Is Creativity-Based Urban Development Possible in Turkey? An Evaluation of Small Cities on the Aegean Coast

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Kerimoğlu E.

Sustainability (Switzerland), vol.16, no.2, 2024 (SCI-Expanded) identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 16 Issue: 2
  • Publication Date: 2024
  • Doi Number: 10.3390/su16020900
  • Journal Name: Sustainability (Switzerland)
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI), Scopus, Aerospace Database, Agricultural & Environmental Science Database, CAB Abstracts, Communication Abstracts, Food Science & Technology Abstracts, Geobase, INSPEC, Metadex, Veterinary Science Database, Directory of Open Access Journals, Civil Engineering Abstracts
  • Keywords: creative economy, creative industries, local dynamics and local stakeholders, small cities, Turkey, urban development
  • Istanbul Technical University Affiliated: Yes


Contemporary urban development policies require a thorough understanding of local dynamics. It is crucial to comprehend the roles played by all actors and mechanisms involved in the process, including policy-making institutions, to ensure effective policy making. Understanding the concept of creative industries and cities is also necessary for contemporary urban development. Turkey needs a clear strategy for developing a creative economy on both the national and metropolitan levels. Progress has been limited so far, with no sign of significant improvement in the near future. Recent developments show that small cities have started to play a role in initiating the development of creative economies. Migration to small- and medium-sized cities changes human geography, and urban development policies are becoming more flexible to accommodate these conditions. This paper focuses on three small coastal cities with similar climatic, economic, and socio-cultural characteristics and agriculture and tourism-based economies in Turkey (Avyalik, Bodrum, and Urla) and evaluates the local dynamics to understand what fosters creativity-based development. These cities possess significant potential for the development of cultural industries; however, in addition to the lack of awareness, interestingly, their suitable environment does not have a direct impact on triggering this development.