About Creative City : Kitchener


The purpose of Livable City: Kitchener is to develop a bottom-up catalog of assets and experiences within the downtown core of the City of Kitchener. While the City of Kitchener hosts a population of more than 204,000 in an area of more than 800km2, it forms the core of a substantial urban agglomeration. Kitchener, along with the adjacent Cities of Waterloo and Cambridge, is designated as a growth centre in the Ontario Government's Places to Grow plan. The City has a long and storied history and frequently highlights it’s German Mennonite and early industrial heritage. Throughout the last decade, the City has struggled with a declining downtown core and a reputation of crime, low income and relative undesirability. With the recent popularity of ‘creative cities’ in urban planning trends, the City has launched an ambitious effort to promote and encourage their own ‘rise of the creative class’. Central to this effort is an extensive redevelopment of the Downtown core, including the location of several University and High-tech Corporate organizations within the downtown core. Developed by urban studies theorist Richard Florida, the ‘creative class’ theory suggests that the driving force in modern urban economic growth is the group consisting of knowledge-based jobs such as science, education, and engineering professionals, along with art, design and media workers, and their supporters. Central to the ‘creative class’ premise is the notion of the ‘buzz’ or culture of a city. It is this ‘buzz’ that draws, or keeps, the young professionals of the ‘creative class’. The assumption is that the ‘creative class’ seeks the specific and authentic living environment and experience offered by a creative city. Due to the varied nature of each city and its cultural assets, along with the ambiguous nature of personal experience, it has been difficult to quantify the ‘buzz’ of a city.

Number of sites: 19

Comments: 4

Team members: 2
Kitchener Canada
Recent Comments

Title Site Added by Comment
Events like IgniteWaterloo, Conrad Centre for the Performing Arts Anonymous

Events like IgniteWaterloo, Lost & Found Theatre productions, the KWS' annual Open House, KW Youth Theatre rehearsals show the range and vitality of the space.

On a personal note, hearing Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony rehearsals while I'm at work in my office upstairs is fantastic, and the intimacy of the Intersections series symphony performances (just a few feet from the orchestra!) is magical.

12/08/2010 - 19:30
Wrong location. Vic Park is Victoria Park Anonymous

Wrong location. Vic Park is just SW of downtown.

03/10/2012 - 17:20
Great example of adaptive The Lang Tannery Anonymous

Great example of adaptive re-use and a bold and daring development investment in a brownfield site that will reap many benefits. This conversion of an abandoned warehouse is turning this major intersection downtown into a destination site; providing significant high-salaried employment of creative-class talent that will contribute significantly to the liveliness and prosperity of downtown Kitchener over the coming years.

03/10/2012 - 17:20
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