Alternative Capitalism and Creative Economy: the Case of Christiania


The Free Town of Christiania is an autonomous community of about 1,000 inhabitants in the centre of Copenhagen. Built as a squat for a hippy community in the 1970s, it is today a central node in the geography of activism, anarchism and alternative social life. This article analyses Christiania from the specific perspective of creativity and within the context of the ‘creative city’ debate. The Free Town is a lively innovative milieu, nurturing the arts, social experimentation, ideas and original architectural solutions. As such, it is becoming a more and more relevant space from the point of view of the market economy and in the promotion of the idea of a ‘creative Copenhagen’. But I argue that much of its creative potential is connected to place‐specific socioeconomic factors. In this sense, the Christiania experience troubles mainstream conceptions of creativity by revealing that creativity is both fluid and situated.