RETHINKING CULTURE-LED URBAN REGENERATION: THE CREATIVE (RE)ASSEMBLING OF INNER-CITY NEWCASTLE. (14055)
Culture-led urban regeneration has become an almost ubiquitous feature of contemporary western post-industrial cities, and there is a vast literature seeking to understand its dynamics and outcomes. Much of this work focuses critically on the harnessing of creativity to commercial purposes aimed primarily, if not exclusively, to nurture property and capital reinvestment. This paper draws on urban assemblage theory to explore how multiple forms of creativity can (re)configure the socio-materiality of the city, contributing to its regeneration in an array of ways. Through a case study of inner-city Newcastle NSW, and with a focus on the Renew Newcastle initiative—a community-based initiative finding temporary creative uses for vacant inner-city properties—this paper explores how creative urban assemblages align and co-function to enact a complex mix of commercial and non-commercial aspirations. This suggests that the relationship between creativity and urban regeneration exceeds its economistic interpretation in many critical analyses. The insights generated through assemblage theory suggest that multiple theoretical perspectives may be needed to provide more nuanced accounts of culture-led urban regeneration.