Creative City Development as a Process of Homogenization: A Class-Based Analysis using Agent-Based Modeling
Robinson, Megan Elizabeth
City development around the needs of a particular group or class is not a new phenomenon. The ramification of urban planning to suit the perceived needs of any one group is progress at the expense of others. The transition from a manufacturing economy to a knowledge and creative economy has caused city officials to reevaluate their economic development strategies. Heavy industry and manufacturing are no longer associated with prosperity. Industrial sectors that align more closely with the tenets of the contemporary economy are more favorable for development purposes. Using the case of Austin, Texas, this paper examines the effects of creative and super-creative industrial sector accumulation on class-based stratification via the impact of such accumulation on employment availability. The present study utilizes agent-based modeling (ABM) as a means to simulate economic change, and citizen adaptations to change, in the context of the creative city. Findings indicate that creative and super-creative sector accumulation contribute to class-based homogenization, where a decrease in employment availability outside of the rapidly accruing creative and super-creative sectors negatively impacts the ability of people not possessing a relevant skill-set to remain in the city.