Introduction to Section 4: Centrality of Real-Estate Speculation for Creative Economies

By Ned Rossiter

Property developers are the primary benefactors of creative economies. Your average creative producer spends most of the year either un(der)employed or juggling-jobs. With the current global financial crisis – driven largely by the failure of the sub-prime mortgage markets in the United States – you have to wonder if there’s a future for creative economies. Subtract property and what's left? Not much of an economy. Or perhaps the space opens up for new economic models to develop, models that hold a closer affinity with the micro-economies that define the proliferation of creative life. When real-estate values collapse, artists will have to discover a new role for themselves. No longer will their side-job be one of home-improvement for unimaginative real-estate companies. Indeed, the collapse in property values may turn real-estate agents into creative visionaries. Once the value of property is diminished, and movement and life in the city is remobilized, all sorts of unforeseen acts of creativity are possible.