PROGRESS IN GEOGRAPHY ›› 2018, Vol. 37 ›› Issue (11): 1567-1580.doi: 10.18306/dlkxjz.2018.11.012

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Cultivation mechanism of creative spaces in the old industrial districts of Ningbo City

Tengfei WANG(), Renfeng MA*()   

  1. Department of Geography & Spatial Information Techniques, Ningbo University, Ningbo 315211, Zhejiang, China
  • Received:2017-09-12 Revised:2018-01-02 Online:2018-11-28 Published:2018-11-28
  • Contact: Renfeng MA;
  • Supported by:
    National Natural Science Foundation of China, No.41301110,No.41771174


Based on the experiences across the world, industrial clusters are generally divided into two categories—successful industrial clusters that play an important role in the economic growth in North America and Western Europe, known as the high-road and innovation-based clusters; and the low-road and low-cost based-clusters. As a kind of innovative low-tech cluster, cultural creative cluster in the old urban industrial districts can be categorized as the first type and has an important role to play in urban spatial reconstruction and industrial upgrading. The growth mechanism of cultural creative clusters in old urban industrial areas is a newly heated research topic in the field of industrial cluster research. This research chose Ningbo as the case study city and examine and validate the cultivation mechanism of creative spaces in its old industrial districts based on the grounded theory and SEM (structural equation modeling), as well as questionnaire and semi-structured interview data. The results demonstrate that: (1) The cultivation mechanism of creative spaces in the old industrial districts of Ningbo is comprised of three main dimensions—local, capital, and relational spaces; and five cores factors—locational, institutional, social relation network, cultural milieu, and office milieu factors, and ultimately forming a cycle of "recognition of local space→rational constraints of capital space and relational space→local space, capital space, and relational spatial coordination→relational space feedback." (2) A questionnaire was designed and applied to explore the cultivation mechanism of creative spaces in the old industrial districts, and the scale consists of 13 items, which belong to five dimensions, and is well-formed with good reliability and validity. (3) The LOFT-style creative park owned and managed by state-owned capital (1956 Creative Industrial Park) and the office building groups-led creative park owned and managed by state-owned capital (Hefeng Creative Plaza) are all well developed. However, the LOFT-style creative park owned and managed by pure private capital (Qiyun86 Microfilm Industrial Park) is poorly developed. The disparity in the cultivation of creative spaces is inevitable, which can be attributed to the capital attributes of the creative fix of old industrial districts. In addition, office milieu and location have become the key factors in the cultivation of creative space, particularly in the Hefeng Creative Plaza, and the theoretical model is proved as applicable by SEM and the local quantitative index. The renovation and regeneration of the old industrial districts through creative fix is confronted with a divergent path of upgrading, recession, and disappearance. The strength and persistence of the interactive relationship between local space, capital space, and relationship space have become the decisive factors in the direction of its evolution.

Key words: embeddedness, cultural capital, logic of production of space, 1956 Creative Industrial Park, Hefeng Creative Plaza, Qiyun 86 Micro-film Industrial Park