Value Struggles in the Creative City: A ‘People’s Republic of Stokes Croft’?
journal contributionposted on 27.03.2015, 12:14 by Fabian Frenzel, Armin Beverungen
In this paper we explore the case of Stokes Croft, Bristol, UK, as a neighbourhood in a city which has appropriated the discourse of the creative industries from the bottom up in order to foster its regeneration against capital’s art of rent. We show how Stokes Croft’s self-branding as a cultural quarter has led to struggles over the creative and cultural commons thus produced, which we conceptualise as value struggles where localised value practices clash with capital’s imposition of value. Our case study including two vignettes points both to the productivity of such value struggles in producing new value practices understood as commoning, as well as the limits of reproducing a common life in the face of existing financial and property regimes. Stokes Croft therefore serves as a case in point of the tragedy of the urban commons and points to potential ways of overcoming it.