In 2007 US creative cities “guru” Richard Florida was flown up to Noosa to tell the local city council how they, too, could become a creative city.
Noosa was one of a long line of cities across the globe queuing up to pay big bucks to the US-based academic-entrepreneur. “Being creative” had become an almost universal aspiration. Who would not want to be a creative city?
And so Creative [insert name of city here] signs sprang up in the most unlikely places, along with stock shots of creative young things hunched over laptops in cafes.
Ten years later, different gurus are being flown around and the signs have been replaced by Smart [insert name of city here]. The stock shots are much the same, but now the young things are being innovative, disruptive and above all “smart”. That’s the trouble with fast policy: here today, gone tomorrow.