Shanghai (China) is a cosmopolitan, entrepreneurial metropolis; a megacity of over 24 million urban residents. The cultural and creative industries have become central to the city’s growth and urban branding. Shanghai joined the UNESCO Creative Cities Network as a City of Design in 2010. The city excels in design categories, ranging from industrial product design to jewellery design, and various design events are regularly held in Shanghai.
The creative industries provide significant economic dividends for the city, generated by 7.4% of the city’s residents employed in the creative industries. The city boasts the largest area of creative clusters in the world, two-thirds of which have been built through the urban regeneration of abandoned factories and warehouses. In 2004, Shanghai became the first mainland Chinese city to produce a formal policy on cultural and creative industries (CCI) and in 2009, the national policy documents adopted CCI discourse. Four years later, Shanghai was home to 87 creative clusters, over 4,000 design-related agencies and institutions, 283 art institutions, 239 art and cultural community centres, 100 museums, 25 libraries and 743 archive institutions.
From a policy perspective, the surge of creative clusters has developed new cultural infrastructure and institutions, fuelling economic growth and feeding into the burgeoning image of Shanghai as a global cultural city. A key issue for the development of the cultural and creative industries will be in balancing ‘hardware’ with ‘software’, to enable the full development of creativity and expression.
Source: WHITR-AP, report for Study Area 6