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 2

The Commission also noted crisply, “Creativity and innovation are together the overall elements to propel cities to success.”

The evidence is simply overwhelming—to prosper in the future, Canadian cities must embrace cultural planning as a key and core element of municipal government.

How we do it will shape our cities for decades to come.

If we do it will affect local economies and economic prosperity.

And if communities choose not to recognize and respond to the Creative City concepts, then the consequences are substantial. Bright young people are not going to be attracted to communities that don’t offer the environment, job opportunities or quality of life that they expect and demand today.

These graduates are highly mobile and their skills move with them. Whether it is computer software designers, engineers, musicians, artisans, writers, research scientists or anyone else in the creative industries, they are highly prized by prosperous and successful municipalities.

Cities and towns in Canada have the right to shape their own futures. And there are consequences to their actions, or lack of action. Hope is not an economic development strategy.

It is accepted wisdom today from economic development leaders that a municipality must have serviced land that is properly zoned, provide adequate traditional (roads, sewer, clean water) and technological (hi-speed, broadband, reliable high-quality electricity) infrastructure to attract new companies or encourage existing businesses to grow. But after that’s done, a municipality must also offer an attractive community life for the family members. A good job for the spouse because most families are now two-income; great housing opportunities at an affordable price; strong arts and cultural opportunities; an environmentally sensitive community because a Creative City is also a Healthy City.

By undertaking a Cultural Planning exercise, municipalities can identify cultural and community resources, economic development opportunities, education and health care, downtown revitalization, job creation and entrepreneurship opportunities. This kind of holistic thinking offers a comprehensive strategy for municipalities.

Creative industries most likely already make up a significant portion of your municipal economy. Manufacturing today, for example, is often very hi-tech plants utilizing the latest research to create innovative products. Computer-based companies—graphic designers, game creators, marketing companies and more—are driven by the creative class. Much of the innovation in health care, life sciences, medical research, education and scientific development is being done by grads and post-docs in our colleges and universities.