Creative City Index


Explored Adelaide through the lens of Charles Landry and Jonathan Hyam’s Creative City Index for the Adelaide City Council, Playford Council and Department for Manufacturing, Innovation, Trade, Resources and Energy.

In addition to Charles and Jonathan the team included myself and Richard Brecknock.

The Creative City Index project started in late 2013. It involved 10 workshops and many individual and group conversations. There was a public survey and over 400 people participated.

The Index measures the City’s successes, challenges and opportunities against 10 domains:

Political & public framework

Distinctiveness, diversity, vitality and expression

Openness, trust, tolerance & accessibility

Entrepreneurship, exploration & innovation

Strategic leadership, agility & vision

Talent & learning landscape

Communication, connectivity & networking

The place & place-making

Liveability & well-being

Professionalism & effectiveness

Adelaide was benchmarked against the 16 other cities participating in the Index. In many areas Adelaide rates very well.

The participants in the Index include Bilbao, Helsinki, Canberra, Perth, Oulu (a leading European high tech centre where the mobile phone was invented), Freiburg (Europe’s most ‘green’ city), Ghent, Taipei, San Sebastian, Cardiff, Seville, Coimbra, Gijón and Aviles.

In March 2014 there was a follow-up survey to test the findings.  People read the full report and asked to agree or disagree with the scores for each domain. There was overwhelming support for the findings and the opportunities identified.

Some Key Findings

Adelaide has some unique constraints and opportunities. Adelaide’s relative isolation from the other markets and small population means there is less critical mass in the local market, which poses particular challenges.

Adelaide’s key strengths were seen as being in the area of liveability and well-being.

Three key opportunities were identified:

Develop Adelaide’s creative eco system – create new ways to ‘think’ and ‘connect’ at the greater Adelaide scale

Connect existing opportunities – fostering inspired connections as a new form of power for the city

Global thinking – ensure Adelaide participates in global conversations between cities.

Adelaide may not need new projects as much as it needs to be better at building on its existing activities.

Partners included the Adelaide City Council,  the Department of State Development and the City of Playford

The results of this project can be found here