Second Life Factories of Creative Art. Fostering Adaptation of an Old Industrial Site into a Cultural Venue in Europe.

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Title: Second Life Factories of Creative Art. Fostering Adaptation of an Old Industrial Site into a Cultural Venue in Europe.
Author: Markkula, Aapo
Date: 2020
Thesis level:
Abstract: The aim of this study was to examine what are the drivers fostering swift repurposing of old industrial sites into cultural venues. Qualitative case study focused on three case studies: Suvilahti in Helsinki, WUK in Vienna and Studio Alta in Prague. The data consisted of 13 professional interviews representing cultural sites, entrepreneurs, event organizers, expert panel and city of Helsinki. The research questions were: What drivers enable a fluent process of repurposing an old industrial site for cultural use? What impact does an established cultural hub operating in an old industrial site have on the image of the city and on citizens’ satisfaction in a city? What is the motivation for an organization to operate in a cultural hub? Theoretical framework consisted of literature from the fields of planning theory, city planning, cultural planning, strategic planning of a cultural cluster and civic activism in city planning. From the field of cultural cluster strategic planning strategic management, leadership and co-creation were of special interest. All old industrial sites are one-of-a-kind environments and not all best practises can be directly applied to them. A key finding in the research is that all empty spaces create culture - empty space is the soil where cultural start-ups plant their seed in hope of reaching the sunshine and success. The key conclusions of the research conducted in the thesis can be categorized in three areas: drivers on fluent repurposing; cultural hub’s impact on city image and citizens; and cultural entrepreneurs’ motivation to operate in a cultural hub. The key drivers for fluent repurposing of an old industrial site include facilitation to achieve the vision for the site, cultural entrepreneurs’ working environment in the city and entrepreneurs’ financial challenge management. A cultural hub has profound impact on the image of the city as well as on citizens’ satisfaction in the city. The conclusions on the impact were: cultural entrepreneurs’ freedom to develop cultural programme has a major impact on the success; active civic participation increases the likelihood of getting happy citizens; and a cultural hub that has reached sustainable state is a key element of city’s or area’s domestic and international profile and appeal. The key benefits and reasons why cultural entrepreneurs operate in a cultural hub are: hub is a vehicle to fulfil personal aspirations with freedom to operate, support from the community in the hub and hub’s synergy that fosters growth. Author defined five core elements of future cultural entrepreneurship. The recommended areas for future research include hybrid government in city planning including civic participation and cultural hub success factor research including cultural entrepreneurship.
Subject (yso): organisaatiomuutokset
strateginen suunnittelu
civic activism
city planning
cultural centres
strategic planning
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