What is it about?

A bohemian vibe is used to market property but who were the bohemians and what is their role in urban transformation? We systematically review the literature to clarify the 'bohemian' notion and its links with urban regeneration. We distinguish 'quasi' from 'authentic' bohemians - both can help transform or sustain the cultural lifeblood of urban precincts. Real bohemians are artistic iconoclasts or unstable revolutionary catalysts, sometimes sustained by patronage.

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Why is it important?

We need to build places with identity. This could be a traditional English village. In some settings, on the other hand, we need milieus that foster culture. Bohemians signal a tolerant and more resilient society, where diverse heritages are celebrated and traditions or assumptions questioned. Arguably, innovation flourishes although bohemians are not a panacea.


Should we support bohemians to stimulate cultural innovation and reverse engineer depleted dormitory suburbs that are spreading insidiously across this green and pleasant land? Probably not in all circumstances.

Dr Simon Hugh Huston
Coventry University

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This page is a summary of: Bohemianism and Urban Regeneration, Space and Culture, July 2015, SAGE Publications,
DOI: 10.1177/1206331215579751.
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