The location patterns of artistic clusters: A metro- and neighborhood-level analysis

Carl Grodach, Elizabeth Currid-Halkett, Nicole Foster, James Murdoch III

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

48 Citations (Scopus)


Analysing census and industry data at the metro and neighbourhood levels, this paper seeks to identify the location characteristics associated with artistic clusters and determine how these characteristics vary across different places. We find that the arts cannot be taken overall as an urban panacea, but rather that their impact is place-specific and policy ought to reflect these nuances. However, our work also finds that, paradoxically, the arts' role in developing metro economies is as highly underestimated as it is overgeneralised. While arts clusters exhibit unique industry, scale and place-specific attributes, we also find evidence that they cluster in 'innovation districts', suggesting they can play a larger role in economic development. To this end, our results raise important questions and point toward new approaches for arts-based urban development policy that look beyond a focus on the arts as amenities to consider the localised dynamics between the arts and other industries.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2822-2843
Number of pages21
JournalUrban Studies
Issue number13
Publication statusPublished - 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • arts
  • arts policy
  • creative economy
  • economic development
  • industry cluster

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