Contributing to the Newsletter#68 [Summer 2014] of the International Institute for Asian Studies (IIAS) on the topic of ‘HUTONG | adaptation‘ and featured as a case-study in the UNESCO’s Creative Economy Report 2013 [Special Edition], MovingCities has been mentioned around in the past months.
Both report and newsletter have a person half-hidden behind a camera on their cover.
Background, links and info after the break.
About the International Institute for Asian Studies:
IIAS is a research and exchange platform based in Leiden, the Netherlands. It encourages the multidisciplinary and comparative study of Asia, and actively promotes national and international co-operation. IIAS acts as a global mediator, bringing together academic and non-academic institutes in Asia and other parts of the world, including cultural, social and policy organisations. Without excluding other possibly interesting research areas in Asian studies, our focus is on urbanisation, heritage and globalisation.
The Institute’s Newsletter [subscription] is a free academic publication produced three or four times a year (…) with a worldwide circulation of nearly 17,000 – a forum for scholars to share commentary and opinion; research essays; book, journal and website reviews; and announcements of events, projects and conferences with colleagues in academia and beyond.
In the IIAS-newsletter we are mainly recapping our experience with guest-editing HUTONG | adaptation issue for Abitare China. Rather than lamenting loss, or trying to turn back the tide, to a traditional understanding of heritage preservation, we tried [featuring more than 20 contributors, in 100 pages] to look at the future, by understanding the present. And beyond dealing alone with professional architects’ opinions on what needs to be done, we investigated and talked with those directly affected by, or those influencing, the development of the hutong: local residents, business people, artists, lawyers, preservationists and government officials who have chosen to live and work in and with the hutong 胡同.
Check out the International Institute for Asian Studies newsletter and find out about the challenges to female representation in Asian democracies, read about the Geopolitics of energy or the ‘cinematic’ santri, or finally find out Why do South Asian documentaries matter?
About the UNESCO Creative Economy Report 2013, Special Edition: Widening Local Development Pathways:
Launched in December 2013 at the UN Headquarters, this special edition of the Creative Economy Report contains a body of evidence reflecting the experiences, actions and resources of local actors and communities. It introduces indicators of success and effectiveness in the creative economy and a fresh analytical approach to help local policymakers bridge the existing evidence gap and rethink how a flourishing local creative economy could help improve the everyday lives of people.
From the Creative Economy Report 2013 [7MB pdf alert!] :
This edition is ‘special’ as it provides a rich body of evidence demonstrating local creative economy decision makers and stakeholders in action that did not exist before. […] Case studies are provided across the Global South from the Asia and the Pacific region to the Arab world, from Africa to Latin America and the Caribbean. […] This edition paints, for the first time, a portrait of local economies in developing countries that are vibrant, often informal and very different from one another, demonstrating that there is no single creative economy, but a multitude of creative economies that are independent yet interconnected.
MovingCities is pleased to be included in the ‘Widening the Horizon‘-chapter of the UNESCO’s Creative Economy Report 2013, a chapter exploring three domains in which the value of culture in and for human development transcends economic analysis in particularly meaningful ways:
The first is cultural expression (or artistic practice), both individual and collective. […] The second is tangible and intangible cultural heritage. […] The third is urban planning and architecture, as the quality of the built environment enables and nurtures individual and group well-being, as well as their capacity to create and innovate.
In the third domain of this chapter the analysis is made that
under today’s conditions of extremely rapid urbanization in the developing world, notions of cultural belonging and sense of place are too often absent from the manner in which livelihoods and development are thought about and conceived. […] Sadly, the cultural dimension in urban development has veered towards the inequitable and the unsustainable in many towns and cities.
Acting as a case-study here, our MovingCities work is illustrative for being able to instigate a “more culturally sensitive approaches in real estate development [that] could clearly contribute to improving the quality of life in urban contexts (see case study 3.5).”
These kind words are mostly linked the ‘Transdisciplinary Research on Creative Industries in Beijing‘ -project , initiated by Professor Ned Rossiter (UWS), and co-coordinated by MovingCities, that acted as “a mobile research laboratory (orgnets.net) which has established a novel framework for collaborative research on creative industries and media education in Beijing“. And, according to the report, “this innovative transdisciplinary initiative pioneers original research in the global South, demonstrating how a Chinese academic perspective that ties the creative economy to the broader social environment can provide new perspectives that may help to inform policy-making and practice.”
The outcome of this project resulted in the collaborative guest-editing of Urban China #33 ‘Creative China‘ .
Next to this, the UNESCO’s Creative Economy Report 2013 focus is put on the two-year cultural exchange program MovingCities set up for the NAi. The so-called ‘NAi China Program‘ [between 2009 and 2011], part of the international agenda of the Netherlands Architecture Institute, which had the ambition to instigate collaborations between Dutch and Chinese architects. In the report these efforts are highlighted and explained as a MovingCities-project “which addresses both the serious lack of good quality housing for low-income urban population groups and the pressures under which Chinese architects work in order to develop and produce buildings at a brisk pace with little time for reflection.”
Check out the UNESCO’s Creative Economy Report 2013 – and discover other creative industry analysis and case-studies such as the Aga Khan Trust’s Azhar Park project in Cairo; The Book Café [an innovative creative business model in Harare], the Chiang Mai Creative City Initiative, and a community-led audio-visual micro-industry on Indonesia’s Siberut island.