European Spatial Research and Policy


This study investigates the emergence and the rise of Creative Hubs (CHs) in Istanbul, which as Turkey’s economic capital contains most of its creative workforce and the largest number of its CHs. In the last 10 years, the number of co-working spaces (CWSs), incubation centres (ICs), labs, and makerspaces in the city has rapidly increased, following a global trend. This study aims to better understand the changing working forms of the city by investigating the motivations behind the emergence of CHs. 46 CH examples, consisting of CWSs, ICs, makerspaces, and labs, have been examined for this purpose. The study is structured around the four main categories that highlight the different aspects of CHs: structure (establishment structure and community structure), focus (sectors and professions), services (physical and social facilities), and values (motivation). The findings of the study demonstrate that members of CHs are mostly freelancers, entrepreneurs, micro SMSs, and start-ups, consisting mostly of members of Generation Y. They work predominantly in creative sectors and tend to look for flexible and cost-saving solutions, support mechanisms, and new connections for their work. The research revealed that CHs are distinguished through the services that they provide. Having emerged as new forms to respond to the distinctive needs of emerging jobs in the creative economy era, they can be considered a new landscape of the post-industrial city.


Creative hubs, co-working spaces, incubation centres, makerspaces, labs, creative economy, creative industries, Istanbul




AKSOY, A. and ENLIL, Z. (2011), Cultural Economy Compendium Istanbul 2010, Istanbul: Istanbul Bilgi Universitesi Yayinlari.

BAGWELL, S. (2008), ‘Creative clusters and city growth’, Creative Industries Journal, 1 (1), pp. 31–46.

BLAGOEV, B., COSTAS, J. and KÄRREMAN, D. (2019), ‘We are all herd animals’, Community and organizationality in coworking spac-es, Organization, 26 (6), pp. 894–916.

BONE, J., ALLEN, O. and HALEY, C. (2017), ‘Business Incubators and Accelerators: the national picture’, BEIS Research Paper 7 (1), London.

BUKSH, B. and MOUAT, C.M. (2015), ‘Activating smart work hubs for urban revitalisation: evidence and implications of digital urbanism for planning and policy from South-East Queensland’, Australian Planner, 52 (1), pp. 16–26. (n.d.). Retrieved 12 January 2020, from

ENLIL, Z.M., EVREN, Y. and DINCER, I. (2011), ‘Cultural triangle and beyond: A spatial analysis of cultural industries in Istanbul’, Plan-ning Practice and Research, 26 (2), pp. 167–183.

EVANS, G. (2009), ‘Creative Cities, Creative Spaces and Urban Policy’, Urban Studies, 46 (5–6), pp. 1003–1040.

EVERS, H.-D., GERKE, S. and MENKHOFF, T. (2010), ‘Knowledge clusters and knowledge hubs: designing epistemic landscapes for de-velopment’, Journal of Knowledge Management, 14 (5), pp. 678–689.

EVREN, Y. and ENLIL, Z.M. (2012), ‘Towards a Creative city? Problems and prospects of Istanbul’s creative sectors’, [in:] HAGOORT, G. and THOMASSEN, A. (eds.), Pioneering Minds Worldwide: On the Entrepreneurial Principles of the Cultural and Creative Industries Delft: Eburon Academic Press, pp. 109–112.

FLORIDA, R. (2002), The rise of the creative class: And how it’s transforming work, leisure, community and everyday life, New York: NY: Basic Books.

FUZI, A. (2016), Space for creative and entrepreneurial activities ? Coworking spaces in the entrepreneurial landscape of an economically challenged region. Cardiff Metropolitan University.

GaWC. (n.d.).

GOSPODINI, A. (2008), ‘Portraying, classifying and understanding the emerging landscapes in the post-industrial city’, Dialogues in Urban and Regional Planning, 3 (5), pp. 18–55.

Greater London Authority, (2014), Supporting places of work: Incubators, Accelerators and Co-Working Spaces, London.

GRYSZKIEWICZ, L., LYKOURENTZOU I. and TOIVONEN, T. (2014), ‘Innovation labs: leveraging openness for radical innovation?’, Journal of Innovation Management, 4 (4), pp. 68–97.

İZKA, (2013), İzmir 2012 Kültür Ekonomisi ve Kültür altyapısı Envanteri ve İzmir Kültür Ekonomisi Gelişme Stratejisi. Retrieved from

JIMÉNEZ, A. and ZHENG, Y. (2017), ‘A Spatial Perspective of Innovation and Development: Innovation Hubs in Zambia and the UK’, [in:] CHOUDRIE, J., ISLAM, M.S., WAHID, F., BASS, J.M. and PRIYATMA, J.E. (eds.), Information and Communication Technologies for Development, Springer International Publishing, pp. 171–181.

KERIMOĞLU, E. and GÜVEN-GÜNEY, B. (2018), ‘İstanbul’da Yaratıcı İşgücünün Eğitimi ve Endüstri Pratikleri Üzerine Bir Değer-lendirme’, Sosyoekonomi, 26 (37), pp. 57–80.

KONG, L. (2014), ‘From cultural industries to creative industries and back? Towards clarifying theory and rethinking policy’, Inter-Asia Cul-tural Studies, 15 (4), pp. 593–607.

LANDRY, C. (2000), The Creative City: A Toolkit for Urban Innovators. London: Earthscan Publications Ltd, London.

LANDRY, C. (2008), ‘The creative city: A toolkit for innovators’, Community Development Journal, 36, Earthscan Publications Ltd, London.

LAZZERETTI, L., BOIX, R. and CAPONE, F. (2008), ‘Do Creative Industries Cluster? Mapping Creative Local Production Systems in Italy and Spain’, Industry & Innovation, 15 (5), pp. 549–567.

LAZZERETTI, L., CAPONE, F. and SEÇILMIŞ, İ.E. (2014), ‘Türkiye’ de Yaratıcı ve Kültürel Sektörlerin Yapısı’, Maliye Dergisi, 1 (116), pp. 195–220.

London Development Agency, (2004). Creative London.

MARIOTTI, I., PACCHI, C. and DI VITA, S. (2017), ‘Co-working Spaces in Milan: Location Patterns and Urban Effects’, Journal of Ur-ban Technology, 24 (3), pp. 47–66.

MARTIN, R.L. and FLORIDA, R. (2009), Ontario in the Creative Age. Ontario. Retrieved from Ontario Report 2009 2nd Ed.pdf

MATHESON, J. and EASSON, G. (2015), Creative HubKit Made by hubs for emerging hubs.

MOMMAAS, H. (2004), ‘Cultural clusters and the post-industrial city: towards the remapping of urban cultural policy’, Urban Studies, 41 (3), pp. 507–532.

MORISET, B. (2014), ‘Building new places of the creative economy: The rise of coworking spaces’, [in:] 2nd Geography of Innovation In-ternational Conference 2014.

NICOLOPOULOU, K., KARATAS, M., VAS, C. and NOUMAN, M. (2016), ‘An incubation perspective on social innovation: the London Hub-a social incubator’, R&D Management, 47 (3), pp. 368–384.

PARRINO, L. (2015), ‘Coworking: Assessing the role of proximity in knowledge exchange’, Knowledge Management Research and Prac-tice, 13 (3), pp. 261–271.

PRATT, A.C. (2000), ‘New media, the new economy and new spaces’, Geoforum, 31 (4), pp. 425–436.

PRATT, A.C. (2004), ‘Creative Clusters : Towards the governance of the creative industries production system?’, Media International Aus-tralia, 112, pp. 50–66.

SCHMIDT, S., BRINKS, V. and BRINKHOFF, S. (2015), ‘Innovation and creativity labs in Berlin: Organizing temporary spatial configura-tions for innovations’, Zeitschrift für Wirtschaftsgeographie, 58 (4), pp. 232–247.

SCHUERMANN, M. (2014), Coworking Space: A Potent Business Model for Plug ‘n Play and Indie Workers. Berlin: Rocket Publishing.


SPINUZZI, C. (2012), ‘Working Alone Together: Coworking as Emergent Collaborative Activity’, Journal of Business and Technical Com-munication, 26 (4), pp. 399–441.

TOIVONEN, T. (2016), ‘What is the Social Innovation Community? Conceptualizing an Emergent Collaborative Organization’’, Journal of Social Entrepreneurship, 7 (1), pp. 49–73.

UNCTAD, (2008). Summary Create Economy Report 2008, 25. Retrieved from

UNCTAD, (2010). Creative Economy Report 2010. Creative Economy: A Feasible Development Option. Retrieved from

VIRANI, T.E. (2015), ‘Re-articulating the creative hub concept as a model for business support in the local creative economy : the case of Ma-re Street in Hackney’, Creativeworks London Working, 12, pp. 1–27.

WAGNER, J. and WATCH, D. (2017). Innovation Spaces: The New Design of Work. Retrieved from

First Page


Last Page