
Lecturer, Faculty of Technology and Built Environment, UNITEC, Auckland, New Zealand