Chinese cities face a new, urgent issue: how to move away from the mass production of fabricated space and nurture the rise of healthy, diverse, and creative urban centres. To this end, creative clusters are a pivotal planning tool. Creative districts around the world have been able to assimilate into existing urban fabrics and effectively reinvent themselves as unique and profitable destinations. However, 798, the first district to complete this cycle of gentrification in China, has become a victim of its own success. The area now has the resources to develop and densify, but it has lost the involvement of the artistic community that can inspire new buildings and generate creative content.