Media Urbanism and the development of local creative communities

Author First name, Last name, Institution

Adina Hempel
Janet Bellotto

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Cities originated based on humans settling near an abundance of natural resources, often adjacent to a source of water. While this could be the beginning of a typical urban history for most cities, it is hard to believe this is the case for Los Angeles and Dubai. Though today the existence of these two cities are strongly connected to their advertised presence and commercial activities, both cities have a rather "typical" beginning. Dubai has a century long trading history and was well known for its natural harbor before entering the global media stage in the late 1990s. Los Angeles is found along the Los Angeles River, its original source of water, first flourished through its tire industry and later in the largest port development in the USA, before becoming home to "Hollywood". History and fiction are almost synonymously connected for both cities. Dubai and Los Angeles have grown into large urban carpets with communities appearing like motifs in an urban pattern. The development of these two urban patterns are documented and enhanced by their ever-growing media presence. Whether this was the film and advertising industry as in the case of Los Angeles, or it was advertising and real estate campaigns as in the story of Dubai, society, culture and place are continuously impacted by this media narrative. Initially attracted by the opportunities those cities bring, the creative industries such as art, design and architecture have played a key role in shaping another story of these cities. The presentation aims to shed light on what connects and divides communities within these cities, how media has influenced a special kind of urbanism, and what is the role of the creative industry in those developments. The findings are the result of a multi-year project, called City EastWest .


Social and Behavioral Sciences

Indexed in Scopus


Open Access


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