This paper provides a systematic and critical review of the literature on cultural and creative ecology and ecosystems. There has been a growing use of ecological language in relation to the cultural and creative sectors within both research and policymaking. However, there is little consistency in the terms employed, with considerable slippage in meanings and application. The paper, therefore, undertakes a two-stage review of the literature. First, a systematic review analysing the content of 56 publications identified within Web of Science, Scopus and Google Scholar. Secondly, a critical review examining definitional and terminological inconsistencies, the boundaries and geographical scales of cultural and creative ecosystems, and the range of methods and data employed. Here we clarify the relationship between ecological approaches and previous framings such as “creative industry” and “creative economy”. The paper concludes by proposing an agenda for future research, seeking to consolidate the research field and support ecological policymaking.
- Literature Review