Creatieve Stad

CreativeCity-DeHaagI came across this interesting piece of work, a printed brochure, documenting the journey of the The Hague’s initiative: Creatieve Stad or Creative City and their many constituents. Of course the brochure was cleverly done and the link-ability of the printed piece in many ways reflects the thinking behind the project. Hagues’ emergence as the “seat of the Netherlands government, has become much more colourful with the arrival of all kinds of international organisations and the growth of its immigrant population” [1]. Which implies that “the Municipality of The Hague together with the business community is aiming to attract the creative industry to locate” in the city. The initiative is not unique, I once worked in a similar setup in the North of England, aimed at encouraging and connecting the myriad creative communities.

According to the Denhaag.com website: “The program includes making commercial properties attractive for the creative industry, such as the former Caballero factory, which has been converted into the FabLab, and the old KPN building in Binckhorst where expositions and theatre performances are staged” [1].Add to it research, mentoring, monitoring – some of these are often supported by Universities, City Councils, private players and external funding bodies like the EU.

CreativeCity-DeHaag2Switching to the compare and contrast mode I look at India – at Bangalore. Prof MP Ranjan put forward Bangalore as one of the Design Cities of the future, currently trying to balance its newly found status as the Silicon Valley of the East. A tough task from some perspectives but then there is no dearth of talent or ideas or design entrepreneurs. What is severely lacking is the infrastructure – even if not physical, but a supportive ecosystem. I can’t expect Bangalore to match The Hagues’ intentions, even if the monetary prowess can be relatively matched. Possibly the intention has to come from private players in the Design domain (like Ray+Keshavan amongst others), from institutions like Shrishti as well as NID and extending the thought along, even IIM, Bangalore. A mentoring programme, a not-for-profit programme in Design Entrepreneurship? I am optimistic…

[1] From The City of Hague’s Website, http://www.denhaag.com/

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