Author: Gihring, Tim
Date published: March 1, 2012
ON MAKINGi4:INNEAPOLJS COOL `AND RICHER-THRQVGH ART AND D
Question: You were recently named the fir»t Director of Arts. Culture, and the Creative Economy for Minneapolis. Can we just cat! you the arts czar?
GÜLGÜN KAYIM: Piease don't! I'm an advocate fot all areas of the creative economy- media, design, advertising- not just artists. It's a new way of thinking about urban planning, because we know that having a creative economy is important for a city to compete for jobs and tourism.
Q: What would a more creative city look like?
GK: I'm from London, so to me a creative city is about great public spaces, valuing playfulness and beauty as much as utility, and celebrating the things that make it unique. That atttacts people.
Q: Won't people move here for Jobs, not aesthetics?
GK: There are jobs in New York. Theie are jobs in Portland. And you can picture those places. Can people picture Minneapolis?
Q: So how can you help?
GK: We can do zoning differently to allow more restaurants to spill out onto sidewalks, create more live/work spaces for artists, and allow more businesses to flourish at the sidewalk level.
Q: You don't care for skyways?
GK: They keep us out of the weather and they make us unique. But they hide everyone in this city-within-a-city. We need more sidewalk life. Humanity is inspiring; we find each other compelling.
Q: The city tried blending form and function with the artistdesigned drinking fountains. What happened there?
QK: Part of the point- inspiring people to use public water instead of bottled water- got lost in the conversation. Listen, if people didn't think beauty was important, there wouldn't be florists. There wouldn't be gardens. Having a beautiful city isn't a bonus, it's essential!