Engendering Creative City Image by Using Information Communication Technology in Developing Countries
Creativity has been a major key word in the city planning and urban marketing policies all over the world. Arguably, it ensures an image that can ensue marketable branding of a city. Thus, a creative city has major socio-economic implications. However, the question remains how a creative environment in a city can be engendered and an attractive image can be built. In the contemporary age, Information Communication Technology (ICT) apparently has increasingly been influencing every sphere of the city functions, and it is hypothesized that it will assist in building a creative image of a city. Therefore, the objectives of the paper are (1) to map the theoretical insights on the concepts of creativity, city image building and branding; and (2) to explore the influence of ICT on developing image of a creative city. The investigation was conducted by using both qualitative and quantitative research methods. A stimulating mix of literature review and case study analyses were done to develop the concept of a creative city and image building. Besides, using a survey research method and by considering two cities (Bloemfontein from South Africa and Bhubaneswar from India) two case studies were performed to examine how ICT can engender a creative image of a city in developing countries. Findings suggest that although urban creativity is not a revolutionary approach towards urban policies, and there are criticisms against such concept, economic variables, such as, business environment, entrepreneurship and innovation, availability of knowledge workers and ICT activities; socio-cultural variables, such as, art, culture, receptive attitude, safety and tolerance; and environmental variables, such as, cleanliness, greenery, quality public spaces and tourism enforce distinct images of cities. It is also revealed that ICT can play a catalytic role in the creative image building as it contributes extensively in the form of enabling better business environment, bringing social cohesion and multicultural tolerance, promoting tourism and engendering of clean environment. However, the image of every city could be unique depending on the attributes focused and reinforced in the development of a city.
creative image; city branding; entrepreneurship; environment; ICT; socio-cultural
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