Rating of creativity among Russian cities

Human capital
Trends in Development of Society
Completed project
Research Areas

Project developers: Independent pilot research by the Center for Strategic Research “North-West” and the Creative Industries Agency.

Research objective: To identify creative component in the life of Russian cities, to assess the attractiveness of the urban environment in terms of creativity and to trigger discussion on creative industries as a future resource for urban development.

The project was launched in response to increasing public attention to the existing problems of urban development further aggravated by the global economic crisis. Such drivers of urban development as development of commercial real estate (retail and entertainment, storage, office), have run their cause, as they have been developed without due regard for non-commercial consumption values. Cities need new reasons that would help them to keep the existing population and attract new residents. The motives for living in a particular city include not only high wages but also opportunities for having an interesting life, i.e. intellectual creative work and entertainment. This is what attracts talented people and capital investments. A city that fails to pay proper attention to quality and diversity of life will inevitably lose its residents, have slowdown in growth and gradually will become an outsider in the highly competitive "market of cities”.

Issues of development of a city as a comfortable place to live in and to achieve creative self-realization are becoming important part of the new agenda.

The content of the research:

Expert survey. The first stage of the research involves creation of the rating based on expert survey of people involved in creative activities and management of creative industries, and also of representatives of government, sphere of education etc.

Researchers will explore several aspects of creative activity:

  • «creative profile» (specialization of a city)
  • professional communities: development level
  • professional communities: public activities
  • projects implemented by local representatives of creative industries,
  • city in the creative space of a macro region
  • territorial organization of creative activity
  • level of the development of creative industries market
  • level of the friendliness of urban environment

Selection of experts. We surveyed about 10 experts that represented diverse directions of creative activities and hold diverse opinions on issues discussed.

Lists of experts are drawn up by partners of the initiators of the research. All experts are local residents, who know the situation from inside.

This is a pilot study. The list of cities is compiled on the basis of the existing network of partners and professional contacts of the CSR “North-West” and the Creative Industries Agency ,and our own understanding of the creative situation in Russian cities. Also, some subjectivity can be explained by vast differences between different regions of Russia, and difficulties of applying uniform criteria in the research. The only formal criteria applied – the population of not less than 200 thousand people (with the exception of Pskov , a city with the population of 194 thousand). The application of the criteria is based on the fact that creativity is concentrated not in all cities but in towns and cities that offer a variety of activities, a wide range of career opportunities and various leisure opportunities . The diversity of life is closely linked with the size of the city's population (many experts believe that the optimal population size is 300,000 people, both in terms of energy efficiency, travel arrangements and comfort of living in general).

Questionnaires received were processed by applying qualitative and quantitative methods.

Project deliverables are intended for internal use within the CSR “North-West” only.