Creating the Creative Post-political Citizen?: The Showroom as an Arena for Creativity


  • Richard Ek Department of Service Management, Lund University, Sweden



Creativity, postpolis, performativity, urban regeneration, planning, showroom, democracy


The aim of this article is to give a tentative illustration of how a creative, postpolitical citizen is imagined and encouraged to unfold within the frame of a city renewal project. As a starting point, the article outlines an exploratory framework structured through the analytical concept of postpolis. Postpolis is a term that offers an illustration of the distinguishing qualities of contemporary urbanity in a principal and schematic way. Postpolis here has three cornerstones: the idea of post-politics (the thesis that today politics is out-defined and replaced by governmental practices that leave little space for public influence and participation), the notion of biopolitics and the claim that planning is a governmental practice that is substantially influenced by business management approaches. The illustrative section of the article gives an overview of the empirical illustration H+ and SHIP. H+ is an urban regeneration project in the city of Helsingborg, in southern Sweden. As the largest urban regeneration project in Sweden to date, it will run for 30 years and affect about a third of the total area of the city. The showroom SHIP, which has been constructed in connection with this urban project, presents both what can be done and what is encouraged in tandem with an investigation of the functions, tasks and design of this showroom. The article thus initiates an ethnographic study of the showroom as a planning servicescape, in which the future citizen of Helsingborg is superimposed on the bodies of the visitors.


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Theme: Creativity Unbound – Policies, Government and the Creative Industries