In 2014 we 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.
We held 10 workshops and many individual and group conversations. There was also a public survey. Over 400 people participated in the project.
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.
Other 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 a follow-up survey tested the findings with participants. People were 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 liveability and well-being.
Three key opportunities were:
Developing Adelaide’s creative eco system – create new ways to ‘think’ and ‘connect’ at the greater Adelaide scale
Connecting existing opportunities – fostering inspired connections as a new form of power for the city
Global thinking – ensure Adelaide becomes a global player and participates in forums 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