Scripts surrounding urban creativity trace an intricate blend of commodification and contestation in the wake of urban studies theorist Richard Florida’s controversial and vague notion that the gap left behind by the decline of traditional urban industries can be filled by a creative economy.

Exploring urban visions of creativity alongside the work of artists and cultural institutions, the researchers continue the criticism of Florida’s influential claims following the work of urban studies scholars like Jamie Peck, Iris Dzudzek and Peter Lindner.

From the “creative” use of urban spaces considered sites of heritage as well as harbor spaces, to conceptions of artists as either creative elites or counterhegemonic activists, the research projects assembled share an interest in the societal implications of such marketing campaigns for urban populations. 

The junior researchers studying the creative city will undertake internships at the cultural center Dortmunder U, the Regionalverband Ruhr, and the Tía Chucha’s Centro Cultural in Los Angeles, among others.