Charles Landry is an international authority on the use of imagination and creativity in urban change. He helps cities identify and make the most of their resources and to reach their potential by triggering their inventiveness and thinking. His aim is to help cities become more resilient, self-sustaining and to punch above their weight.
Acting as a critical friend he works closely with decision makers and local leaders. He stimulates, facilitates and inspires so cities can transform for the better. He helps find apt and original solutions to seemingly intractable dilemmas, such as marrying innovation and tradition, balancing wealth creation and social cohesiveness, or local distinctiveness and a global orientation. One focus is how the culture of a place can invigorate and revitalize the economy, enhancing its sense of self and confidence. His overall aim is to help cities get onto the global radar screen.
Charles undertakes tailored research and facilitates complex urban change and visioning processes. He takes on short and longer term involvements with cities. He develops his own projects – most recently the ‘creative city index’ in collaboration with Bilbao, the concept of ‘civic urbanity’ and the on-going research on how public administrations can become more imaginative.
With his colleague Jonathan Hyams he recently designed a Creative City Index which is a strategic tool that measures, evaluates and assesses the innovative pulse of a city and its capacity to adapt to radical global shifts and adjustments. So far nearly 20 cities have part.
Charles was born in 1948 and studied in Britain, Germany and Italy. In 1978 he founded Comedia, a highly respected European consultancy working in creativity, culture and urban change. He has completed several hundred assignments for a variety of public and private clients and given key note addresses and workshops in over 50 countries across the continents including: Britain, Australia, Germany, Finland, Spain, Italy, the Netherlands, China, Japan, Korea, India, the UAE, Albania, Croatia, Hong Kong, New Zealand, Poland, Russia, South Africa, Sweden, Taiwan, Ukraine, South Africa, Ecuador, Canada, the USA and Yemen.
He has written several books and most recently in 2012 a new series of short, illustrated books, including: The Sensory Landscape of Cities; The Origins and Futures of the Creative City and Culture & Commerce. He is best known for The Creative City: A toolkit for Urban Innovators (2000), a concept that has become a global movement; The Art of City Making (2006); and The Intercultural City: Planning for Diversity Advantage with Phil Wood.