IXth International Conference on Urban History

August 27-30, 2008

Lyon France
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 Session description

The rise and fall of urban cultural industries: place-bound dynamics of urban cultural industries

Cultural industries are increasingly considered among the most promising growth sectors. But do cultural industries develop and thrive just anywhere, or does their success depend partly on locally-specific, historical conditions, institutions and developments? Cultural industries require specialization. Comparative advantages are therefore crucial. Initial advantages can become self-reinforcing, leading to path-dependent and place-bound trajectories. Innovation is nurtured within specific place-bound environments or "industrial atmospheres", and encouraged by place-bound mechanisms. In agglomerated cultural industries complexes, regular formal and informal interaction between highly-skilled producers leads to knowledge-spillover and transaction costs generally are lowered. Dedicated institutions reduce overhead costs for all local producers. Highly-developed local consumer tastes raise over-all standards. Mechanisms such as these produce increasing returns for localities with initial advantages in a given cultural industry. We invite papers that, from a historical, socio-economic and cultural perspective, explore a) mechanisms underlying place-bound growth in cultural industries, b) continuities and critical junctures in the development of cultural industries, c) patterns of spatial clustering and the evolution of the spatial division of labour in the cultural industries. Papers may take the form of a case-study or a comparative approach involving different cities or clusters within urban areas. We appreciate interdisciplinary studies able to combine new economic-geographic insights on dynamic agglomeration economies with extensive historical work on the evolution of institutional contexts.

Session conveners:

  • Clemens Zimmermann
  • Robert Kloosterman
  • Mariangela Lavanga

Session type: Specialist Session

Classification: M - Modern


Nothing under the dress: the aridity of the fashion industry in Milan

Author(s): d'ovidio, marianna 

Pllace-based dimensions of creativity: the case of Cirque du Soleil

Author(s): Leslie, Deborah ; Rantisi, Norma 

The Hague and its cultural industry in the 20th century

Author(s): de Nijs, Thimo 

The re-emergence of Amsterdam as a major publishing hub in a changing international context

Author(s): Deinema, MichaĆ«l ; Lavanga, Mariangela 

World cultural cities across the centuries. The evolution of cultural industries from an international perspective

Author(s): Kloosterman, Robert ; Lavanga, Mariangela