Charles Landry is an international authority on the use of imagination and creativity in urban change. He is currently a fellow at the Robert Bosch Academy in Berlin. He invented the concept of the Creative City in the late 1980’s. Its focus is on how cities can create the enabling conditions for people and organizations to think, plan and act with imagination to solve problems and develop opportunities. The notion has become a global movement and changed the way cities thought about their capabilities and resources.
Landry helps cities identify and make the most of their potential by triggering their inventiveness and thinking and by opening up new conversations about their future. His aim is to help cities become more resilient, self-sustaining and to punch above their weight.
Acting as a critical friend he works closely with decision makers and local leaders in the short and longer term. He stimulates, facilitates and inspires so cities can transform for the better. He helps find apt and original solutions to seemingly intractable dilemmas, such as marrying, social creativity, innovation and tradition, or balancing wealth creation and social cohesiveness, or local distinctiveness and a global orientation. His overall aim is to help cities get onto the global radar screen.
Landry facilitates complex urban change and visioning processes and undertakes tailored research often creating his own projects. These include the Urban Psyche test developed with Chris Murray and the ‘Creative City Index’ in collaboration with Bilbao and developed with Jonathan Hyams. It is a strategic tool that measures, evaluates and assesses the innovative eco-system of a city and its capacity to adapt to radical global shifts and adjustments. So far 23 cities have taken part from Helsinki to Adelaide, Krakow to Taipei, Mannheim, and Plymouth.
Landry is a speaker at the conference Co-Creating the City on Thursday, June 21.