Hogeschool van Amsterdam

CREATE-IT applied research

Business Models and the Creative City: Amsterdam’s Knowledge Mile in the limelight

Author: Erich Renz Supervisor: Harry van Vliet (May 2015)

Knowledge Mile logo

Many attempts in measuring the pulse and potential of a creative city have been undertaken during the last decade or so. Popular notions like Creative City or Creative Class were coined and catered for policy-makers and urban developers, which try to explain how to create and retain prosperity and affluence by applying these concepts to actual city-making. It sounded like a magical formula ready to come true.

The research question in this paper will be: “What are business model characteristics in a creative hotspot?” 


The methodology of this paper follows a zoom-in effect from theory to practice. First, both concepts of the Creative City and the Creative Class are being introduced and reviewed. Then we apply the theoretical background to the city of Amsterdam. At the centre of our attention are social, cultural and economic pathways of the Amsterdam urban region and policy lines that came up with the rise of the creative and knowledge-intensive industries. After this step, we focus on the Knowledge Mile and examine business activities in a marked-out creative knowledge hotspot.

In doing so we will arrive at the heart of this venture, namely the Business Model Analyser toolkit which has been designed to spot the main elements of business activities; for instance target customers, value propositions, supply chain architecture and revenue streams. The toolkit includes a questionnaire and an interview guideline for students and researchers to find out business model characteristics. Three applied examples with creative or knowledge- intensive industries related companies will also be performed to introduce the methods of the Business Model Analyser practically. That way Q&A will help to identify the specific underlying business model. Eventually, recommendations for future action will round off this paper. 


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