The promotion of a ‘creative place’ has become a major objective for urban planners in cities across the world. In this context, ‘branding’ has become a primary tool for the international promotion of places that wish to present themselves as creative.
The Barras is a 200 year old historic working class market and entertainment destination in the very immediate East End of Glasgow, a mere 10 minutes walk from the main retail district of Glasgow. It was once a booming hot spot of salt-of-the-earth Glasgow businesses, entrepreneurs and characters sitting alongside an internationally celebrated Ballroom Dancing and music scene which made it the place to be. These day are long gone and The Barras is now suffering from the stigma of poor quality goods, crime and social poverty.
Currently, The Barras is undergoing an intensive programme of urban regeneration that will see it transformed into the new cultural destination for the immediate East End of Glasgow. The ‘Vacant and Under Used Floor Space Fund’ has created a cluster of cultural and creative businesses within The Barras all with their own unique identity and offering. However, this process of regenerating through a cultural infrastructure has not been combined with an intensive branding process of the district, something that is equally true to the whole strategy of regeneration across the East End.
At this key point in the regeneration of The Barras how do we succeed in using creative productions to transform the area from a marginal urban space into a brand associated with quality and the authenticity of its heritage, without causing social conflict? How do we regenerate instead of simply gentrifying? Or, would the aestheticising of place and the creation of a new creative commercial branding of The Barras hiding a growing social and economic inequality in the city?
About the hosts: Pidgin Perfect is a creative studio working to place the community at the heart of our projects; combining research participation and design.
About the Unusual Suspects Festival: After the success of last year's Festival in London, we are hosting the Unusual Suspects Festival again this year in Glasgow in October-featuring three days of ideas, solutions and debate all exploring what happens when social innovation meets collaboration and how together we can meet some of society's most pressing challenges. The Fesival brings together the 'unusual suspects' from across Scotland and the world- from youth clubs to ex-footballers to think tanks and governments- all to explore how we can work together in new and different ways to create real social change.
To see and sign up to all of the Festival events- please go to www.theunusualsuspectsfestival.com
When & Where
Social Innovation Exchange
Social Innovation Exchange (www.socialinnovationexchange.org)
SIX is now the world’s primary network for social innovation. We connect social innovators in order to create and spread new ideas and solutions about how society can be strengthened and improved. We work with cities, national governments, and international bodies such as the European Commission to improve the methods with which our society find better solutions to challenges. We foster genuine, active connections between people building innovative solutions, from the grassroots to the policymaking level. By promoting learning across sectors, fields and country and by communicating and disseminating ideas bout social innovation, SIX builds the capacity of its members and enables them to work together to develop resources for social innovators around the world.