14 de jul de 2010

Capitalism and Urbanization in a New Key?

Capitalism and Urbanization in a New Key?
The Cognitive-Cultural Dimension
Allen J. Scott, University of California, Los Angeles
text sent by the author for www.cidadesinteligentes.blogspot.com, 14.07.2010

The cognitive-cultural dimensions of contemporary capitalism are identified by reference to its leading sectors, basic technologies, labor relations systems and market structures. Cognitive-cultural systems of production and work come to ground preeminently in large city regions.
This state of affairs is manifest in the diverse clusters of high-technology
sectors, service functions, neo-artisanal manufacturing activities and
cultural-products industries that are commonly found in these regions.
It is also manifest in the formation of a broad stratum of high-skill,
cognitive-cultural employees in urban areas. Many of these employees
are engaged in distinctive forms of work-based learning, creativity
and innovation. At the same time, the cognitive-cultural economy in
contemporary cities is invariably complemented by large numbers of
low-wage, low-skill jobs, and the individuals drawn into these jobs are
often migrants from developing countries. The ideological-cum-political
ramifi cations of this situation are subject to analysis in the context of a
critique of the currently fashionable idea of the “creative city.” I advance
the claim that we need to go beyond advocacies about local economic
development that prescribe the deployment of packages of selected
amenities as a way of attracting elite workers into given urban areas.
Instead, I propose that policy makers should pay more attention to the
dynamics of the cognitive-cultural production system as such, and that
in the interests of shaping viable urban communities in contemporary
capitalism we must be more resolute in attempts to rebuild sociability,
solidarity and democratic participation.