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Article

Cultural and Creative Ecosystems in Medium-Sized Cities: Evolution in Times of Economic Crisis and Pandemic

1
Departamento de Geografía y Ordenación del Territorio, Instituto Universitario de Ciencias Ambientales, Universidad de Zaragoza, 50009 Zaragoza, Spain
2
Departamento de Geografía, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, 28049 Madrid, Spain
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Departamento de Métodos Estadísticos, Universidad de Zaragoza, 50009 Zaragoza, Spain
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Departamento de Economía Aplicada, Universidad de la Rioja, 26006 Logroño, Spain
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Departamento de Estructura e Historia Económica y Economía Pública, Universidad de Zaragoza, 50005 Zaragoza, Spain
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Sustainability 2021, 13(1), 49; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13010049
Received: 6 November 2020 / Revised: 14 December 2020 / Accepted: 21 December 2020 / Published: 23 December 2020
(This article belongs to the Collection Culture and Development in Small and Medium-Sized Cities)
This article seeks to forecast the short- and medium-term impacts of the coronavirus pandemic on the cultural and creative ecosystems of the 81 cities in Spain with between 50,000 and 100,000 inhabitants. Data on employment in nine sectors (per NACE Rev. 2) support the characterization of cultural ecosystems based on their dynamism, specialization, and propensity to form clusters (thanks to the co-location of certain sectors, meant to generate inter-sectoral spillovers and cross-sector synergies). The applied methodology consists of comparing these three attributes during and following the 2008 financial crisis. Then, any changes observed are interpreted in light of arguments from the COVID-19 literature, and from our own analysis, in order to assess the probability of recurrence (or nonrecurrence) during the current pandemic. Throughout this process, the metropolitan or non-metropolitan position of cities is taken into consideration. A first conclusion is that, as in the financial crisis, the behavior of ecosystems during the pandemic will be asymmetric. Secondly, metropolitan and non-metropolitan cities will maintain their distinctive sectoral specializations. Non-metropolitan cities appear to be more vulnerable for their strong connection to creative sectors most affected by the pandemic, although some can take advantage of good cultural supply and proximity to metropolitan centers. Metropolitan cities seem more secure, thanks to the higher presence of less vulnerable sectors (due to elevated and accelerating digitization). Nevertheless, most functional clusters were diminished during the financial crisis, and it seems unlikely that sectoral co-locations will re-emerge in a post-pandemic scenario as a business strategy, at least in the short term. Beyond these forecasts, we recommend dealing with certain structural failures of these ecosystems, especially the vulnerability and precariousness of most cultural and creative companies and workers. View Full-Text
Keywords: cultural ecosystems; creative ecosystem; medium-sized cities; economic crisis; pandemic; COVID-19; Spain cultural ecosystems; creative ecosystem; medium-sized cities; economic crisis; pandemic; COVID-19; Spain
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MDPI and ACS Style

Escalona-Orcao, A.; Barrado-Timón, D.A.; Escolano-Utrilla, S.; Sánchez-Valverde, B.; Navarro-Pérez, M.; Pinillos-García, M.; Sáez-Pérez, L.A. Cultural and Creative Ecosystems in Medium-Sized Cities: Evolution in Times of Economic Crisis and Pandemic. Sustainability 2021, 13, 49. https://doi.org/10.3390/su13010049

AMA Style

Escalona-Orcao A, Barrado-Timón DA, Escolano-Utrilla S, Sánchez-Valverde B, Navarro-Pérez M, Pinillos-García M, Sáez-Pérez LA. Cultural and Creative Ecosystems in Medium-Sized Cities: Evolution in Times of Economic Crisis and Pandemic. Sustainability. 2021; 13(1):49. https://doi.org/10.3390/su13010049

Chicago/Turabian Style

Escalona-Orcao, Ana, Diego A. Barrado-Timón, Severino Escolano-Utrilla, Belén Sánchez-Valverde, Maricruz Navarro-Pérez, Mariola Pinillos-García, and Luis Antonio Sáez-Pérez. 2021. "Cultural and Creative Ecosystems in Medium-Sized Cities: Evolution in Times of Economic Crisis and Pandemic" Sustainability 13, no. 1: 49. https://doi.org/10.3390/su13010049

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