Abstract: This article represents a broad and occasionally polemical meditation on the nature and significance of creative cities. I seek to situate the concept of creative cities within the context of the so-called new economy and to trace out the connections of these phenomena to recent shifts in technologies, structures of production, labor markets, and the dynamics of locational agglomeration. I try to show, in particular, how the structures of the new economy unleash historically specific forms of economic and cultural innovation in modern cities. The argument is concerned passim with policy issues and, above all, with the general possibilities and limitations faced by policymakers in any attempt to build creative cities. The effects of globalization are discussed, with special reference to the prospective emergence of a worldwide network of creative cities bound together in relations of competition and cooperation. In the conclusion, I pinpoint some of the darker dimensions—both actual and potential—of creative cities.