After studying the developmental dynamics of 13 cities across Europe, an international consortium led by the University of Amsterdam has identified three crucial features which must be considered when designing and implementing policies to foster creative-knowledge locations: pathways, place and personal networks (PPP). The importance of these features for a city's creative-knowledge development potential is explained in a practical booklet entitled Making Creative-Knowledge Cities: A Guide for Policy Makers. The booklet contains numerous practical examples based on case study research carried out in all 13 locations by the project partners of the ACRE consortium (Amsterdam, Barcelona, Birmingham, Budapest, Dublin, Helsinki, Leipzig, Milan, Munich, Poznan, Riga, Sofia and Toulouse).
ACRE is an acronym for: Accommodating Creative Knowledge - Competitiveness of European Metropolitan Regions within the Enlarged Union. The programme (2006-2010) was funded under the 6th Research Framework Programme of the European Commission (contract 028270), within priority 7 'Citizens and Governance in a knowledge-based society'.
ACRE set out to assess the impact of creative and knowledge-based industries on the competitiveness of EU metropolitan regions. During the course of their work the researchers produced several recommendations for policy makers relating to economic development measures.
The main message of the ACRE policy guidebook is that promoting culture and creativity in European cities can improve quality of life, but there is no guarantee that it will make those cities more economically competitive. Instead of investing in off-the-shelf measures to stimulate urbanised creative-knowledge economies, policy makers are advised to first identify a city's unique local assets (and legacies) and then devise tailored strategies to capitalise on them. Current research on urban economies in Europe highlights the unique characteristics of each individual city, and stresses that certain types of creative-knowledge industry may be more likely to flourish in one place than another.