Such concepts as invention and innovation, creativity in all scientific fields amongst citizens, creative industries, sustainable economic elements, and green environment are criteria that supplement social welfare and increase the quality of life and urban livability. These concepts would lead to the development of a creative city through a fourfold scenario involving creative human capital, quality of life, innovation platforms, and social capital. As a result, urban creativity can be considered as a strategic approach which can influence said criteria, given the fact that cities and the quality of lives within them are affected by the ways urban affairs are viewed. In this regard, one of the most important purposes of realizing creative cities and organizing sustainable development indices are attracting and retaining the creative, skilled class of people in cities which are the main requirement of qualitative development, and the success of competing cities in the area of basic economic knowledge. Considering this perspective and the urbanization growth, the large cities of Yazd province such as Yazd city are faced with a number of issues including air pollution due to irregular urban development, population growth, the increased use of fuels, the increased industrial and mineral activities, and environmental problems. These issues highlight the need for the organization of sustainable development indices using the indices of a creative city in line with its realization. The purpose of this study is examining and prioritizing sustainable urban development and the creative city indices in the cities located in Yazd province. To this end, the components of creative city including creative human capital, quality of life, innovation contexts, and social capitals were taken into account so that a platform can be provided for the realization of creative city.
Creativity fortifies the skills and talents of individuals that are influenced by creativity principles such as flexibility, innovation, and leadership in line with achieving a high quality of life and sustainable development (Berridge, 2006). When these principles are utilized, creativity transforms into one of the most important factors in the organization of sustainable development indices (Zarabi, Mousavi, & Bagheri Kashkouli, 2014). Accordingly connections can be made between creativity and the level of urban development, the shift towards creative urban management, the recognition of the role and significance of territorial development, and increasing the competitive power through the acquisition of the creative class (Costa & Roldão, 2009). Florida believes that the key indices of technology, talent, and tolerance capacity have led to the emergence of centers that are qualified for attracting the creative class (Florida, 2002). This class assert the quality of a facility as an effective factor in attracting talented people (Darchen & Tremblay, 2010). Subsequently, employing the creative class as human and social capital, would result in innovation and invention within urban environments, the consequence of which would be an enhanced quality of life for the residents. Additionally, if these components of creative city are utilized in the entire urban sustainability indices, the context for realization of the creative city would be provided; in this regard, the competition and agreement between the factors of realization, conflicts and solidarity are regarded as the barriers against achieving sustainable urban development and creative city. Glosser (2005) believes that creative class have a major influence on the study of factors that affect competition across urban regions.
The present applied-developmental study was conducted using the descriptive-analytical approach. The indices of the study were 70 sustainable development indices and 30 creative city indices. Data were analyzed using the Analytic Network Process (ANP) model and TOPSIS model.
The population of Yazd city with 529,673 people and 54.5% urban residents is 6.5 and 990 times larger than those of the second and the last city of the province, i.e. Meibod and Khezr Abad, respectively. This figure demonstrates the lack of balance and abnormality in the distribution of urban services and facilities, as well as the emphasis on centralization at the level of urban settlements.The ranking of cities of Yazd province in terms of sustainable development indices shows that the highest levels of development belong to cities of Meibod, Taft, and Ardakan. Accordingly, a large percentage of the cities are at a highly deprived level. The examination and ranking of urban creativity criteria across these cities also demonstrate that Yazd and Meibod are at the highest levels of development. In these cities, there are several higher education institutes located at a single special research center. Moreover, there is ample space for creativity, innovation, and deep relationship growth among universities, research centers, factories, and governmental decision-making bodies which are operating in line with the development of technology, applied sciences, and a science priented society. According to the prioritization of the effective factors on the realizability of Yazd province cities’ shift towards becoming creative cities, carried out using the ANP model, the innovation criterion was identified as the most effective one. Meanwhile, indices including the number of knowledge-based companies and the number of industry clusters play the most important role in the realizability of the creative city having values of 0.203 and 0.224, respectively. Furthermore, the creative human resource index, particularly the number of scientific elites across cities of Yazd province also play a significant role in the realization of creative cities and the improvement of urban affairs, particularly in smaller towns.
Sustainable development indices are highly important for urban growth and development; yet, despite such a fact and how cities’ level of development are measured based on the above-mentioned indices, they would result in proper development and realization of goals such as healthy and green cities only when the components of the creative city are taken in account as well. As the indices of the creative city are more flexible compared to those of the sustainable development, in these indices, the present affairs within the region are considered through a qualitative development approach in addition to growth.
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