50th Congress of the European Regional Science Association: "Sustainable Regional Growth and Development in the Creative Knowledge Economy", 19-23 August 2010, Jönköping, Sweden
The importance of creative industries and the creative sector for economic growth and regional development found its way more and more into scientific discussions. These discussions mainly focus on the influence of creative industries on the innovative ability (innovative milieu),on the competitiveness, and on the labour market of regions and nations. Most prominent within this field is the approach of the 'creative class' used to explain the success and the development of regions and nations. Terms and definitions of creative industries and the cultural sector are so far not consistent and sometimes include different businesses. The meaning of the cultural sector becomes more evident by focussing on the regional level. Infrastructure facilities and cultural events are part of the cultural sector and are located in nearly every area, in agglomerations as well as in rural areas. This paper will concentrate on the role of infrastructure facilities and cultural events, and will point out their contribution and their potential for the location itself and the regional development. The author will use empirical data from infrastructure facilities in Germany and Switzerland (Konzert- und Kongresshaus Luzern, Festspielhaus Baden-Baden) and two amateur theatres in Switzerland, which are located in rural areas (Einsiedler Welttheater, Landschaftstheater Ballenberg). Based on these four case studies the paper will show how different cultural facilities and activities can contribute to several aspects of regional development. As a result the paper will state that cultural infrastructure facilities and activities have positive effects on the regional added value as well as on the image of a region, on networks and competences within a region and on the identity of a region. Especially these so called intangible effects have positive effects on the location attractiveness and the competitiveness of the region.