Carolina Tötterman’s beautiful narrative around the history of the Chelsea Hotel in New York City in a recent Art Pharmacy journal post is a perfect example of how cultivating an urban communal space for creative practitioners has long-term positive impacts for communities. Places like this not only provide a space for creatives to network and thrive but boost the attraction, and the investment, in the areas in which the creative cluster sare situated.
As Carolina states, today, too many of these types of spaces such as the Chelsea Hotel at the heart of cities around the globe have been converted into high-end creative places; such as “high-tech start-ups, digital agencies and sleek architecture firms”, or blighted by residential development for that matter.
We are pricing out and displacing the artists who cultivated our inner-city neighbourhoods in the first place. The legacy that is left today is neighbourhoods and developments that lack a sense of place and community spirit. Why would a developer in Sydney’s Woolloomooloo lease his or her ground floor space to creative practitioners when he can get a far greater rental return, for say a bulky goods retail store?