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Creative Shenzhen? A Critical View on Shenzhen’s Transformation from a Low-cost Manufacturing Hub to a Creative Megacity

Marco BONTJE
IJCCI volume 1, issue 2, March 2014

Since 1980, Shenzhen has grown in a record-breaking pace to the megacity it is today. Initially, Shenzhen’s growth was based on low-cost mass industrial production. In recent years, however, the Shenzhen city government is trying to modernize and diversify its economy. Shenzhen has embraced the creative and cultural industries as one of the most promising sectors for its economic future. While many publications have appeared about Shenzhen’s spectacular transformation from a fishing village to a megacity, much less is written about Shenzhen’s ambitions in the creative economy and the implications this may have for its urban planning policies and strategies. This paper makes an inventory of Shenzhen’s creative city initiatives, policies and strategies, explores which concrete evidence of a flourishing creative economy we can already witness in the city, and asks the question whether Shenzhen is not only an attractive location for creative companies, but also for creative workers.

Keywords: Creative city, Creative economy, Shenzhen

 

Category: Industry Insight