Creative Districts


From a creative district to a creative city

Various projects arisen from collaboration, joint study, and repeated experiments without ignoring the voice of the people can develop an area into a model of a creative district with uniqueness, good landscape, and business strength, paving the way for a creative city.

Is New York a creative city? Many people would say yes to the question. Which part of New York is a creative district? There may not be a fixed answer. Some might say it’s SoHo as it is a center of retails and fashion. Some might think it’s Brooklyn for its old-fashioned brick roads, an old tobacco warehouse revamped as a restaurant, and hip galleries. Or it could be the Meatpacking District, an area formally known as dangerous and desolate until its transformation marked by a new park called the High Line that generates economic value from tourism and becomes the new lung of the city. This shows that not all districts have to be creative to make a creative city. It is the overall sentiment and certain memories that reflect the creative element of a city. This is true for Bangkok and its Bang Rak district, the model district that CEA and our partners collaborate through joint study and repeated experiments without ignoring the voice of the people to promote the quality of life in the area that is surrounded by a diverse group of creative people. It is a model of a creative district that is filled with uniqueness, a good landscape, and business strength. All these possibilities can be scaled up to a city level, paving the way for a creative city.

This one keyword enhances the living quality of every area that is unique and rich with cultural and historical assets that no one else has, which can be used as capital to develop a creative ecosystem. When the neighborhood's ecosystem strengthens, a small area can turn into an engine that drives the economy, improves the quality of living, and increases the competitiveness without abandoning its identity.

One of the key components of a district is its residents. A diverse group of people from different occupations, age groups, skills, and talents who are born in the area, plus those from outside, come together as a collective group of creative professionals to create works and intellectual property within the district. Each district has its unique creative group exclusive to that area.


Area, Capital, People = Creative District
“A district that utilizes creativity and the creative ecosystem to drive the economy, improve the quality of life, and increase its competitiveness."

Beautiful landmark, nice living

Try to look at the district with a fresh pair of eyes. Use the strengths and make them memorable to reinforce the district’s identity. The strengths could be places of high significance, stories that have been passed on from generation to generation, area-specific culture, or the surrounding landscape that is accessible with fluid movements.

The supporting systems must also be ready. To follow the guidelines for promoting a creative district, it is important to enhance the capabilities of creative businesses and supporting them using the district’s potential. This can be done by creating databases and collecting statistics such as the tax collection system, the supporting financial mechanism, and infrastructure development policies that are simple and easy to implement.

Stronger from the inside and say hi to new people

The simple question is how to prevent an incident where new people come while the old ones leave.

The simple answer is participatory development involving both sides to ensure diversity. Start from prioritizing the existing community and the traditional way of living by giving the local people a voice in making decisions about a development approach together with creative groups and agencies who are involved in the process. At the same, remember to help the existing people and businesses in the district get ready for a change. By recognizing the needs of the locals, a sense of ownership is felt by the people and known by those from the outside.


When the area is ready and the people are ready, the district is ready to get to know people from different areas. With ‘participatory development’, which is the key to a sustainable creative city, the locals are willing to welcome outsiders to their home to get to know their stories, cultures, and activities that convey the uniqueness of the district born out of the cooperation and connection of the locals, leaving nothing but a good impression.