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What Can Cultural and Creative Industries Do for Urban Development? Three Stories from the Postsocialist Industrial City of Ostrava

What Can Cultural and Creative Industries Do for Urban Development? Three Stories from the... This paper is focused on the role of cultural and creative industries in the regeneration of the inner city of Ostrava. The first part outlines the basic relationship of cultural and creative industries and urban areas in market economies, with emphasis on industrial cities. Ostrava is a post-socialist city, therefore essential characteristics of one are briefly given. The empirical part presents three case studies demonstrating the impact of cultural and creative industries on the regeneration of the inner city of Ostrava. In the conclusion, the case studies are discussed in a comparative perspective with special accent on the role of the public sector as an actor of culture-led regeneration in Ostrava. key words: cultural and creative industries, regeneration, post-socialist city, Ostrava, case study , Department of Human Geography and Regional Development, University of Ostrava, Chittussiho Street 10, 710 00 Ostrava, Czech Republic, e-mail: ondrej.slach@osu.cz 1. Introduction The role of culture and creative industries in the formation of the urban environment in developed economies is a subject of legitimate attention in both academic as well as practical discussions that are recently gaining in intensity also in the post-socialist countries of Central and Eastern Europe. The aim of this paper is to describe and analyse the role of cultural and creative industries, or more precisely first, core creative arts, and secondly, other core cultural industries (Throsby 2008) in the regeneration of Ostrava's inner city through three case studies. The initial chapters focus on the role of culture in the process of regeneration of cities in terms of such concepts as flagship projects, cultural quarters, or artists-driven cultural regeneration. Due attention is also paid to industrial cities, as Ostrava is their typical representative. Also taken into account is the specific context of post-socialist cities. The empirical part briefly introduces the city of Ostrava, followed by three case studies serving as reference for the demonstration of the role of culture in inner-city regeneration. The first case study draws attention to the role of art- ists in the process of `spontaneous' regeneration of a `social' brownfield, the second deals with the planned cultural regeneration of the "first industrial brownfield" in the city, and finally the third analyses current activities during the emergence of a creative area as part of extensive regeneration of the industrial Lower Vítkovice Area. In the concluding part also discussed are the identified differences or similarities between post-socialist and western cities in the significance and role of culture-led regeneration, with emphasis on urban governance. In the research use was made of primary data (semi-structured interviews with the actors involved), and secondary data of official and unofficial character (Rochovská et al. 2007). Apart from this, the authors participated in the preparation of the ECoC (European Capital of Culture) Ostrava 2015 project. 2. Role of culture in urban regeneration Roughly since the beginning of the 1970s a noticeable change can be observed in developed countries in the perception of the role of culture in urban regeneration (García 2004) as en effect of deindustrialisation processes and growing competition at all geographical levels. In urban policy, the key approach to connecting urban regeneration and culture has become one of `culture-led regeneration', which can theoretically help to stimulate creativity and innovativeness, create new jobs, support cooperation among actors, or improve the image (Evans 2005, McCarthy 2005). Culture is now also a significant element in mutual competition between cities as a distinct component of marketing campaigns (Kunzmann 2002). At the same time many approaches emphasise the potential of culture for the regeneration of post-industrial cities, drawing on such examples as Bilbao, Manchester or Birmingham, both in terms of cultural infrastructure construction and cultural production itself, or in general in support of creative industries (Bianchini & Parkinson 1993, Rumpel et al. 2010a). The typical tools of culture-led regeneration are so-called flagship projects, or large events, first of all the ECoC (Richards & Wilson 2004, Paris & Baert 2011). Flagship projects can be defined as "significant, high-profile and prestigious land and property developments which play an influential and catalytic role in urban regeneration" (Bianchini et al. 1992: 246). They are among the principal elements of the so-called entrepreneurial city, usually putting emphasis on "regeneration through a series of spectacular projects which would transform the image of a rundown urban area" (Hall 1996: 416). However, the impacts of such projects seem to be quite contradictory (Loftman & Nevin 1992, Swyngedouw et al. 2002). Despite the ambiguity of such strategies, a number of industrial cities have used them in an attempt to change their "negative image of dereliction, despair and despondency" (Hubbard 1996: 1443) by means of new areas and thus get rid of their `industrial' image in favour of a new positive `post-industrial' one (Short et al. 1993). There are a number of cities which have been successful in transforming their image, or "in preserving and enhancing their reputations by removing the scars of industrialisation" (Hall 1995: 18). However, Gomez (1998) focuses on the process of change in Glasgow's image and the imitation of the same process by the city of Bilbao, and states that these changes cannot be overestimated. In the 1990s the concept of culture-led regeneration was extended to include creative cities (Landry 2000), cultural clusters (Mommaas 2004), thematically oriented quarters, or so-called urban villages (Bell & Jayne 2004), and creative industries (Rumpel et al. 2010a, b). In spite of certain criticism pointing to an overestimation of the active role of culture in the process of urban regeneration (Hannigan 1998), we can track down in experts' discussions the reflection of the role of artists, or cultural entrepreneurs, in the formation of cultural quarters, particularly at the embryonic stage of their establishment. In a general perspective, artists can be perceived as victims of capitalist market forces, but also as initiators (instigators) of changes that have negative consequences (e.g. social exclusion) during the process of cultural regeneration (Cole 1987). In a positive sense, primarily in relation to the process of gentrification, artists are praised for their ability to contribute to the overall valorisation of an area (e.g. by creating, understanding, and preserving values that give the area its value, Ley 2003). In many cases it was artistically oriented persons that were willing to come to abandoned industrial or commercial premises and play the role of `urban catalysts', and subsequently add value to the real estate by renovation of residential or non-residential units hand in hand with the overall cultivation of the area (Zukin 1988). However, in most cases this is the way in which space is prepared for incoming private capital, which accelerates the overall regeneration process primarily through a more massive implementation of residential and commercial projects (first of all leisure-time and entertainment infrastructure), i.e. cultural functions are subsequently primarily used (consumed) by private capital (Cameron & Coaffee 2005), which is also confirmed by other authors (Lange & Mieg 2006, Markusen 2006). Culturally-oriented flagships, as well as cultural quarters, emerge primarily in inner cities, which face a decline as a result of deindustrialisation and the process of commercial and residential suburbanisation. Creative industries concentrate primarily in core areas of urban territories, within which they often form specialised clusters or quarters (Mossig 2005, Hutton 2006). Cultural quarters emerge similarly, particularly in historical parts of cities with high aesthetic and symbolic value, not only because those parts, suffering from a decline, offer premises with low rents and minimum formal control (Groth & Corijn 2005), but also because invention and creativity can be stimulated by urban landscapes (Helbrecht 2004, Drake 2003). A spatial concentration of cultural or leisure-time activities can be found not only in cultural quarters, but also in different types of areas (Gospodini 2006, Campo & Ryan 2008, Chatterton & Hollands 2003) in which consumption prevails over production (of creative industries). The above-mentioned aspects of a transformation of cities through culture concern exclusively developed economies, and therefore we deem it necessary to emphasise that even despite some social, cultural, and economic convergence, cities in Central and Eastern Europe are still influenced by the post-communist path dependency which affects their social, physical, and functional structures (Sýkora & Bouzarovski 2012). One of the significant differences is undoubtedly the fact that industrial cities in developed countries have been undergoing a transformation or decline caused by a number of factors (see e.g. Boschma & Lambooy 1999, Friedrichs 1994) and a shift in the world economy towards post-Fordism already since the 1970s (or even sooner), while socialist cities were confronted with this process only with the change of the political system after 1989 (Kiss 2002). The specificity of the centrally planned economy led to a situation where much fewer physical, functional and social changes could be observed in the centres of socialist cities than in those with a market economy (Musil 2001). The process of urban transformation in the Czech Republic can be characterised, after Hauptmann et al. (2000), in the following way: (a) commercialisation and expansion (economic and spatial) of urban centres, driven by the development of services, (b) stagnation of inner cities with the appearance of dynamic `islands of revival', and (c) dynamic development of outer parts of cities and their hinterlands, first driven by the process of commercial suburbanisation and later by residential suburbanisation. The principal features of the transformation of postsocialist cities show that it was predominantly propelled by private-sector activities (propertyled development) (Sýkora & Bouzarovski 2012), and the role of the public sector was noticeably less important. The weak position of the public sector stemmed from a certain aversion to planning as a complex (Sailer-Fliege 1999), reflected in the adoption of short-term ad hoc solutions accommodating market needs (Sýkora 2002) and generally strongly neo-liberal pro-growth strategies (Rink et al. 2012). The public sector focused on the elimination of historic deficiencies, and interventions in the field of culture, or creative industries, were marginal. This situation gradually starts to change (Pirisi et al. 2008, Stryjakiewicz & Mczyski 2010), but culture, or cultural and creative industries, are still not a standard component of territorial regeneration agendas. Before passing on to the empirical part, it would be reasonable to emphasise principal implications stemming from the theoretical part of this paper for the presented case studies of Ostrava. The first case study analyses the role of artists and cultural activities in the so-called artistsled regeneration of a social brownfield area in the historical inner city in terms of cultural quarters. The second deals with a planned cultural flagship project, steered mostly by the public sector (public-led regeneration) whose aim is to transform Ostrava's image towards a post-industrial one, initiated as part of the city's candidacy for ECoC. The last study examines the connection between the private sector (property-led development) and an informal cultural initiative during the regeneration of an extensive industrial brownfield in the city; also this project creates expectations as to the transformation of the industrial city's external image through culture. 3. Characteristics of Ostrava With its population of 306,006 (2011), the city of Ostrava is the core of the Ostrava-Karviná agglomeration (700,000 inhabitants), the largest old industrial region in the Czech Republic. Ostrava ranks among so-called deindustrialised cities, with its large industrial basis and a complicated transition to post-industrial society (cf. Lash & Urry 1994), multiplied by a `shock' transformation to a free-market economy after the fall of communism in 1989. Like a number of industrial cities (e.g. in the Ruhr Area), the city emerged in the first half of the 19th century. Dynamic industrialisation, supporting the development of the traditional sectors connected by the coal-steelchemistry-mechanical-engineering production chain and accompanied by spontaneous urbanisation, significantly influenced the city's character. As a result of those processes, in many parts of Ostrava there appeared spatial overlaps of industrial areas, slag heaps, residential houses, and social infrastructure (Havrlant 1980). The majority of functions concentrated in a spiral around individual collieries or factories, which gave rise to a polycentric residential structure, further reinforced by the construction of new residential quarters in the southern and western parts of the city in the era of communism. Because of investment preferences for new areas (located outside industrial works), the city centre and the inner city underwent a strong depopulation process and a decline of functional and physical structures. The decline shows in the shrinking of the population and overall importance of the inner city. In the 1930s, about 47% of the total population (or 103,000 inhabitants) lived in the inner city, where significant administrative and commercial functions were concentrated. By 1991, however, the figure had gone down to a mere 68,213, i.e. only 20.8% of the total Ostrava population, and the depopulation process continues even today (Krejcí et al. 2011). However, due to restructuring, the depopulation struck the whole city, which has lost about 7% of its population in the recent years (Rumpel et al. 2010), and according to Turok & Mykhnenko (2007), Ostrava belongs among the so-called medium-term decline cities. The restructuring process accompanied by deindustrialisation has resulted in the emergence of many brownfields (Vojvodíková 2005), and in an increase in unemployment, which after a stage of dynamic growth (2004­2008) has again become a significant problem in the current period of world economic recession. In this article we focus primarily on the highly problematic inner city, which however currently shows also the highest concentration of creative industries, not only in Ostrava, but in the whole of the Moravian-Silesian Region (Rumpel et al. 2010a). This has also influenced the post­1989 regeneration process itself. 4. Case study no. 1: Stodolní Street The architectural and urban structure of the Stodolní Street area in Ostrava formed in the course of spontaneous urbanisation typical of almost the whole inner city during the 19th century. The close diffusion and overlapping of functions (industry, housing, services) as well as its social and ethnic structure (German, Jewish, Czech, Polish) gave the street a "bizarre look" (Juica 2003). Hand in hand with the process of populating the given area, there appeared inns, fashionable hotels and bars in Stodolní Street. The area became notorious for its concentration of prostitution in the city, but on the other hand it also offered culture and entertainment ­ the Brioni Hotel had its own cabaret since 1913, and miners' bands and amateur theatre companies often performed in the local pubs (Cejka 1999). The original buildings still preserved include in particular the cattle market, but together with the whole slaughterhouse area (ca. 1.5 ha) it is now in such a tragic state of repair that some of its parts had to be pulled down. The decline of Stodolní Street started after the Second World War. The area was settled by a poor population and to a large extent it turned into a ghetto. In the mid­1960s a decision was taken to demolish the whole area with a future prospect of new buildings according to the socialist doctrine. However, the plan was not implemented before the end of the 1980s due to lack of funding, although some buildings in the adjacent streets were pulled down. At the beginning of the 1990s, the locality was aptly named "Ostrava's Bronx" (Kubícek 2000). The development of Stodolní Street after 1989 can be divided into three stages. The first was characterised by the foundation of the Cerný Pavouk (Black Spider) club in 1994, and a gradual revival of the street owing to alternative culture (`the age of pioneers') accompanied by the establishment of other clubs. A fundamental role in the development of these businesses was played by culture, which attracted the attention of intellectuals and secured a stable income to bars. Art theoreticians spoke about Ostrava's cultural scene as the Black Spider generation (Hrdina 2009), which organised in the 1990s a festival of action art Malamut, one of the first action art festivals in the Czech Republic. An important event was also the founding of the Boomerang Club, which filled the gap on the city's music scene in the form of a large club oriented towards rock music and live concerts, not only of local bands. The club was incorporated into the municipal cultural organisation and supported by financial grants from the city's budget. In drama terms, the Boomerang Club was connected with the organisers of the Dolnolhotský Buben suburban festival, from which the world music festival, Colours of Ostrava, developed later. 2002 was its first year in Stodolní Street and its close surroundings ­ a move from the city's hinterland (the Dolní Lhota municipality is located in the city's suburban zone) into its centre, and the new music concept, oriented rather towards the mainstream audience, reflected the trend in the development of the whole street at the turn of the millennium. This experiment, to a large extent unique not only in the Czech Republic, greatly helped to popularise the very phenomenon of Stodolní Street, as well as the Colours festival. At the end of the first stage, real estate in the area of Stodolní was already in private ownership (the privatisation of residential houses formerly owned by the city was particularly intensive between 1991 and 1995), extensive renovation of dilapidated buildings was in progress, and offers of non-residential space for lower prices started to be competitive against the already established `good addresses' in the city centre. The second stage (2000­2004) was characterised by an expansion of bars and the creation of the so-called Clubland in the area of Stodolní Street. The locality became attractive to services of the progressive tertiary sector or creative industries (advertising, design), and rents quickly approached the average rates in the core area. A symbol of this stage, leading towards a certain unification of the offer, was the termination of the Cerný Pavouk club activity, in the place of which an Irish bar ­ Bernie´s Pub ­ was established. The area was already considered by local citizens an integral part of the city centre, and its growing importance for tourism in the city further boosted its commercialisation. During this stage the number of bars, pubs, clubs, and restaurants increased to 60 (as against 9 businesses in 1999). There are often several bars located in a single house, making use particularly of the basement, ground floor, or courtyard. Three out of five `urban pioneers' from the first stage did not survive this process. Raised rents and efforts to exploit premises at all costs led to forcing out the original functions. The last stage so far, which could be seen as one of gradual demand stabilisation with regard to certain typical phenomena and processes, has lasted since 2005. The process of regeneration was finished, from the perspective of local administration, by an extensive reconstruction of physical infrastructure (e.g. a new sewerage system, road surface, street furniture) in 2006 at a cost of approximately 0.8 million. The emphasis on hard projects (infrastructure) is in a sharp contrast with the hands-off approach towards the support of cultural production diversity on the part of the municipality ­ the last music club with live performances stopped its activity in 2011 under similar circumstances in which the `urban pioneers' ended in the first stage. Raising the rent by the proprietor for the Templ club (formerly Boomerang, see above) is however the more par- Fig. 1. Spatial location of Stodolní Street, the Black Meadow and the Lower Vítkovice area. Author: Ludk Krticka. adoxical because the proprietor was the municipality itself. It was also the unclear grant policy of the municipality that so disgusted the club owner that the club's operation was finished. As part of the development of the whole area, there have also gradually appeared other services (hotels, office space, restaurants), which has strengthened the function of the locality during the daytime. Currently we can also talk about a `successful' completion of the functional unification of the area and its transformation into a purely consumer, or tourist, area. In terms of image, the street has changed during the last 15 years from "Ostrava's Bronx" to the "trendiest place in the Czech Republic" (according to a survey of tourist actions in the years 1993­2010, CzechTourism 2011), and represents one of the most visited localities in the city. However, the area's stagnation is already perceived also by the local businessmen. 5. Case study no. 2: the Black Meadow If Stodolní Street represented a `social brownfield' in the past, the area of Cerná louka (Black Meadow) is an industrial brownfield, formed by large slag heaps typical of an industrial city. In the period of the city's economic and cultural boom in the 1920s and 1930s, an entertainment park Tivoli was established on the heaps, called at that time "Ostrava's Prater". However, after its closing down, this site became the first brownfield on the city's map (Kuta et al. 2005) with an area of circa 27 hectares. A favourable position by the river and close to the pedestrian zone in the heart of the city, and the city's demand for exhibition space, led in the communist period to the reclamation of the site in order to build a fairground for the needs of the whole agglomeration. However, the relatively large area was built-up only partially and there are still extensive spaces of reclaimed lawn and planting. After 1989 basic reconstruction works were carried out on several buildings, but it was only after the turn of the millennium that there appeared important impulses in the form of a reconstruction of the Silesian Ostrava Castle (funded by the city) in the eastern part of the site, the construction of the Puppet Theatre, and the relocation of the above-mentioned Colours of Ostrava festival. After years of economic stagnation, in 2004 there came dynamic economic growth that boosted the demand on the real-estate market, and the city started to consider selling the land on the site, which was almost completely in its ownership. In 2006 the European Commission decided that in 2015 one of the cities in the Czech Republic would host cultural events as a European Capital of Culture (ECoC). With a slight delay (in 2008), Ostrava started to prepare its candidacy for this prestigious event. The principal motivation of the city had two aspects. The aim was to improve the negative external image of an industrial city through this event, to enhance the quality of life in the form of completing the historically missing cultural infrastructure, and thus to induce the development of cultural and creative industries. In connection with the starting economic crisis, the candidacy was also interpreted as one of possible elements in the transition of the city from a low-road to a high-road strategy. Selected as the main flagship of the project was a grand project of the construction of a cultural cluster on the Black Meadow site, which was to embody in a concentrated form the above-mentioned motives. The idea of a cultural cluster was, particularly initially, inspired by similar projects in Bilbao, Essen (it was a visit of city representatives there that played an important role in the decision to apply for the candidacy), Manchester, and other industrial cities, but also at the same time it reflected, at least to a minor extent, the real needs of the citizens and the art scene itself. With the arrival of communist rule, the already intensive industrial orientation was even deepened, resulting in further `proletarianisation' of the city, or the whole region. It is therefore no surprise that in this period there did not emerge any corresponding cultural infrastructure as in developed economies in the 1970s and 1980s. Planned as part of the cultural cluster was a new building for a symphonic orchestra, a city gallery (Kunsthalle), a cultural management college including an incubator for creative industries, a kindergarten, a primary and a secondary school with art orientation, and a supplementary building for the existing Puppet Theatre. Besides these `anchoring' buildings, the plans also included the cultivation of public green areas, regeneration of riverbanks, and the development of other functions (housing, services). At once, the idea of the cluster seemed complementary in terms of function to other nearby areas: the city core, the city park, the Lower Vítkovice Area (see below) and Karolina, and also Stodolní Street. Ostrava qualified for the final round of the ECoC competition together with Pilsen, and the idea of the cluster became its central strategy ­ in 2010 the city announced an international urbandesign competition for a future design of the Black Meadow cultural cluster. Selected as the winning project was a design from the Dutch architects' studio Maxwan (see Fig. 2) containing, unlike the original plans, also a hotel building. The planned budget of the project was estimated at approximately 3.3 billion Czech crowns. For the purposes of candidacy, the city council approved the amount of 2 billion Czech crowns, a significant part of which was to go to the construction of the cultural cluster. The principal investor was to be the city, and other funds were planned to come from external sources, mainly structural funds (thematic, regional operational programmes), or from the JESSICA financial tool. In September 2010, the selection committee declared the winner to be the competing city of Pilsen, which had a decisive impact on the future of the cultural cluster project. The failure of Ostrava's candidacy pushed the project into the cat's s egory of `desired' but not real, and even though the city declared that in spite of the failure it would strive to accomplish the cluster project, currently only the construction of the building for the symphonic orchestra is being considered. Completed, or in the course of implementation, are projects whose funding was secured from structural funds already before the candidacy. There are even speculations about dividing the land into plots for selling to private developers. The Black Meadow cultural cluster was supposed to represent a typical `flagship project' with its orientation, character, and scope. The combination of the candidacy's failure and resignation from integrated development of the inner city (despite the still existing possibility of external financing) led to the situation in which the area started to lose its position in favour of another site ­ the Lower Vítkovice Area, proof of which is also the relocation of the Colours of Ostrava festival into it in 2012. 6. Case study no. 3: the Lower Vítkovice Area (LVA) The site of interest extends over 253 hectares in a relative proximity of the city centre and features a varied mixture of industrial buildings, large brownfields (partially regenerated), and functioning businesses. The planned utilisation of the site includes exploitation of the industrial heritage (a museum), sports and leisure-time infrastructure (culture, entertainment), residential buildings, an industrial zone, and a research and development centre, or possibly even a university campus. Estimated investment costs are circa 2­2.5 billion, supposing that two-thirds of this amount is covered from private resources and one-third from public ones. The Lower Vítkovice Area represents the largest contemporary project of urban regeneration in the Czech Republic. The planned regeneration of the whole Lower Vítkovice Area has some features identical with the thematic priorities of the IBA Emscher Park (e.g. Kilper 1999, Shaw 2002), naturally in a much smaller dimension. This inspiration is the most noticeable in the regeneration of the Cultural Heritage Object in the northern part of the area, which in essence copies one of the IBA principal projects ­ regeneration of the 200-hectare site of Zeche Zollverein in Essen (e.g. Landry 2000). The northern part (henceforth, Lower Vítkovice, 47 hectares) ­ the focus of this text ­ is currently in the most advanced stage of industrial brownfield fundamental functional regeneration. Fig. 2. The winning project of an international urban-design competition. Source: Maxwan Architects. The history of the industrial use of the northern part of Lower Vítkovice dates back to 1828, and production was terminated here in 1998. During more than 150 years of continuous functioning of blast furnaces, a technologically unique, enclosed coal-and-iron cluster was created, integrating in one complex a production chain from coal mining, production of coke and electricity, up to iron production. At the same time, this complex became a significant vertical morphological element of the city skyline, which was also confirmed by a survey among the Ostrava residents in which 91% of the respondents considered it a distinct component of the city's overall image (Matj & Czumalo 2001). The relatively quick closing down of the production had a consequence: there were no projects of an alternative use for this attractive ­ from the perspective of the city's spatial structure ­ locality. The complex, although it was registered as a Cultural Heritage Object (CHO) in 2002, afterwards succumbed to rapid deterioration until 2004 when the owner ­ the Vítkovice Company ­ established a working group whose objective was to conceptualise a use for the blast-furnace area and carry out negotiations with the Czech Ministry of Culture and the National Heritage Institute in Ostrava concerning future conservation and protection of the site (the ideas of the owner and the preservationists were very different, mainly on the question of the scope of preservation). At the same time, the site was partially opened up for the public. Today heritage protection embraces an area of 15 hectares, while 5 hectares of the former coal mine Hlubina are in the ownership of the state or regional institutions (first a state-owned company dealing with rehabilitation, then the Moravian-Silesian Region). Nevertheless, the Region currently rents the entire site for an indefinite period to the Lower Vítkovice Area (LVA) association, which is in essence an institution managed by the principal private owner of the land. Recently a process has even started of preparing a gratuitous transfer of the land to the LVA association. An exclusive and cardinal role in the regeneration of the site is thus played by the private owner, which through its connections with municipal, regional and state institutions successfully applies for financial resources from the EU structural funds for site conversion (in particular through the so-called Integrated Operational Programme) according to its plans and in consultation with, e.g., the National Heritage Institute. Objects located in the former coal mine area are currently in an unsatisfactory condition and in most cases are not used any more. In the case of a positive decision concerning the application for funds from the Ministry of Culture, the first stage of reconstruction of the 5-hectare site should be finished by 2014. This stage will include four objects intended for artistic and social activities (old bathrooms, a materials warehouse, a compressor room, and future new bathrooms). The declared objective of the owner is to introduce into this part of the site a living, non-conformist culture and provide young alternative artists with a base for their production ­ the so-called FACTORY. For this purpose, based on strong informal relations between the owner of the private company and the main representative of the civic association "I profess the Factory!", a partnership agreement was signed between the artists' movement and the site manager (the LVA association) concerning the future programme and use of individual spaces, while the old bathrooms building will have the function of an artistic hot-spot of the entire Lower Vítkovice Area (information service, a shop, a café, a bar, a gallery, a music club, studios, and offices). Although the private owner made a public call for partnership in the future use of this part of the Cultural Heritage Object, other artistic or civic initiatives did not react, deterred either by the vagueness of the call, or by the requirement for the operation to be self-funding. Even though the system of management and maintenance of the possibly upgraded (if the application for funding is successful) infrastructure of the FACTORY has not been clearly defined yet, it can be expected that the LVA association will take care of facility management, and will require operational economic self-sufficiency from the tenant, or tenants. The artistic initiative "I profess the Factory!" was known as an informal group of several personalities from different branches of culture for its effort to obtain a space for its activity in the city centre. However, some selected objects (often in poor repair and at the level of a brownfield) had a problematic ownership structure, building disposition, or eventually the initiative was completely misunderstood by the owner. The role of the city was only at the level of consultations (possibility to obtain funding under the city's integrated development plan, but not land), and it was only the beginning of preparations for the ECoC candidacy that brought wider media publicity to the members, and therefore also helped them to establish very important informal relationships with important stakeholders, e.g. the private company owner who spotted a potential in the group's activity for possible thematic content of a part of the Cultural Heritage Object. 7. Conclusion While in developed economies culture is represented by an established part of a city development agenda, in post-socialist cities this approach is only at its beginning. This situation is on the one hand a result of the communist heritage, and on the other, of a different orientation of urban policies. In this paper we attempted to outline the basic aspects of the role of culture in the regeneration process on the example of three areas in the inner city of industrial Ostrava. The first example, of the evolution of Stodolní Street, reveals several paradoxes. The creation of the site was in a way a result of the combination of a `wild post-revolution transformation' when territorial or functional regulations of the area practically did not exist (e.g. the land-use plan was adopted only in 1994), while the principle dominating in the public sector was that of laissez-faire with maximum confidence in the market. The principal vehicle of regeneration of the Stodolní Street area and its surroundings were artists, or main representatives of Ostrava's underground scene. To a certain extent they made use of one of the `ploaps' (= places left over after planning, Mommaas 2004: 508) in the city centre, which at this stage offered not only decaying, but architecturally interesting buildings with low rents, but also a space without any formal or informal control or the presence of other activities to generate conflicts. The further development of the street is practically a model of the process outlined in theory (Cameron & Coaffee 2005), i.e. artists-led regeneration, followed by property-led regeneration, up to consumptionled regeneration. The Black Meadow cultural cluster was to represent a typical cultural `flagship project' with its orientation, character, and scope, or an example of culture-led regeneration of the inner city (Evans 2005). Naturally, it cannot be explicitly assessed if the project would have been successful or not. Experience from other cities indicates that impacts of such projects are minimally arguable. Moreover, if we take into account also the characteristic features of cities undergoing a postsocialist transformation ­ like the low quality of informal institutions in relation to political or economic activity, or rigidity of formal institutions (Rumpel 2002), the doubts become more intensive, which is by the way documented by the ECoC projects implemented in post-communist countries (Palmer 2004). The combination of the unsuccessful candidacy and resignation from integrated development of the inner city led to a situation when this site started to lose its position in favour of another one ­ the Lower Vítkovice Area, proof of which is the movement of the Colours of Ostrava festival there, and also the absence of any mention of the project in the new strategy of city's competitiveness. The project of a regeneration of some buildings of the former coal mine Hlubina is only one of a number of functional uses of a large area, while the dominant use is and will be much more for the industrial heritage than for living culture. From the perspective of the planned functional use, the FACTORY project can be considered a certain form of a creative incubator, or an arts centre (Markusen 2006). The city currently practically lacks a hub of the local arts scene enabling acceleration of the communication feedback process in the framework of which local artists could form and establish their entrepreneurial and social position, and where they could simultaneously gain social and communicational resources necessary to enter or function on the market (Banks et al. 2000, Hesse & Lange 2007). With slight optimism, this is a potential win-win situation in the form of connecting the intermediary artistic FACTORY initiative (cf. Andres 2011) with the needs of the bearer of the site's regeneration. The arts scene will obtain an attractive space for various activities which will revive the Table 1. Comparison of the three studied sites in the inner city. Site Location Area Original character Start of regeneration Key actors Main functions Characteristics Role of culture Role of city Source: own elaboration. Stodolní Street inner city 10.6 ha social brownfield 1994 artists, municipality, businessmen clubs, cafés, bars, gambling clubs, fast-food places, restaurants, hotels, business services, creative industries former cultural quarter, today entertainment zone formerly important, today marginal hands-off approach Black Meadow inner city 27 ha industrial brownfield 2000 city, artists symphonic orchestra, gallery, concert hall, school, incubator, housing planned cultural cluster, today partial use important hands-on approach Lower Vítkovice Area inner city 253 ha (15 ha) industrial brownfield 2010 private subject, region, state, artists industrial tourism, science centre, arts centre industrial heritage site less important hands-off approach area, particularly during the night hours, which is one of the positive contributions of artists to the regeneration of an area (Stolarick & Florida 2006). At the same time artists can theoretically profit from the advantages stemming from the presence of adjacent attractions (e.g. a higher frequency of visitors ­ tourists, thus potential customers; a common brand of the whole area). The three presented case studies naturally offer a limited perspective on the role and importance of culture for regeneration in post-socialist conditions. Still, they offer certain implications. Cultural and creative industries can be a significant factor of regeneration of problematic parts of cities, and considering the continuing process of commercial and residential suburbanisation (Sýkora 2003), they gain in importance. However, cultural and creative industries cannot be a miraculous deus ex machina of urban development which will work spontaneously without the necessity of public-sector participation. It is exactly the role of the public sector which appears as the weakest point in the city of Ostrava (see Table 1). In the case of Stodolní Street, the public sector failed as an active supporter of culture during regeneration, in the second case of the planned Black Meadow cluster, it was a declared rather than a really wanted project, and in the third case the public sector (not only the city, but also the region) to a large extent gave up the possibility to actively influence the process of change. This, to a certain measure, shows the weakness of the public sector (public interest) in comparison with the private one when enforcing the interests of the whole society related to urban development. Last but not least is the question of how much the significance and role of culture in the regeneration process in Ostrava differs from the western cities. The case studies from Ostrava as a postsocialist industrial city demonstrate a number of similarities with the processes of culture-led regeneration in western cities, but also certain differences. As in the western cities, an important role is played by informal artistic activity through which the regeneration of declining city parts with as yet `undiscovered' aesthetic value can take place, as shown by the cases of Stodolní Street and the Lower Vítkovice Area. Particularly in Stodolní Street there did not exist any formal control, which enabled a spontaneous functional and spatial manifestation of cultural and creative activities. Both areas have emerged, or are emerging, `in spite of everyone' rather than owing to a conscious cultural policy on the part of local governance, which can also be observed in western cities. Particularly Stodolní Street represents a typical example of the number of cultural quarters in which isolated alternative clubs with an authentic atmosphere, music, or design, have created a basis for a larger concentration of night life by creating places of consumption (Chatter- ton & Hollands 2003). Also similar is the emancipation of culture as part of a wider strategic framework of industrial city regeneration, shown by the example of the Black Meadow cultural cluster ­ a typical strategy of many cities struck by the deindustrialisation process. In Ostrava, the support of culture and creative industries was also primarily a pragmatic pro-growth effort motivated by external factors (ECoC) rather than by an idealistic endeavour to support culture as such. The last point moves us to differences between Ostrava and western cities ­ it is the question concerning the role of actors, or a wider question of governance of culture-led regeneration, or generally urban governance (DiGaetano & Strom 2003). Public-sector intervention in the field of cultural regeneration represents without doubt one of the major challenges of urban governance connected with a good many paradoxes. On the one hand, often emphasised is the significance of support for creating a space strengthening the process of self-organisation of cultural activities (Mommaas 2004) and that too intensive intervention into cultural activities can be highly counterproductive (McCarthy 2005). On the other hand, a total absence of any policies can lead to similar or even much worse results than too intensive intervention (like e.g. a transformation into an exclusively consumerist space) (Gospodini 2006). It was the absolute absence of policies in Ostrava, or the generally falling-behind level of the control of market processes in post-socialist countries in contrast to public intervention in western-European cities, which caused a total transformation of Stodolní Street into a purely consumerist space. Likewise, as demonstrated by developments after the unsuccessful candidacy, the initiation of creating a cultural cluster was more a question of a purely utilitarian, so-called opportunity-led planning context (Taan-Kok 2006), than an element of a long-term and intentional cultural strategy of the city, which is by the way also documented by the passivity of the public sector in the case of the FACTORY project. With reference to the paper's title, we can state in sum that cultural and creative industries have contributed in a significant way to the regeneration of the city of Ostrava. Nevertheless, a key to its future development will be finding an authen- tic role of the public sector in managing the further process of culture-led regeneration. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Quaestiones Geographicae de Gruyter

What Can Cultural and Creative Industries Do for Urban Development? Three Stories from the Postsocialist Industrial City of Ostrava

Quaestiones Geographicae , Volume 31 (4) – Dec 1, 2012

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de Gruyter
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Copyright © 2012 by the
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0137-477X
DOI
10.2478/v10117-012-0039-z
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Abstract

This paper is focused on the role of cultural and creative industries in the regeneration of the inner city of Ostrava. The first part outlines the basic relationship of cultural and creative industries and urban areas in market economies, with emphasis on industrial cities. Ostrava is a post-socialist city, therefore essential characteristics of one are briefly given. The empirical part presents three case studies demonstrating the impact of cultural and creative industries on the regeneration of the inner city of Ostrava. In the conclusion, the case studies are discussed in a comparative perspective with special accent on the role of the public sector as an actor of culture-led regeneration in Ostrava. key words: cultural and creative industries, regeneration, post-socialist city, Ostrava, case study , Department of Human Geography and Regional Development, University of Ostrava, Chittussiho Street 10, 710 00 Ostrava, Czech Republic, e-mail: ondrej.slach@osu.cz 1. Introduction The role of culture and creative industries in the formation of the urban environment in developed economies is a subject of legitimate attention in both academic as well as practical discussions that are recently gaining in intensity also in the post-socialist countries of Central and Eastern Europe. The aim of this paper is to describe and analyse the role of cultural and creative industries, or more precisely first, core creative arts, and secondly, other core cultural industries (Throsby 2008) in the regeneration of Ostrava's inner city through three case studies. The initial chapters focus on the role of culture in the process of regeneration of cities in terms of such concepts as flagship projects, cultural quarters, or artists-driven cultural regeneration. Due attention is also paid to industrial cities, as Ostrava is their typical representative. Also taken into account is the specific context of post-socialist cities. The empirical part briefly introduces the city of Ostrava, followed by three case studies serving as reference for the demonstration of the role of culture in inner-city regeneration. The first case study draws attention to the role of art- ists in the process of `spontaneous' regeneration of a `social' brownfield, the second deals with the planned cultural regeneration of the "first industrial brownfield" in the city, and finally the third analyses current activities during the emergence of a creative area as part of extensive regeneration of the industrial Lower Vítkovice Area. In the concluding part also discussed are the identified differences or similarities between post-socialist and western cities in the significance and role of culture-led regeneration, with emphasis on urban governance. In the research use was made of primary data (semi-structured interviews with the actors involved), and secondary data of official and unofficial character (Rochovská et al. 2007). Apart from this, the authors participated in the preparation of the ECoC (European Capital of Culture) Ostrava 2015 project. 2. Role of culture in urban regeneration Roughly since the beginning of the 1970s a noticeable change can be observed in developed countries in the perception of the role of culture in urban regeneration (García 2004) as en effect of deindustrialisation processes and growing competition at all geographical levels. In urban policy, the key approach to connecting urban regeneration and culture has become one of `culture-led regeneration', which can theoretically help to stimulate creativity and innovativeness, create new jobs, support cooperation among actors, or improve the image (Evans 2005, McCarthy 2005). Culture is now also a significant element in mutual competition between cities as a distinct component of marketing campaigns (Kunzmann 2002). At the same time many approaches emphasise the potential of culture for the regeneration of post-industrial cities, drawing on such examples as Bilbao, Manchester or Birmingham, both in terms of cultural infrastructure construction and cultural production itself, or in general in support of creative industries (Bianchini & Parkinson 1993, Rumpel et al. 2010a). The typical tools of culture-led regeneration are so-called flagship projects, or large events, first of all the ECoC (Richards & Wilson 2004, Paris & Baert 2011). Flagship projects can be defined as "significant, high-profile and prestigious land and property developments which play an influential and catalytic role in urban regeneration" (Bianchini et al. 1992: 246). They are among the principal elements of the so-called entrepreneurial city, usually putting emphasis on "regeneration through a series of spectacular projects which would transform the image of a rundown urban area" (Hall 1996: 416). However, the impacts of such projects seem to be quite contradictory (Loftman & Nevin 1992, Swyngedouw et al. 2002). Despite the ambiguity of such strategies, a number of industrial cities have used them in an attempt to change their "negative image of dereliction, despair and despondency" (Hubbard 1996: 1443) by means of new areas and thus get rid of their `industrial' image in favour of a new positive `post-industrial' one (Short et al. 1993). There are a number of cities which have been successful in transforming their image, or "in preserving and enhancing their reputations by removing the scars of industrialisation" (Hall 1995: 18). However, Gomez (1998) focuses on the process of change in Glasgow's image and the imitation of the same process by the city of Bilbao, and states that these changes cannot be overestimated. In the 1990s the concept of culture-led regeneration was extended to include creative cities (Landry 2000), cultural clusters (Mommaas 2004), thematically oriented quarters, or so-called urban villages (Bell & Jayne 2004), and creative industries (Rumpel et al. 2010a, b). In spite of certain criticism pointing to an overestimation of the active role of culture in the process of urban regeneration (Hannigan 1998), we can track down in experts' discussions the reflection of the role of artists, or cultural entrepreneurs, in the formation of cultural quarters, particularly at the embryonic stage of their establishment. In a general perspective, artists can be perceived as victims of capitalist market forces, but also as initiators (instigators) of changes that have negative consequences (e.g. social exclusion) during the process of cultural regeneration (Cole 1987). In a positive sense, primarily in relation to the process of gentrification, artists are praised for their ability to contribute to the overall valorisation of an area (e.g. by creating, understanding, and preserving values that give the area its value, Ley 2003). In many cases it was artistically oriented persons that were willing to come to abandoned industrial or commercial premises and play the role of `urban catalysts', and subsequently add value to the real estate by renovation of residential or non-residential units hand in hand with the overall cultivation of the area (Zukin 1988). However, in most cases this is the way in which space is prepared for incoming private capital, which accelerates the overall regeneration process primarily through a more massive implementation of residential and commercial projects (first of all leisure-time and entertainment infrastructure), i.e. cultural functions are subsequently primarily used (consumed) by private capital (Cameron & Coaffee 2005), which is also confirmed by other authors (Lange & Mieg 2006, Markusen 2006). Culturally-oriented flagships, as well as cultural quarters, emerge primarily in inner cities, which face a decline as a result of deindustrialisation and the process of commercial and residential suburbanisation. Creative industries concentrate primarily in core areas of urban territories, within which they often form specialised clusters or quarters (Mossig 2005, Hutton 2006). Cultural quarters emerge similarly, particularly in historical parts of cities with high aesthetic and symbolic value, not only because those parts, suffering from a decline, offer premises with low rents and minimum formal control (Groth & Corijn 2005), but also because invention and creativity can be stimulated by urban landscapes (Helbrecht 2004, Drake 2003). A spatial concentration of cultural or leisure-time activities can be found not only in cultural quarters, but also in different types of areas (Gospodini 2006, Campo & Ryan 2008, Chatterton & Hollands 2003) in which consumption prevails over production (of creative industries). The above-mentioned aspects of a transformation of cities through culture concern exclusively developed economies, and therefore we deem it necessary to emphasise that even despite some social, cultural, and economic convergence, cities in Central and Eastern Europe are still influenced by the post-communist path dependency which affects their social, physical, and functional structures (Sýkora & Bouzarovski 2012). One of the significant differences is undoubtedly the fact that industrial cities in developed countries have been undergoing a transformation or decline caused by a number of factors (see e.g. Boschma & Lambooy 1999, Friedrichs 1994) and a shift in the world economy towards post-Fordism already since the 1970s (or even sooner), while socialist cities were confronted with this process only with the change of the political system after 1989 (Kiss 2002). The specificity of the centrally planned economy led to a situation where much fewer physical, functional and social changes could be observed in the centres of socialist cities than in those with a market economy (Musil 2001). The process of urban transformation in the Czech Republic can be characterised, after Hauptmann et al. (2000), in the following way: (a) commercialisation and expansion (economic and spatial) of urban centres, driven by the development of services, (b) stagnation of inner cities with the appearance of dynamic `islands of revival', and (c) dynamic development of outer parts of cities and their hinterlands, first driven by the process of commercial suburbanisation and later by residential suburbanisation. The principal features of the transformation of postsocialist cities show that it was predominantly propelled by private-sector activities (propertyled development) (Sýkora & Bouzarovski 2012), and the role of the public sector was noticeably less important. The weak position of the public sector stemmed from a certain aversion to planning as a complex (Sailer-Fliege 1999), reflected in the adoption of short-term ad hoc solutions accommodating market needs (Sýkora 2002) and generally strongly neo-liberal pro-growth strategies (Rink et al. 2012). The public sector focused on the elimination of historic deficiencies, and interventions in the field of culture, or creative industries, were marginal. This situation gradually starts to change (Pirisi et al. 2008, Stryjakiewicz & Mczyski 2010), but culture, or cultural and creative industries, are still not a standard component of territorial regeneration agendas. Before passing on to the empirical part, it would be reasonable to emphasise principal implications stemming from the theoretical part of this paper for the presented case studies of Ostrava. The first case study analyses the role of artists and cultural activities in the so-called artistsled regeneration of a social brownfield area in the historical inner city in terms of cultural quarters. The second deals with a planned cultural flagship project, steered mostly by the public sector (public-led regeneration) whose aim is to transform Ostrava's image towards a post-industrial one, initiated as part of the city's candidacy for ECoC. The last study examines the connection between the private sector (property-led development) and an informal cultural initiative during the regeneration of an extensive industrial brownfield in the city; also this project creates expectations as to the transformation of the industrial city's external image through culture. 3. Characteristics of Ostrava With its population of 306,006 (2011), the city of Ostrava is the core of the Ostrava-Karviná agglomeration (700,000 inhabitants), the largest old industrial region in the Czech Republic. Ostrava ranks among so-called deindustrialised cities, with its large industrial basis and a complicated transition to post-industrial society (cf. Lash & Urry 1994), multiplied by a `shock' transformation to a free-market economy after the fall of communism in 1989. Like a number of industrial cities (e.g. in the Ruhr Area), the city emerged in the first half of the 19th century. Dynamic industrialisation, supporting the development of the traditional sectors connected by the coal-steelchemistry-mechanical-engineering production chain and accompanied by spontaneous urbanisation, significantly influenced the city's character. As a result of those processes, in many parts of Ostrava there appeared spatial overlaps of industrial areas, slag heaps, residential houses, and social infrastructure (Havrlant 1980). The majority of functions concentrated in a spiral around individual collieries or factories, which gave rise to a polycentric residential structure, further reinforced by the construction of new residential quarters in the southern and western parts of the city in the era of communism. Because of investment preferences for new areas (located outside industrial works), the city centre and the inner city underwent a strong depopulation process and a decline of functional and physical structures. The decline shows in the shrinking of the population and overall importance of the inner city. In the 1930s, about 47% of the total population (or 103,000 inhabitants) lived in the inner city, where significant administrative and commercial functions were concentrated. By 1991, however, the figure had gone down to a mere 68,213, i.e. only 20.8% of the total Ostrava population, and the depopulation process continues even today (Krejcí et al. 2011). However, due to restructuring, the depopulation struck the whole city, which has lost about 7% of its population in the recent years (Rumpel et al. 2010), and according to Turok & Mykhnenko (2007), Ostrava belongs among the so-called medium-term decline cities. The restructuring process accompanied by deindustrialisation has resulted in the emergence of many brownfields (Vojvodíková 2005), and in an increase in unemployment, which after a stage of dynamic growth (2004­2008) has again become a significant problem in the current period of world economic recession. In this article we focus primarily on the highly problematic inner city, which however currently shows also the highest concentration of creative industries, not only in Ostrava, but in the whole of the Moravian-Silesian Region (Rumpel et al. 2010a). This has also influenced the post­1989 regeneration process itself. 4. Case study no. 1: Stodolní Street The architectural and urban structure of the Stodolní Street area in Ostrava formed in the course of spontaneous urbanisation typical of almost the whole inner city during the 19th century. The close diffusion and overlapping of functions (industry, housing, services) as well as its social and ethnic structure (German, Jewish, Czech, Polish) gave the street a "bizarre look" (Juica 2003). Hand in hand with the process of populating the given area, there appeared inns, fashionable hotels and bars in Stodolní Street. The area became notorious for its concentration of prostitution in the city, but on the other hand it also offered culture and entertainment ­ the Brioni Hotel had its own cabaret since 1913, and miners' bands and amateur theatre companies often performed in the local pubs (Cejka 1999). The original buildings still preserved include in particular the cattle market, but together with the whole slaughterhouse area (ca. 1.5 ha) it is now in such a tragic state of repair that some of its parts had to be pulled down. The decline of Stodolní Street started after the Second World War. The area was settled by a poor population and to a large extent it turned into a ghetto. In the mid­1960s a decision was taken to demolish the whole area with a future prospect of new buildings according to the socialist doctrine. However, the plan was not implemented before the end of the 1980s due to lack of funding, although some buildings in the adjacent streets were pulled down. At the beginning of the 1990s, the locality was aptly named "Ostrava's Bronx" (Kubícek 2000). The development of Stodolní Street after 1989 can be divided into three stages. The first was characterised by the foundation of the Cerný Pavouk (Black Spider) club in 1994, and a gradual revival of the street owing to alternative culture (`the age of pioneers') accompanied by the establishment of other clubs. A fundamental role in the development of these businesses was played by culture, which attracted the attention of intellectuals and secured a stable income to bars. Art theoreticians spoke about Ostrava's cultural scene as the Black Spider generation (Hrdina 2009), which organised in the 1990s a festival of action art Malamut, one of the first action art festivals in the Czech Republic. An important event was also the founding of the Boomerang Club, which filled the gap on the city's music scene in the form of a large club oriented towards rock music and live concerts, not only of local bands. The club was incorporated into the municipal cultural organisation and supported by financial grants from the city's budget. In drama terms, the Boomerang Club was connected with the organisers of the Dolnolhotský Buben suburban festival, from which the world music festival, Colours of Ostrava, developed later. 2002 was its first year in Stodolní Street and its close surroundings ­ a move from the city's hinterland (the Dolní Lhota municipality is located in the city's suburban zone) into its centre, and the new music concept, oriented rather towards the mainstream audience, reflected the trend in the development of the whole street at the turn of the millennium. This experiment, to a large extent unique not only in the Czech Republic, greatly helped to popularise the very phenomenon of Stodolní Street, as well as the Colours festival. At the end of the first stage, real estate in the area of Stodolní was already in private ownership (the privatisation of residential houses formerly owned by the city was particularly intensive between 1991 and 1995), extensive renovation of dilapidated buildings was in progress, and offers of non-residential space for lower prices started to be competitive against the already established `good addresses' in the city centre. The second stage (2000­2004) was characterised by an expansion of bars and the creation of the so-called Clubland in the area of Stodolní Street. The locality became attractive to services of the progressive tertiary sector or creative industries (advertising, design), and rents quickly approached the average rates in the core area. A symbol of this stage, leading towards a certain unification of the offer, was the termination of the Cerný Pavouk club activity, in the place of which an Irish bar ­ Bernie´s Pub ­ was established. The area was already considered by local citizens an integral part of the city centre, and its growing importance for tourism in the city further boosted its commercialisation. During this stage the number of bars, pubs, clubs, and restaurants increased to 60 (as against 9 businesses in 1999). There are often several bars located in a single house, making use particularly of the basement, ground floor, or courtyard. Three out of five `urban pioneers' from the first stage did not survive this process. Raised rents and efforts to exploit premises at all costs led to forcing out the original functions. The last stage so far, which could be seen as one of gradual demand stabilisation with regard to certain typical phenomena and processes, has lasted since 2005. The process of regeneration was finished, from the perspective of local administration, by an extensive reconstruction of physical infrastructure (e.g. a new sewerage system, road surface, street furniture) in 2006 at a cost of approximately 0.8 million. The emphasis on hard projects (infrastructure) is in a sharp contrast with the hands-off approach towards the support of cultural production diversity on the part of the municipality ­ the last music club with live performances stopped its activity in 2011 under similar circumstances in which the `urban pioneers' ended in the first stage. Raising the rent by the proprietor for the Templ club (formerly Boomerang, see above) is however the more par- Fig. 1. Spatial location of Stodolní Street, the Black Meadow and the Lower Vítkovice area. Author: Ludk Krticka. adoxical because the proprietor was the municipality itself. It was also the unclear grant policy of the municipality that so disgusted the club owner that the club's operation was finished. As part of the development of the whole area, there have also gradually appeared other services (hotels, office space, restaurants), which has strengthened the function of the locality during the daytime. Currently we can also talk about a `successful' completion of the functional unification of the area and its transformation into a purely consumer, or tourist, area. In terms of image, the street has changed during the last 15 years from "Ostrava's Bronx" to the "trendiest place in the Czech Republic" (according to a survey of tourist actions in the years 1993­2010, CzechTourism 2011), and represents one of the most visited localities in the city. However, the area's stagnation is already perceived also by the local businessmen. 5. Case study no. 2: the Black Meadow If Stodolní Street represented a `social brownfield' in the past, the area of Cerná louka (Black Meadow) is an industrial brownfield, formed by large slag heaps typical of an industrial city. In the period of the city's economic and cultural boom in the 1920s and 1930s, an entertainment park Tivoli was established on the heaps, called at that time "Ostrava's Prater". However, after its closing down, this site became the first brownfield on the city's map (Kuta et al. 2005) with an area of circa 27 hectares. A favourable position by the river and close to the pedestrian zone in the heart of the city, and the city's demand for exhibition space, led in the communist period to the reclamation of the site in order to build a fairground for the needs of the whole agglomeration. However, the relatively large area was built-up only partially and there are still extensive spaces of reclaimed lawn and planting. After 1989 basic reconstruction works were carried out on several buildings, but it was only after the turn of the millennium that there appeared important impulses in the form of a reconstruction of the Silesian Ostrava Castle (funded by the city) in the eastern part of the site, the construction of the Puppet Theatre, and the relocation of the above-mentioned Colours of Ostrava festival. After years of economic stagnation, in 2004 there came dynamic economic growth that boosted the demand on the real-estate market, and the city started to consider selling the land on the site, which was almost completely in its ownership. In 2006 the European Commission decided that in 2015 one of the cities in the Czech Republic would host cultural events as a European Capital of Culture (ECoC). With a slight delay (in 2008), Ostrava started to prepare its candidacy for this prestigious event. The principal motivation of the city had two aspects. The aim was to improve the negative external image of an industrial city through this event, to enhance the quality of life in the form of completing the historically missing cultural infrastructure, and thus to induce the development of cultural and creative industries. In connection with the starting economic crisis, the candidacy was also interpreted as one of possible elements in the transition of the city from a low-road to a high-road strategy. Selected as the main flagship of the project was a grand project of the construction of a cultural cluster on the Black Meadow site, which was to embody in a concentrated form the above-mentioned motives. The idea of a cultural cluster was, particularly initially, inspired by similar projects in Bilbao, Essen (it was a visit of city representatives there that played an important role in the decision to apply for the candidacy), Manchester, and other industrial cities, but also at the same time it reflected, at least to a minor extent, the real needs of the citizens and the art scene itself. With the arrival of communist rule, the already intensive industrial orientation was even deepened, resulting in further `proletarianisation' of the city, or the whole region. It is therefore no surprise that in this period there did not emerge any corresponding cultural infrastructure as in developed economies in the 1970s and 1980s. Planned as part of the cultural cluster was a new building for a symphonic orchestra, a city gallery (Kunsthalle), a cultural management college including an incubator for creative industries, a kindergarten, a primary and a secondary school with art orientation, and a supplementary building for the existing Puppet Theatre. Besides these `anchoring' buildings, the plans also included the cultivation of public green areas, regeneration of riverbanks, and the development of other functions (housing, services). At once, the idea of the cluster seemed complementary in terms of function to other nearby areas: the city core, the city park, the Lower Vítkovice Area (see below) and Karolina, and also Stodolní Street. Ostrava qualified for the final round of the ECoC competition together with Pilsen, and the idea of the cluster became its central strategy ­ in 2010 the city announced an international urbandesign competition for a future design of the Black Meadow cultural cluster. Selected as the winning project was a design from the Dutch architects' studio Maxwan (see Fig. 2) containing, unlike the original plans, also a hotel building. The planned budget of the project was estimated at approximately 3.3 billion Czech crowns. For the purposes of candidacy, the city council approved the amount of 2 billion Czech crowns, a significant part of which was to go to the construction of the cultural cluster. The principal investor was to be the city, and other funds were planned to come from external sources, mainly structural funds (thematic, regional operational programmes), or from the JESSICA financial tool. In September 2010, the selection committee declared the winner to be the competing city of Pilsen, which had a decisive impact on the future of the cultural cluster project. The failure of Ostrava's candidacy pushed the project into the cat's s egory of `desired' but not real, and even though the city declared that in spite of the failure it would strive to accomplish the cluster project, currently only the construction of the building for the symphonic orchestra is being considered. Completed, or in the course of implementation, are projects whose funding was secured from structural funds already before the candidacy. There are even speculations about dividing the land into plots for selling to private developers. The Black Meadow cultural cluster was supposed to represent a typical `flagship project' with its orientation, character, and scope. The combination of the candidacy's failure and resignation from integrated development of the inner city (despite the still existing possibility of external financing) led to the situation in which the area started to lose its position in favour of another site ­ the Lower Vítkovice Area, proof of which is also the relocation of the Colours of Ostrava festival into it in 2012. 6. Case study no. 3: the Lower Vítkovice Area (LVA) The site of interest extends over 253 hectares in a relative proximity of the city centre and features a varied mixture of industrial buildings, large brownfields (partially regenerated), and functioning businesses. The planned utilisation of the site includes exploitation of the industrial heritage (a museum), sports and leisure-time infrastructure (culture, entertainment), residential buildings, an industrial zone, and a research and development centre, or possibly even a university campus. Estimated investment costs are circa 2­2.5 billion, supposing that two-thirds of this amount is covered from private resources and one-third from public ones. The Lower Vítkovice Area represents the largest contemporary project of urban regeneration in the Czech Republic. The planned regeneration of the whole Lower Vítkovice Area has some features identical with the thematic priorities of the IBA Emscher Park (e.g. Kilper 1999, Shaw 2002), naturally in a much smaller dimension. This inspiration is the most noticeable in the regeneration of the Cultural Heritage Object in the northern part of the area, which in essence copies one of the IBA principal projects ­ regeneration of the 200-hectare site of Zeche Zollverein in Essen (e.g. Landry 2000). The northern part (henceforth, Lower Vítkovice, 47 hectares) ­ the focus of this text ­ is currently in the most advanced stage of industrial brownfield fundamental functional regeneration. Fig. 2. The winning project of an international urban-design competition. Source: Maxwan Architects. The history of the industrial use of the northern part of Lower Vítkovice dates back to 1828, and production was terminated here in 1998. During more than 150 years of continuous functioning of blast furnaces, a technologically unique, enclosed coal-and-iron cluster was created, integrating in one complex a production chain from coal mining, production of coke and electricity, up to iron production. At the same time, this complex became a significant vertical morphological element of the city skyline, which was also confirmed by a survey among the Ostrava residents in which 91% of the respondents considered it a distinct component of the city's overall image (Matj & Czumalo 2001). The relatively quick closing down of the production had a consequence: there were no projects of an alternative use for this attractive ­ from the perspective of the city's spatial structure ­ locality. The complex, although it was registered as a Cultural Heritage Object (CHO) in 2002, afterwards succumbed to rapid deterioration until 2004 when the owner ­ the Vítkovice Company ­ established a working group whose objective was to conceptualise a use for the blast-furnace area and carry out negotiations with the Czech Ministry of Culture and the National Heritage Institute in Ostrava concerning future conservation and protection of the site (the ideas of the owner and the preservationists were very different, mainly on the question of the scope of preservation). At the same time, the site was partially opened up for the public. Today heritage protection embraces an area of 15 hectares, while 5 hectares of the former coal mine Hlubina are in the ownership of the state or regional institutions (first a state-owned company dealing with rehabilitation, then the Moravian-Silesian Region). Nevertheless, the Region currently rents the entire site for an indefinite period to the Lower Vítkovice Area (LVA) association, which is in essence an institution managed by the principal private owner of the land. Recently a process has even started of preparing a gratuitous transfer of the land to the LVA association. An exclusive and cardinal role in the regeneration of the site is thus played by the private owner, which through its connections with municipal, regional and state institutions successfully applies for financial resources from the EU structural funds for site conversion (in particular through the so-called Integrated Operational Programme) according to its plans and in consultation with, e.g., the National Heritage Institute. Objects located in the former coal mine area are currently in an unsatisfactory condition and in most cases are not used any more. In the case of a positive decision concerning the application for funds from the Ministry of Culture, the first stage of reconstruction of the 5-hectare site should be finished by 2014. This stage will include four objects intended for artistic and social activities (old bathrooms, a materials warehouse, a compressor room, and future new bathrooms). The declared objective of the owner is to introduce into this part of the site a living, non-conformist culture and provide young alternative artists with a base for their production ­ the so-called FACTORY. For this purpose, based on strong informal relations between the owner of the private company and the main representative of the civic association "I profess the Factory!", a partnership agreement was signed between the artists' movement and the site manager (the LVA association) concerning the future programme and use of individual spaces, while the old bathrooms building will have the function of an artistic hot-spot of the entire Lower Vítkovice Area (information service, a shop, a café, a bar, a gallery, a music club, studios, and offices). Although the private owner made a public call for partnership in the future use of this part of the Cultural Heritage Object, other artistic or civic initiatives did not react, deterred either by the vagueness of the call, or by the requirement for the operation to be self-funding. Even though the system of management and maintenance of the possibly upgraded (if the application for funding is successful) infrastructure of the FACTORY has not been clearly defined yet, it can be expected that the LVA association will take care of facility management, and will require operational economic self-sufficiency from the tenant, or tenants. The artistic initiative "I profess the Factory!" was known as an informal group of several personalities from different branches of culture for its effort to obtain a space for its activity in the city centre. However, some selected objects (often in poor repair and at the level of a brownfield) had a problematic ownership structure, building disposition, or eventually the initiative was completely misunderstood by the owner. The role of the city was only at the level of consultations (possibility to obtain funding under the city's integrated development plan, but not land), and it was only the beginning of preparations for the ECoC candidacy that brought wider media publicity to the members, and therefore also helped them to establish very important informal relationships with important stakeholders, e.g. the private company owner who spotted a potential in the group's activity for possible thematic content of a part of the Cultural Heritage Object. 7. Conclusion While in developed economies culture is represented by an established part of a city development agenda, in post-socialist cities this approach is only at its beginning. This situation is on the one hand a result of the communist heritage, and on the other, of a different orientation of urban policies. In this paper we attempted to outline the basic aspects of the role of culture in the regeneration process on the example of three areas in the inner city of industrial Ostrava. The first example, of the evolution of Stodolní Street, reveals several paradoxes. The creation of the site was in a way a result of the combination of a `wild post-revolution transformation' when territorial or functional regulations of the area practically did not exist (e.g. the land-use plan was adopted only in 1994), while the principle dominating in the public sector was that of laissez-faire with maximum confidence in the market. The principal vehicle of regeneration of the Stodolní Street area and its surroundings were artists, or main representatives of Ostrava's underground scene. To a certain extent they made use of one of the `ploaps' (= places left over after planning, Mommaas 2004: 508) in the city centre, which at this stage offered not only decaying, but architecturally interesting buildings with low rents, but also a space without any formal or informal control or the presence of other activities to generate conflicts. The further development of the street is practically a model of the process outlined in theory (Cameron & Coaffee 2005), i.e. artists-led regeneration, followed by property-led regeneration, up to consumptionled regeneration. The Black Meadow cultural cluster was to represent a typical cultural `flagship project' with its orientation, character, and scope, or an example of culture-led regeneration of the inner city (Evans 2005). Naturally, it cannot be explicitly assessed if the project would have been successful or not. Experience from other cities indicates that impacts of such projects are minimally arguable. Moreover, if we take into account also the characteristic features of cities undergoing a postsocialist transformation ­ like the low quality of informal institutions in relation to political or economic activity, or rigidity of formal institutions (Rumpel 2002), the doubts become more intensive, which is by the way documented by the ECoC projects implemented in post-communist countries (Palmer 2004). The combination of the unsuccessful candidacy and resignation from integrated development of the inner city led to a situation when this site started to lose its position in favour of another one ­ the Lower Vítkovice Area, proof of which is the movement of the Colours of Ostrava festival there, and also the absence of any mention of the project in the new strategy of city's competitiveness. The project of a regeneration of some buildings of the former coal mine Hlubina is only one of a number of functional uses of a large area, while the dominant use is and will be much more for the industrial heritage than for living culture. From the perspective of the planned functional use, the FACTORY project can be considered a certain form of a creative incubator, or an arts centre (Markusen 2006). The city currently practically lacks a hub of the local arts scene enabling acceleration of the communication feedback process in the framework of which local artists could form and establish their entrepreneurial and social position, and where they could simultaneously gain social and communicational resources necessary to enter or function on the market (Banks et al. 2000, Hesse & Lange 2007). With slight optimism, this is a potential win-win situation in the form of connecting the intermediary artistic FACTORY initiative (cf. Andres 2011) with the needs of the bearer of the site's regeneration. The arts scene will obtain an attractive space for various activities which will revive the Table 1. Comparison of the three studied sites in the inner city. Site Location Area Original character Start of regeneration Key actors Main functions Characteristics Role of culture Role of city Source: own elaboration. Stodolní Street inner city 10.6 ha social brownfield 1994 artists, municipality, businessmen clubs, cafés, bars, gambling clubs, fast-food places, restaurants, hotels, business services, creative industries former cultural quarter, today entertainment zone formerly important, today marginal hands-off approach Black Meadow inner city 27 ha industrial brownfield 2000 city, artists symphonic orchestra, gallery, concert hall, school, incubator, housing planned cultural cluster, today partial use important hands-on approach Lower Vítkovice Area inner city 253 ha (15 ha) industrial brownfield 2010 private subject, region, state, artists industrial tourism, science centre, arts centre industrial heritage site less important hands-off approach area, particularly during the night hours, which is one of the positive contributions of artists to the regeneration of an area (Stolarick & Florida 2006). At the same time artists can theoretically profit from the advantages stemming from the presence of adjacent attractions (e.g. a higher frequency of visitors ­ tourists, thus potential customers; a common brand of the whole area). The three presented case studies naturally offer a limited perspective on the role and importance of culture for regeneration in post-socialist conditions. Still, they offer certain implications. Cultural and creative industries can be a significant factor of regeneration of problematic parts of cities, and considering the continuing process of commercial and residential suburbanisation (Sýkora 2003), they gain in importance. However, cultural and creative industries cannot be a miraculous deus ex machina of urban development which will work spontaneously without the necessity of public-sector participation. It is exactly the role of the public sector which appears as the weakest point in the city of Ostrava (see Table 1). In the case of Stodolní Street, the public sector failed as an active supporter of culture during regeneration, in the second case of the planned Black Meadow cluster, it was a declared rather than a really wanted project, and in the third case the public sector (not only the city, but also the region) to a large extent gave up the possibility to actively influence the process of change. This, to a certain measure, shows the weakness of the public sector (public interest) in comparison with the private one when enforcing the interests of the whole society related to urban development. Last but not least is the question of how much the significance and role of culture in the regeneration process in Ostrava differs from the western cities. The case studies from Ostrava as a postsocialist industrial city demonstrate a number of similarities with the processes of culture-led regeneration in western cities, but also certain differences. As in the western cities, an important role is played by informal artistic activity through which the regeneration of declining city parts with as yet `undiscovered' aesthetic value can take place, as shown by the cases of Stodolní Street and the Lower Vítkovice Area. Particularly in Stodolní Street there did not exist any formal control, which enabled a spontaneous functional and spatial manifestation of cultural and creative activities. Both areas have emerged, or are emerging, `in spite of everyone' rather than owing to a conscious cultural policy on the part of local governance, which can also be observed in western cities. Particularly Stodolní Street represents a typical example of the number of cultural quarters in which isolated alternative clubs with an authentic atmosphere, music, or design, have created a basis for a larger concentration of night life by creating places of consumption (Chatter- ton & Hollands 2003). Also similar is the emancipation of culture as part of a wider strategic framework of industrial city regeneration, shown by the example of the Black Meadow cultural cluster ­ a typical strategy of many cities struck by the deindustrialisation process. In Ostrava, the support of culture and creative industries was also primarily a pragmatic pro-growth effort motivated by external factors (ECoC) rather than by an idealistic endeavour to support culture as such. The last point moves us to differences between Ostrava and western cities ­ it is the question concerning the role of actors, or a wider question of governance of culture-led regeneration, or generally urban governance (DiGaetano & Strom 2003). Public-sector intervention in the field of cultural regeneration represents without doubt one of the major challenges of urban governance connected with a good many paradoxes. On the one hand, often emphasised is the significance of support for creating a space strengthening the process of self-organisation of cultural activities (Mommaas 2004) and that too intensive intervention into cultural activities can be highly counterproductive (McCarthy 2005). On the other hand, a total absence of any policies can lead to similar or even much worse results than too intensive intervention (like e.g. a transformation into an exclusively consumerist space) (Gospodini 2006). It was the absolute absence of policies in Ostrava, or the generally falling-behind level of the control of market processes in post-socialist countries in contrast to public intervention in western-European cities, which caused a total transformation of Stodolní Street into a purely consumerist space. Likewise, as demonstrated by developments after the unsuccessful candidacy, the initiation of creating a cultural cluster was more a question of a purely utilitarian, so-called opportunity-led planning context (Taan-Kok 2006), than an element of a long-term and intentional cultural strategy of the city, which is by the way also documented by the passivity of the public sector in the case of the FACTORY project. With reference to the paper's title, we can state in sum that cultural and creative industries have contributed in a significant way to the regeneration of the city of Ostrava. Nevertheless, a key to its future development will be finding an authen- tic role of the public sector in managing the further process of culture-led regeneration.

Journal

Quaestiones Geographicaede Gruyter

Published: Dec 1, 2012

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