Home from Home? Locational choices of international `creative class` workers

Julie Brown

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


This paper focuses on the international migration dynamics of the highly skilled “creative class”. To date, little research has been undertaken to provide an in-depth understanding of the underlying reasons behind the movements of these workers. By providing a micro-level, qualitative analysis of the motivations, experiences and migration trajectories of a sub-group of these workers, namely “creative Bohemians”, this paper offers a perspective that is currently lacking in the literature. These individuals are considered to be particularly attracted by diverse and open urban milieus, as well as being instrumental in creating the type of urban environment that attracts other members of the “creative class”. Birmingham, UK, was chosen as an example of a European city emulating “creative city” policies and being potentially well-placed to attract international talent due to its culturally diverse population and reputation for “tolerance”. Findings call for a more nuanced understanding of the factors associated with both the attraction and retention of international talent, as it is clear that migration decisions depend on factors other than simply “quality of place” or diversity and tolerance. Policies focusing on subjective concepts of place attractiveness are thus unlikely to be successful. Instead, cities need carefully targeted policies that address their particular socio-economic and physical realities.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2336-2355
JournalEuropean Planning Studies
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 2015


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