Charles Landry is regarded as a global authority on creativity and how the futures of cities are shaped by paying special attention to culture. His legacy spans over three decades of experience, and several hundred projects, providing counsel to governments and institutions such as the World Bank to help cities transform through new modes of thinking. His company, Comedia is Europe’s leading cultural planning organisation concerned with city and regional strategies for revitalizing public, social and economic life through cultural activities.
First used in the late 1980s, Landry is credited with coining the term “the creative city” as a response to the dramatic economic and social changes that were transpiring. Through his work, Landry believes that conditions must be created for people to think, plan and act with imagination in harnessing opportunities or addressing seemingly intractable urban problems. This means a city needs to embed a culture of creativity in the way it operates. Increasingly, he has emphasized the need to change the structure of organizational culture as means to unleash the potential, resources and assets of a city. His work often involves assessing the interplay and the impact of deeper global trends, and is manifest by grounding these in practical initiatives.
Landry’s highly acclaimed book The Art of City Making focuses on how cities can be more creative for the world, so that the energies of individuals and companies can be aligned with their global responsibilities. This builds on Landry’s original ideas in, The Creative City: A Toolkit for Urban Innovators, a book widely considered to have launched the global creative cities movement. At present, he works for the World Bank on a number of special assignments. He has lectured widely in Europe, the US, Australia and Africa and has presented over 90 keynote addresses on diverse topics associated with cultural revitalization and public life.