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Industrial culture and the company town: from Bata’s Fordist to creative city

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10:00 AM, Thursday 1 Sep 2022 (20 minutes)
The old industrial medium-sized cities outside agglomeration areas undergo the transition from former drivers of change in terms of entrepreneurship and innovation to knowledge oriented economy. This phenomenon is based on re-industrialisation using re-interpretation and re-production of their industrial heritage. Moreover, these cities are more dependent on local workforce and knowledge to remain competitive, compared to agglomeration areas. Nevertheless, their intrinsic locally specific mind-sets, competencies and skills in the field of their former production are considered to be an intangible heritage of their industrial age, which refers to industrial culture. Raising awareness of their specific milieu is becoming a driver of the transition. Hence, the main aim of the paper is to evaluate this transition, more specifically by applying concept of the industrial culture on medium-sized double disadvantaged city, i.e. being former industrial centre of the world-wide known shoe-making company – Bata Corporation as well as socialist city lagged in undergoing of the global change compared to market oriented countries. Employed semi-structured interviews with key actors and stakeholders in local creative industry ecosystem confirm that the specific mind-sets, traditions and skills used in the former shoe-making Fordist production can become a driver of the city transition re-interpreting design and multimedia as a new brand of the city in the national economy, i.e. the creative city. Thus this case study presents an example of the best practice locally embedded industrial culture, but oriented towards a wider market, implementing bottom-up approach for using the Quadruple helix concept under the cluster development.

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