Public Speaker, Entrepreneur, Author

Welcome Plenary at Jasper Park Lodge

Welcome Plenary at Jasper Park Lodge

Toronto Young Street

Gord Hume Speaking Downtown Toronto

Great Wall of China

Visiting China: Great Wall of China


Gord Hume Traveling

Canadian Municipal Cultural Planning and Economic Development Part 1

Gord Hume…for September 2008 Municipal World

Cultural Planning is not about hanging pretty pictures on the lobby walls of a city hall.

Municipal Cultural Planning is about shaping, developing and enhancing the economic future of your municipality.

Becoming a Creative City is about Canadian municipalities leading the way in our rapidly changing society as they respond to new demographic trends and realities. It is about jobs, prosperity and the Knowledge-based economy. It is about building and rebuilding municipalities that are livable, environmentally friendly and appealing to the Creative Class. It is about towns and cities finding new ways to establish better neighbourhhoods, and how to rebuild downtown cores that are often faltering.

These are concepts that are important to municipalities of all sizes. “Creative City” is a generic term as opposed to being considered ‘urban only’. Rural and smaller communities are just as affected by the changes in municipal governance and economic pressures as any larger community. Greg Baeker’s article on Rural Economies in this month’s Municipal World effectively makes this critical point.

The Creative City movement is being driven by local municipalities. Towns and cities of any size are beginning to see the opportunities forged by new partnerships and economic development opportunities. And they are also seeing the repercussions of municipalities that aren’t offering the kind of lifestyle, job opportunities, quality of life and social environment that young graduates are seeking today.

From encouraging entrepreneurship to helping established companies grow and prosper, towns and cities in Canada today have enormous new challenges and responsibilities. Wealth creation is now a fundamental task for cities

Economic prosperity for communities is being shaped by the new Knowledge-based economy I have named it, perhaps inelegantly, the CRINK economy—Creativity, Innovation, Knowledge-based economy.

North American society, economics and population trends are being turned on their heads by the changes in the traditional economy These are fundamental and systemic changes that simply cannot be ignored by any responsible municipal council That’s why Cultural Planning has become so important to civic government today.

The External Advisory Committee on Cities and Communities (the Harcourt Commission) was created by a former federal government to look at cities in Canada in 30 years time. The Commission identified four ‘pillars of sustainability’ for cities in its 2006 report:

– Economic Prosperity

– Social Equity

– Environmental Sustainability

– Cultural Vitality