Journal of Urban Culture Research


Tom Borrup

Publication Date



Formal organizational structures and patterns of production and distribution of culture typical in most major cities emerged with, and are patterned after, Industrial Age thinking and Eurocentric cultural forms. These modernist, hierarchical, centralized, mass-production-oriented models-that separate art producer from consumer-face unprecedented challenges. In this article I argue that urban cultural infrastructures, and the institutions and organizing principles that comprise them, are being undermined and replaced. Research into the cultural infrastructure of California's Silicon Valley finds more decentralized, non-hierarchical, participatory, and culturally-diverse patterns. These stand out in comparison with nine other U.S. cites. This contemporary cradle of innovation and its cultural infrastructure similar forms of participant-generated self-expression, interaction, and self-organizing emerging from the region's corporate cubicles and start-up garages. I call for more research on how urban cultural infrastructures are likely to evolve and suggest that Silicon Valley, and its core city of San Jose, offer some indications.



First Page


Last Page




To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.