Dissertations and Theses @ UNI


Open Access Thesis


Creative ability--Middle West; Knowledge economy--Middle West; Urbanization--Middle West; Cities and towns--Middle West;


Recent regional development studies increasingly focus on creative economies that provide an alternative perspective to regional development in a globalizing world-economy. However, most research in economic geography of creativity and innovation is exclusively concerned with larger metropolitan areas. The lack of attention does not make knowledge-based economy less relevant or creative capital less important in smaller urban regions, where it acts as an agent of economic development and revitalization. This study is the first attempt to use creative capital metrics and a combination of qualitative and qualitative analyses to investigate the creative capital and its economic implications in micropolitan areas within the U.S. Midwest. The study aims to improve the understanding of the role, characteristics, and geography of creative capital within micropolitan statistical areas as pertain to knowledge production and economic growth. In addition to understanding the role, characteristic, and spatial dynamics of creative capital the research also examines what attracts creative capital to micropolitan communities. The study implements a six sector model of the creative capital and utilizes various occupation-based measures to conduct a geographical and statistical analysis of creative capital and its relationships with community socio-economic characteristics and knowledge production. The study finds that creative capital at the micropolitan level is present and exhibits geographic variability. Different components of creative capital demonstrate a synergy, i.e. a tendency to cluster. However, creative capital is not evenly distributed across the Midwest with most micropolitan areas lagging behind. Creative capital accumulation does have a connection to the knowledge economy. It is generally similar to that in metropolitan areas. At the same time, when it comes to attracting creative capital there is a difference in between micropolitan centers and metropolitan areas. Creative workers in micropolitan areas are looking for a difference experiences that is not always offered in larger cities. The case studies indicate that social and civic capital may play an important part in attracting creative capital to smaller towns. These findings are important in understanding creative capital in micropolitan areas along with other regions outside of large city-regions. The findings are important for considering different policy options for micropolitan areas to maintain, and attract future knowledge economy.

Year of Submission


Degree Name

Master of Arts


Department of Geography

First Advisor

Andrey N. Petrov

Date Original


Object Description

1 PDF file (viii, 172 pages)



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