Social Policy and Innovation

What makes some towns or cities more liveable than others? Why are some local economies more innovative than others? What can public policy do to ensure a creative, flexible, healthy population, and cities and towns with a real sense of place and cultural distinctiveness?

With a multidisciplinary team of experts from geography, management, politics and sociology, this cluster contributes to research and public policies focusing on place, creativity and quality of life in cities, towns, and regions. One strand looks at how we are living and ways to improve liveability – in short, better land-use, smarter urban design, and carbon-light transportation that promote health and well-being. Another looks at people and place and how they use creativity to succeed. The aim is to encourage policy-makers to support the creative economy which has grown over the past five years while the traditional economy has shrunk. The Creative Economy, says the UN Conference on Trade and Development, is ‘the interface between creativity, culture, economics and technology as expressed in the ability to create and circulate intellectual capital, with the potential to generate income, jobs and export earnings while at the same time promoting social inclusion, cultural diversity and human development.’

If you would like to research creative, liveable and sustainable communities – or if your government, organisation or community would appreciate some insights on creating them – contact the cluster leaders Professor Kevin Leyden or Dr Patrick Collins.

Key Research Questions

The Creative, Liveable and Sustainable Communities cluster is a research leader in areas such as:

  1. Land-use
  2. Urban design
  3. Smarter cities
  4. The creative economy