The Formation of Government-Oriented Creative Community and Its Driving Mechanisms: A Case Study of the 39° Space Art Creative Community in Foshan, China

With the arrival of the era of the creative economy, the “creative community”, a joint product of the regional/community revival movement and the localization of cultural and creative industries, has become a new goal of sustainable urban development. Creative communities can be government-oriented (top-down), or they can involve a sequence of autogenic developments (bottom-up) depending on the initial motivating force behind their formation. This paper provides a case study of the government-oriented Foshan 39° Space Art Creative Community (hereinafter, the 39° Community), though questionnaires, interviews, field observations, and other methods, to obtain a better understanding of how government-oriented creative communities formed. The paper discusses the mechanisms driving such communities in Chinese cities by constructing a driving mechanism model. The results show that policy decisions, under a special policy and industrial background jointly provided by the Foshan municipal government and the Nanhai District government together, is the initial impetus for the emergence of the 39° Community. The community has a concise and flexible organizational structure, creative community members, reasonable community function partitioning, a vibrant and innovative environment, and a variety of creative elements. Finally, the key to the sustainable development of the government-oriented creative community lies in the combined effect of endogenous and exogenous motivations that include a strong support from the local government, market demand, a favorable location, high-quality community services, and creative spirit. High-quality community service is a critical factor in the interaction between exogenous forces and endogenous factors because it can create bridges among governments, enterprises, employees, and the community.

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