Creative Cities Summit

The Creative Cities Summit is an ongoing exploration into the complex problems and remarkable opportunities that our cities provide.  The Summit is multi-disciplinary and interdisciplinary in that it engages community actors from every sector: government, planning, business, education, arts & cultural, social and environmental.  It is our belief that only when these distinct mindsets come together and collaborate, can we begin to solve the critical  issues that our communities face in the 21st century.

CCS 1 – St. Petersburg, FL, Sept. 8-9, 2004

Founded in 2004 by Peter Kageyama and Michelle Bauer, the first Summit was produced on a shoe-string budget in St. Petersburg, Florida.  The day and half long event brought together nearly 300 attendees (between hurricanes!) to hear from speakers that included:

  • Richard Florida
  • Charles Landry
  • Carol Coletta
  • Tim Jones
  • Larry Quick
  • Lou Musante
  • Karen Gagnon
  • and many more

For a first time event, we were overwhelmed by the support and interest that it generated.  We vowed at that time to do it again.

Website Archive

CCS 2.0 – Detroit, Michigan,  Oct. 13-15, 2008

It took several years but the second Summit actually had its origins at the first.  Karen Gagnon, from the Michigan Cool Cities program was a speaker at the event.  Over the next two years, Peter Kageyama and Karen appeared on two panels together at conferences in Ontario and Philadelphia.  In 2007, Peter visited Michigan to check out the work that Karen and Cool Cities was doing.  During that visit, the idea of the Summit was revisited and it quickly became apparent that Michigan was the ideal location for the second installment.  The Michigan State Housing Development Authority came on board as the presenting organization and Karen joined Peter as the Co-Producer of the event in Detroit, October 13-15, 2008.

CCS2.0 focused on the issues that post-industrial cities, as epitomized by Detroit, were facing.  The city became the backdrop and the framework for the incredible conversation that evolved over the week.  Highlights of the week included:

  • UnConference held on Oct. 12th at MOCAD which drew 150 participants;
  • Presentations from Bill Strickland, John Howkins, Richard Florida, Charles Landry, Tom Wujec, Dean Kamen, Doug Farr, Giorgio Di Cicco and Majora Carter;
  • The “Big Creative Three” – Richard Florida, John Howkins and Charles Landry on stage together for the first time, interviewed by Carol Coletta;
  • Gov. Jennifer Granholm’s impassioned opening speech;
  • Sessions on Creative Small Cities, Music Scenes & Economic Development, Transportation Innovation, Race & the Creative City and many more;
  • Panel on Cities, Universities & Talent featuring University of Michigan, Michigan State University, Wayne State University, Mayor Bernero of Lansing and representatives from Google’s Ann Arbor operation.

Nearly 800 attendees participated in the event as well as dozens of volunteers.  Key sponsors of the event included the Knight Foundation, the Michigan Municipal League, Michigan Dept. of Labor & Economic Development, Michigan State Housing Development Authority, Detroit Renaissance & Detroiters Working for Environmental Justice.

CCS 2.0 Materials:

Tom Wujec and his team of illustrators from the College for Creative Studies produced over 500 images that capture the ideas and content of the week.  Download PDF here (31 mb)

Full Conference Program – PDF (7 mb)

Photo Archive – Flickr

Photos from other sources – Flickr

Video Montage of CCS2

Videos from the Summit are located on the Video Channel section.  These include highlights from Richard Florida, Charles Landry, Bill Strickland, John Howkins, Majora Carter and the historic Big Three event.

CCS 3.0 – Lexington, KY, April 7-9, 2010

At CCS 2.0 in Detroit I was approached by Anthony Wright, Director of Lexington’s Economic Development office.  He said he wanted to talk about bringing CCS to Lexington.  Shortly after the Detroit event wrapped, he and developer Phil Holoubek followed up regarding the possibility of the event.  By the summer of 2009 we were committed and off and running.  With the support again from the Knight Foundation and others including Commerce Lexington, Lexmark, the City of Lexington and Business Lexington we produced the third Summit in what was a major year for the city of Lexington.

Lexington was hosting the World Equestrian Games in the fall of 2010.  This is the Olympics of horse related sports and the city was on a major path of redevelopment and capital improvements for the thousands of visitors the Games would draw.  The Summit proved to be an excellent lead up event as it focused much of the conversation and the thinking about what it takes to be a great city and how Lexington could extend the civic mindedness beyond 2010 and the games.

Highlights included Richard Florida, Charles Landry, Rebecca Ryan and Bill Strickland delivering the closing keynote that left many attendees with tear filled eyes.  We also brought in new presenters and highlighted them including:

Visual Record by Michelle Royal – How Do You Innovate

Conference Agenda – PDF

Photo Gallery