GaWC Research Bulletin 207

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A World City, Psychological Rewards and the Creative Agencies

B.A. Kipnis*



The conceptual association between the creative agencies of a place and the place's psychological rewards, a requisite for a 'white collar' environment, is elaborated. Such an alliance, believed to play a vital role in leveraging urban growth, is argued to evolve best in the context of a 'World City'. This is a favorable place for activity by the affluent and their skilled managers and professional experts on the quinary [decision making and control] and the quaternary [primarily producers' services] sectors, and for people of the creative industries and the arts, including, inter alia, cultural creators and performers, fashion and graphic designers, and makers of physical artifacts. The important contribution of Richard Florida's writings is noted, for presenting the notions of creativity, talent, and a toleranced ambience as key factors for development. Here these notions are expanded across a wider theoretical spectrum to include the concepts of psychological rewards and of human agencies. Employing Cristaller's Central Place Theory conceptions, the inevitable link among a World City milieu, psychological rewards, and the creative agencies is established.

Key words

psychological rewards, creative agencies, creative class, world city, affluent, quinary and quaternary sectors.


The postindustrial landscape evinces much locational flexibility of mobile capital, leading to a new urban order where jobs and investments move quickly and often across the world, from city to city, and up and down the urban hierarchy. Cities have to reposition themselves and to update their representation and images (Short and Kim, 1999). Floida (2005c) advanced this vision, suggesting that "where value emanates from the creativity of the human mind, people choose a region where they would like to live first, and then look for jobs in these regions". Florida calls these people the place's 'creative class'. Another vision of creativity was outlined by the CISVBD1 (2002) for their Creative community index. It perceived creativity as a fundamental requisite to innovation, the ability to bring something new or original into being; more explicitly, creativity is perceived as a process by which ideas are generated, connected, and changed into things that are valid. CISVBD affirmed that creativity had complex impacts on the society and economy [of Silicon Valley], and that its application exerted critical influences across the breadth of human enterprise - in commerce, philosophy, science, law, aesthetics, trades, and even athletics. Its effects, CISVBD contended, are revealed in the innovative achievements of the valley's technology and business, art and culture, and civic life.

This paper asserts that the creativity of a place is a reflection of what Buswell (1983) named the place's 'psychological rewards', an asset of a place endeavoring to perform as one that Malecki (1980) had labeled a white collar ambience. It will further recommend upgrading Florida's creativity paradigm in the following elements, all referring to a place as an area, usually a metropolis, extending beyond the municipal boundary of a given city2 : More specifically, this paper asserts that:

  • The concept of psychological rewards is more inclusive than that of Florida's (2002b, c) concept of tolerance, formed out of the place's human and social attributes, and viewed as a requisite for creativity and for the presence of talented individuals. Notwithstanding the merit of tolerance in making a creative place, it is maintained that the real reason behind the immense concentration of talented individuals is the place's 'psychological rewards', containing, in addition to human and social attributes, a large variety of physical, cultural, and service attributes3.
  • The concept of 'creative class', employed by Florida (2002a, b; 2005 a, b, c, d), 'creative services' by Stanley's (2003) and 'creative industries' by Caves's ( 2000), should be promoted to 'creative agencies. This concept adds a dynamic quality to the vision of creativity as well as encompassing the inherent power of restructuring the economy, the society, and the environment.4
  • The entry thresholds of a vast range of psychological rewards attributes could not occur in a small or a medium-sized urban place, regardless of it toleranced atmosphere. A full scale of psychological rewards is expected to prevail in large, well developed urban places, primarily in those listed as a World City.5 This serves as a favored place for activity and residence by the affluent that possess the capital,6 alongside their skilled managers and professional experts of the quinary and quaternary sectors. Members of these sectors are skilled workers, and together with the creators of art and culture they produce and consume tangible cultural, social, and economic rewards. Those who have an impact on the ability of a place to establish social links, trust, and understanding are those who act as the place's creative agencies who are also apt to lead the list of a nation's influentialcircles (Kipnis, 2005a).

This paper, then, looks at the inherent symbiosis between a place's psychological rewards and its agencies of human creativity, those who play a crucial role in upgrading the socio-economic and cultural structure of a place, thus advancing its potential of acting as a vivid 'World City'. Answers are sought to the following questions:

  • What are the psychological rewards of a place, and what are the geographic, economic, and social attributes that foster their evolution? Why does a World City tend to reveal the best potential for creating a link between human creativity and the place's psychological rewards?
  • Who are those tagged as a place's creative agencies, members of a 'creative class' and operators of creative industries; how do they perform as the place's agencies of creativity; why are they perceived as the place's social elite?
  • How do the above elements help to advance the creativity paradigm of a place?


Locas (1988) listed some factors needed to create a sustained, talent-attractive economy. Foremost are the economic competitiveness of a place and its ability to capture the dreams, imagination, and desires of young creative individuals who have to make new location decisions. Florida (2005d) further suggested that a place's ability to attract creative people is more important than its ability to retain them. However the emerging creative city clearly raises more questions than answers, and a researcher's prime objective is to portray an emerging urban place by its diversity and disruption, by its social gaps, and by its fluidity and liveliness (Landry, 2004). Jacobs (2004) added that it has long been acknowledged that in large cities so many people are so close together, and that between them they exhibit many different tastes, skills, needs, and products.

The above factors, and those proposed by Florida (2002a,b; 2005a,b,c,d) to explain the paradigm of a creativeplace or a creative center, are too narrow to illumine the paradigm of a creative economy. It is further implied that to broaden the scope of factors describing a creative environment, one must use the broader concept of psychological rewards. The concept, coined by Buswell (1983) to serve as a 'metaphor' in his review of a place's growth process, was employed by Kipnis (1998a) to explain Malecki's (1980) white collar environment as the landscape of a postindustrial ambience. In this paper we go a step farther to utilize the concept of psychological reward as an inclusive basic quality of a place where creative agencies7 fructify, live and work.

The basics of Cristaller's central place theory of the early 1930s, and its conceptual extensions by Berry and Garrison (1958a; 1958b) and by Kipnis (1974), constitute the ground for formulating a spatial paradigm for the assembly of a place's psychological rewards. Five concepts of the central place theory show how and why psychological rewards tend to cluster, or rather nest, in a given place. Their clustering is determined by the entry threshold of the highest order reward, one whose entry threshold reflects the buying potential of the local target population of creative agencies, situated within the reward's range of goods.8 Thus, a huddle of nested psychological rewards tends to assemble at a node, a place of residence and/or of activity, in which a creative agency is capable of winning a large, or "multiple", set of rewards. The threshold requisite leads us to the conclusion that a large urban agglomeration, whose creative agencies reside and work within the range of goods of their desired rewards, can offer a nested bunch of psychological rewards. The most likely attributes of a place needed to provide a desired nested cluster for the psychological rewards are its size, its buying potential, and its being a cluster of a variety of nested services and opportunities. These basics are believed to be best performed by a World City.

The concept of a nested cluster of psychological rewards resembles to some extent Florida's (2002a,b; 2004; 2005a,b) notion of creative environment of a large urban agglomeration, one that competes for highly mobile talented people by adopting competitive and creative goals. Among the attributes of a creative environment are its three interlinked Ts:

  • Talent - the creative human capital, those who engage in a creative work.
  • Technology - the level of the place's high-tech innovative activity.
  • Tolerance - the qualities of a place as liberal and tolerant, both vital for attracting talented people capable of generating new ideas.

Florida averred that the talented favor an urban place endowed with a toleranced environment.

In Cities and the creative class Florida (2005d) widened his view of a creative environment by proposing the concept of a creative center, a place attracting the creative agencies [class] away from the traditional corporate communities of working class. A creative center is so appealing because it possesses economic outcomes such as innovation and high-tech industry, growth in jobs and population, and an integrated ecosystem where many forms of creativity, such as artistic, cultural, technological, and economic, can take root and flourish. Florida (2005d) listed the principal elements that creative people like to have in their place of residence and work. They include: access to environmental amenities, stable economic opportunities, and diversified lifestyles; the presence of active and friendly young people who, like the incoming talented, strive to advance their own career; a vibrant music and performance scene with a wide range of live music, and a wide range of nightlife experiences; a clean and healthy place, committed to preserving natural resources for enjoyment and recreation. He stressed that creative people do not go to a creative center for traditional reasons like physical attractions (buildings, sports stadiums, freeways, urban malls, parks and the like are irrelevant objects), but to satisfy their major interests of having abundant high-quality [personal] experiences, an openness to diversity of all kinds, and the opportunity to validate their identities as creative people.

While Florida considers tolerance, a product of human and social attributes, a leading factor in creating an ambience for the "Talented", this paper contends that a more comprehensive list of motives are needed to justify the colossal assembly of the talented – the creative agencies, in a given locale. These motives are the place's nested cluster of psychological rewards incorporating, besides human and social assets, a variety of physical, cultural and social service elements, tolerance included. All these are best available in a large urban agglomeration displaying high entry threshold value. This is in addition to the fact that the talented tend to gather in large cities as they realize that working with other talented people spurs them to be more creative. Atkinson (2005) expanded the spatial horizons of a psychological rewards-rich creative center into one embracing the entire region determined by the talented people's range of goods. He contended that due to contemporary long wave technology, knowledge workers armed with information and communication technologies, are able to work from home anywhere, as long as they can maintain their high level quality of life. In other words, Atkinson's knowledgeable people are still in need of their place's psychological rewards. For them, Caincross's (1997) notion of the death of distance does not exist as long as they are able to attain their rewards within their place of work and residence. It is maintained that the most promising place to perform as a creative center, endowed with the so aspired-to psychological rewards, is a World City.

How then, in addition to the impact of spatial assemblage of creative agencies, may one define the attributes of a place's psychological rewards? We seem to be looking for some sort of rewards derived from the place's bunch of nested amenities and services, ones that are accessible to those who can pay for them and are ready to cover the range of goods in order to obtain them. At the core of our concern are the meanings of the terms 'reward' and 'amenities', whose definitions vary according to the source used. Webster's New Dictionary of Synonyms (1978), for example, defines rewards as a premium, prize, meed, guerdon, bounty, bonus, or incentives. It refers to the concept of amenity as denoting something that gives refined or exquisite pleasure or is exceedingly pleasing to the mind or senses. The Modern Dictionary of Geography (Small and Witherick, 1986) goes a step farther to convey that amenity is a feature of the environment which is perceived as being pleasant and attractive, and that the term tends to apply to something which has aesthetic, physiological or psychological benefits. The Penguin Dictionary of Geography (Clark, 2003) states that amenity is viewed as a pleasant and attractive element of the environment which makes life agreeable and gratifying for people. CISVBD (2002) proposes to include arts and culture as attributes of a creative ambience, and indicates that many indicators reveal that the arts produce tangible social and economic benefits. CISVBD reported that a recent research revealed the impact of the arts on the ambience of creativity of cities and regions, primarily by improving their ability to boost bonds of social trust and understanding. It showed that the impact of the dynamics of the arts and culture on a community is based on four successive interconnected elements: Cultural Levers, including investments, leadership and policies, which promote Cultural Assets such as the creative sector, civic aesthetics, venues and facilities, which stimulate Participation in Culturalactivities. The fourth and the end-product of the above three elements is a set of Cultural Outcomes consisting of human creativity, personal contribution, and social connectedness (CISVBD, 2002).

Marketing strategies of a few leading cities are another source from which the meaning of psychological rewards could be verified. Aiming at unveiling their "[psychological] rewards" as a driving force in their competition in a crowded global market, the marketing strategies help promote their place's popular culture, illuminating its advanced culture of leisure, revealing its efforts to upgrade its historic feel or its green and clean theme, and publicizing the place's package of pluralism (Short and Kim, 1999). Short and Kim portrayed the re-imaging tactics of actual and wannabe World Cities. Re-imaging emphasizes "No more factories" or "The city for business", or capitalizes on the city's culture, employing, in the case of New York, slogans such as "I love NY" or "The business city that never sleeps". Re-imaging of London focused on advertising reconstructing building, the docks and building sky- and ground scrapers; Milwaukee was re-imaged by pushing an aggressive campaign of abandoning the city's welfare tradition for a pro-business climate.

Social and/or ethnic pluralism, listed by Florida (2005a) as a tolerance-promoting attribute, could also be listed as one of a place's psychological rewards. A socially and ethnically dichotomized and diversified urban place is likely to yield creative agencies that come from the disadvantaged too. This idea could be stretched to suggest that socially and ethnically dichotomized labor is an asset in the sense that highly skilled creative labor needs many support workers, including secretaries, drivers, waiters, security and cleaning personnel. Some estimates suggest a ratio of 1:4 between those employed in the quinary and quaternary sectors and their supporting personnel. Besides, a pluralistic social setting offers a diversified culture of food, a variety of folklore events, and a human mix; all add a colorful rainbow to the urban place. Pluralism is also praised by Thurston (2003) who, citing the marketing guru Deanne Roberts,9 suggested that "creative communities", those where artists and writers as well as engineers and lawyers live and work, are places that also enjoy nightlife, outdoor recreation, historical significance and unique places to eat and shop. Above all, these areas need a thick job market where people have plenty of options to be employed in their field of expertise.

The concept of a good business climate (Harrison, 1984), reveals conflicting opinions as to its inclusion in the list of attributes of a place's psychological rewards. On the one hand, one may claim that a good business climate and local leadership, which think globally and act locally (Gappert, 1989), is capable of adopting creative and competitive strategies, and of attracting creative agencies in order to evolve into what Glaeser (2003) named a skilled city. Yet in a study on the U.S. global city's attributes, Kipnis (1996) correlated a pro-business attitude rank, an index simulating Harrison's (1984) good business climate, as a dependent variable to his IPI index (measuring the scope and intensity of the quinary and quaternary sectors) and to his MCI index (expressing the SMAs globally oriented manufacturing capacity). The resulting multiple R 2 values were too small to provide a clear answer to the hypothesis that a pro-business attitude matters, explaining but 14% and 30% of the variance in the IPI and the MCI respectively. One may conclude that a pro-business attitude, or rather a good business climate, cannot always be considered a feature of a place's psychological rewards.

To sum up, a list of possible attributes of a place's psychological rewards is not complete, and it is extremely difficult to meet all the particular needs of our contemporary demanding society's lifestyles. Evidence of such a dearth of rewards is the cosmopolitan nature of the creative agency. Many of them testify that they are inhabitants of the world at large. A list of the most essential rewards, however, might include, decent schools, a pleasant residence in a well serviced neighborhood, diversified high level health services, proximity to an international well serviced airport, effective highway systems, a variety of cultural activities, events and exhibitions, places to eat and enjoy leisure, a safe environment and above all, an inviting, diversified and opportunity-rich economy. All the above are needed not only for the creative agencies. They are a requisite for their families too, whose members might need a different set of rewards according to age, gender, occupation and social activities. Some of the rewards are also in demand by local firms, regardless of how one defines them. In short, such a creative place could be named "a twenty-four-hour city" (Singapore), "the city for business" and the "the business city that never sleeps" (New York), or "the city that never stops" (Tel Aviv). All are advertising slogans for a vivid World City.

If, however, a place fails to provide most of the above essentials, it might fail to exist as an attractive urban entity, or rather it might experience a talent deficit (Florida, 2005c), one that might result in a Flight of the Creative Class' (Florida, 2005b). Put otherwise, if we assume that a world city is a hard core of the talented creative agencies, and if it is considered to be one, a syndrome of Flight of the Creative Class' is one that would, in due time, remove that city from the World Cities list . If, on the other hand, a place enjoys an inward flow of creative agencies, a positive syndrome associated with the process of elevating the quality and the range of its psychological rewards, that place seems to experience an upgrading its status in the hierarchy of World Cities.


Contemporary studies like those of Stanley ( 2003), Caves ( 2000) and Florida (2002a; 2005b), to mention but a few, show that regardless of the term employed - creativity, the creative industries or the creative class, all act as a stimulus for urban growth. This literature also links creativity to high-tech professionals such as engineers and scientists; people connected with the producers' services in the fields of law, finance, accounting and medicine; those associated with inspired skills like architects, fashion and graphic designers, authors and painters; and those in the performing arts like actors, musicians and dancers. A key characteristic of the creative individuals, labeled here the creative agencies to denote their active essence as a driving force in advancing contemporary place development, is their lifestyle. It ranges from a globally 'cosmopolitan' (Sklair, 2002) to a ‘post-consumer living light’ (Schwartz and Schwartz,1998).

In his early writings Florida (2002a,b) equated creative individuals with bobos (the bohemian and bourgeois), and his bohemian index was highly correlated with other indices simulating creativity, pluralism and tolerance.10 The alliance between bobos and gays and creativity, adopted by naïve politicians and decision makers as a growth-propelling indicator, has drawn much criticism (Glaeser, 2004; Ingdahl, 2005; Malanga, 2004; Rossiter, 2004; to cite but a few). Nevertheless, other attributes of creative individuals proposed by Florida seem better to support the concept of creativeagencies. The most encouraging are those advocating the advantages of a socially dichotomized urban place, signifying that social and ethnic diversity do not create a barrier to creativity, and that places where only the rich can afford to live become boring, and when the rich leave they are about to decline (Florida, 2005a).

Other references see the creative agencies as a clearly defined group. Thurston (2003), for example, labeled the 24- to 35-year-old singles, gays, and single working parents as the 'workhorses' and 'show horses' that log long hours and have the latest skills as the creative agencies. These young professionals tend to worry less about money but they do aspire to a challenging work place where they can make a difference and won't get bored. Others, like Beaverstock and his associates (2004),11 considered the affluent, the knowledgeable professionals, and the managers a place's creative agencies. They contended that a few of the affluent are the investors who make the global economy creative, and that along with the professional and managerial experts of the quaternary and the managers of the quinary sectors are the global creative agencies. All are a product of the structural shifts in the global economy and of its labor market beginning in the 1960s. The creative agencies, who tend to operate within global networks, also comprise the hard core of the global capitalist elite, whose creative capacities have fueled the smooth functioning of the global economy, but have also enabled themselves to harvest most of the its profits. Beaverstock and his colleagues (2004) also proposed a clear distinction between the above classes of creative agencies. At the top are the rich whose owned capital activates global creativity. They seem to match Sklair's (2002) TCC ( Transnational Capital Class ).12 Just below in the hierarchy are the quaternary knowledge professionals and quinary managers. A few, affluent by their own merit, are in charge of the creativity, production and of the trade of the MNC and institutions operating in the global economy.

Cortright (2006), who cherishes places revealing stable economic competition and eschews economic change, explains the principles of cultivating the local economy. Among these principles, generated from a local atmosphere of rewarding creativity and embracing diversity, is the local leadership that invests in and builds on the quality of their place. More importantly, Cortright implies that local leaders ought to take a risk, namely to 'convert a "no" climate into "yes" climate, and to invest in opportunity making, not just in problem solving. These are the leaders who think globally and act locally (Gappert, 1989), who adopt creative, competitive and tolerant strategies, and who disclose effective measures to establish a good business climate. They are those who also perform as creative agencies: they induce creativity by promoting a climate that attracts talented people.13 Such a creative leadership can also lead cities to create a diversified and rich set of psychological rewards, and in so doing, help their place to evolve into what Glaeser (2003) labeled a skilled city. The utmost challenge to local leaderships of major and large urban agglomerations is to fill the role of active agencies in order to help their place evolve into World City, to maintain this status for long, and to avoid, as long as possible, a situation of a talent deficit that could end in a Flight of the Creative Class (Florida, 2005b).

In conclusion, creative individuals who belong to the creative class or are among the skilled should primarily perform as creative agencies. These agencies belong to many creative professions, or as Traffinger and his colleagues (1994) suggested, almost every person is capable of becoming a creative agency, if he or she is exposed to the right opportunities. The most notable ones among the creative agencies are the skilled mangers, the providers of productive and innovative services, people of the arts and design, but also those who invent gourmet food in restaurants. Important too are the rich, who provide the means and the leadership, who make the place able to absorb, maintain and induce creativity, and the heads of a place, who have to see to providing the creative agencies a rich, diversified an effective choice of psychological rewards.


Why, then, is a World City assumed to possess a diversified and rich assembly of nestedpsychological rewards? The notion of a World City has evolved by way of two main paradigms. The first, aired in the 1980s and gathering speed since then, emphasized the functioning of a single place as a World City (e.g., Friedmann, 1986, 1995; Sassen, 1991). It portrayed a World City as having one or a combination of attributes highlighting its cosmopolitan lifestyle and its role as a center of a corporate and producers’ service economy. As such it is perceived as a center of command and control, which along with other centers initiated the creation of the international division of labor. A World City also acts as a major financial core and as a diversified agglomeration of advanced producer services. London, Tokyo, and New York head the World City hierarchy (Sassen, 1991). The second World City paradigm appeared in the late 1990s, namely the network paradigm proposed by Beaverstock et al. (1999). The network model views the World City as a node in a network of high level producers' services, and the larger the number of its inter-city linkages, the higher the status of a place in the World City network. As a place of work and residence of those who provide the command and the service functions for quinary and quaternary labor, it is highly dependent on the right supply of on-site psychological rewards. To sum up, a World City as a large urban place possesses the necessary thresholds for a substantial nested cluster of psychological rewards, necessary to make possible most of the aspired-to lifestyles and functions of the creative agencies.


The core agenda of this paper focused on elaborating two concepts: what are the psychological rewards of a place, and who are the place's creative agencies, the members of a creative class who mobilize the local economy within the turbulent global economy. Both were explored with the objective of supporting the idea that the greatest symbiosis between the two is best attained in the World City context. Mental effort was also needed to resolve the intrinsic research dilemma between facts presented by Richard Florida, who is perceived as the High Priest of the creative class paradigm, and the legitimate need to expand the creativity paradigm into wider conceptual and spatial horizons.

A cluster of psychological rewards is a large urban agglomeration, a place that marshals highly mobile talented people who act as the human agencies of a creative place, by adopting competitive and creative goals. Florida, who enlarges on the creative class paradigm, defines the qualities of a creative place in terms of access to environmental amenities, stable economic opportunities, variety of lifestyles, a clean and healthy environment, a wide range of entertainments, and a place having a young community intent on advancing their professional career. He particularly stresses the merit of the place's toleranced nature as a prime constituent in creating the creative ambience, but he does not rank high the place's physical attractions. This paper, by employing a more comprehensive view of local amenities, described as the place's psychological rewards, believes that it has found the recipe that can explain the colossal assembly of the talentedcreative agencies in a given locale. These amenities include, beside those mentioned by Florida, a variety of physical, cultural and social service elements, usually found in large urban centers such as a metropolis, or rather a place, as defined by Herbert and Thomas (1990).

Psychologicalrewards are derived from the place's cluster of nested amenities and services that are accessible to those who can pay for them and are ready to cover a spatial or a mental distance in order to obtain them. The description of a creative ambience is derived from the following main resources: The Penguin Dictionary of Geography, the CISVBD's report, and the marketing and re-imaging strategies. The first implied that an 'amenity' is a pleasant and attractive element of the environment which makes life agreeable and gratifying for people; CISVBD added arts and culture, which produce tangible social and economic benefits and help to consolidate bonds of social trust and understanding. The marketing and re-imaging strategies identify and point out the [psychological] rewards of a place, and recruit them as a driving force in the place's struggle for an active role under the sky of the global market. They elucidate the place's culture of leisure, its historic feel, its green and clean environment, its social diversity, its business climate, and its welfare tradition. Still, the list of possible attributes of place's psychological rewards is not complete, and it is extremely difficult to satisfy all the particular needs of our contemporary demanding society's lifestyles. The rewards are needed not only by the creative agencies, they are also a requisite for their entire families, whose members consume different set of rewards according to their age, gender, occupation and social activities. Some rewards are also demanded by local firms.

The essentials of Cristaller's central place theory and its conceptual upgrading formed the theoretical background that helped explain the spatial nesting of place's psychological rewards. Of value are the concepts of entry threshold, the range of goods of highest reward, and the notions of nesting, a node, and of multiple [activity] or a set of rewards. The inherent reasoning of the concept of entry threshold is the place's buying capacity, in many cases determined by the size of the reward [product] target population who reside or work within the place's spatial range of goods. The most likely attributes of a place to secure the utmost diversity and range of its entry thresholds for the most desired psychological rewards are its size, its buying potential, and its being a nodal cluster of a variety of nested services and opportunities. These attributes are best realized by a World City. Those who are in need for more than their place can offer, become cosmopolitan people and act like the TCC described by Sklair (2002).

If a place fails to provide most of the above psychological rewards it might fail to exist as an attractive place and is likely to experience a syndrome of talent deficit that might lead to a Flight of the Creative Class. If a World City, a hard core of the talented creative agencies, suffers the syndrome of talent deficit, it will, in due time, be eliminated from the World Cities list. A positive syndrome, however, one that drives a process of upgrading the quality and scope of the place's psychological rewards, will help elevate the status of that place in the hierarchy of World Cities.

There is wide consensus that the notions of creativity, creative industries, and the creative class, function as a stimulus of urban/regional growth. In this article they are labeled creative agencies, a term alluding to Giddens's human agencies, denoting their being a driving force in advancing contemporary economic, social and cultural development. There is also agreement that the creative agencies are professionals engaged in high-tech, producers' services, and inspired skills, or those engaged in the performing arts. The creative agencies are also defined as young, single, gay, and single working parents. Characteristic of the creative agencies is their lifestyle, ranging from globally 'cosmopolitan' (Sklair, 2002) to a ‘post-consumer living light’ (Schwartz and Schwartz, 1998).

Complementary to the list of creative agencies are the affluent and the professionals and managers associated with the quaternary and the quinary sectors of a postindustrial globally connected economy, and local leaders who 'think globally and act locally'. The affluent are the investors who mobilize the global economy, and the quaternary and the quinary experts who operate within global networks, coordinating the smooth functioning of the global economy. T he above groups evince a hierarchy of creative agencies . At the top are the affluent, corresponding Sklair's TCCs. Below are the quaternary and the quinary, some who are affluent and TCC by their own merit. Local leaders too are an important group of creative agencies. Creative leaders are in charge of creating an affirmative local economic climate, aimed at opportunity making in a competitive and tolerant environment, one that reveals an effective good business climate by creating a diversified and rich set of psychological rewards. Last but not least in importance are Harvey's (1989) governanceactors, who are able to gain their place's development objectives by employing their inherent political and or economic powers. Even the powerful governanceactors tend to enhance a place equipped with a satisfactory supply of psychological rewards (Knox, 1991). A World City is assumed to be the place that requires the necessary thresholds for a sizable nested cluster of psychological rewards required to make possible the aspired-to lifestyles and functioning of the creative agencies.

Finally, a thorny dilemma of this manuscript has been how to bridge the gap between according sincere credit to the work of Richard Florida, who placed the issue of creativity and the talented on the current research agenda, and taking the liberty of digressing from Florida's key conceptual basics. Notwithstanding the fact that creativity, entrepreneurship, and the ability to innovate and to invent have long been described as growth propulsive elements (Thompson, 1965; Kipnis, 1974; 2004a), Florida is he who placed 'talent' and the 'talented' at the core of his inventive and creative paradigm. Florida also was one of those (Kargon and Leslie, 1995a,b; Felsenstein (1993, 1996; Kipnis, 1998b) who have challenged the so called technology role of a modern university, insisting that the role of a university is to leverage talent, not technology (Florida, 1999). Yet the main shortcoming of Florida's theory is that he makes 'tolerance' a major constituent in his paradigm, notwithstanding some of its dubious explanatory variables. Our main argument is that tolerance alone is not a sole variable that explains the evolution of the inventive and innovative place in which a talented person works and lives. This person is a creative human agency who, along with his or her fellow agencies, belongs to the creative class who are in need of on-site psychological rewards.




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*Baruch A. Kipnis, Department of Geography, University of Haifa, Haifa, ISRAEL 31905,

1. Cultural Initiatives Silicon Valley Board of Directors.

2. This view of a 'place' is taken from Herbert and Thomas (1990).

3. This view is not new. It was a common notion in the urban economy literature of the 1960s, if not earlier (e.g., Thompson, 1965).

4. The notion of an agency conforms to Gidden's (1979, 1981) concept of a humanagency.

5. Some authors (e.g., Sassen, 1991; Short and Kim, 1999; Short 2004) refer to a World City as a Global City. In this paper we refer to both as a World City.

6. An affluent person is a well-to-do individual, one who continually increases his or her material possessions (Beaverstock et al., 2004).

7. The term creative agencies seem to refer to a wider concept than Florida's creative class (2002a) or of Atkinson's (2005) knowledge workers. All three are fuzzy concepts, yet it is assumed that the notion of a creative agency reveals more active nuances than class or workers.

8.Range of goods is used to describe the distance a person is prepared to travel to obtain a given good or a service.

9. Roberts's lectures in Tampa on Florida's The Rise of the Creative Class (2002b)

10. The indices are: the talent index, the melting pot indexthe gay index, and thehigh-tech-pole index.

11. Some of these ideas are shared by Short (2004) and Kipnis (2005a).

12. Sklair's (2002) TCC is described as a social group that exhibit, inter alia, a culture of consumerism and a cosmopolitan life styles; its members are linked to multinational global economic systems, and they usually agglomerate at major urban nodes, either in their country of origin or abroad, as long as these nodes are endowed with rich and diversified psychological rewards.

13. The author supports the notion of a 'good business climate', notwithstanding his own findings in Kipnis (1996) mentioned earlier.

14. For conceptual definitions of contemporary lifestyles see Kipnis 2004b,c.

15. Short (1996: 71) defined an 'invention' as the product of human ingenuity, genius, or plain pigheadedness that occurs at random; an innovation is described as the successful adaptation of an invention as a marketable commodity.


Edited and posted on the web on 22nd September 2006