Information in the Degree Programme Tables may still be subject to change in response to Covid-19

University Homepage
DRPS Homepage
DRPS Search
DRPS Contact
DRPS : Course Catalogue : Edinburgh Futures Institute : Edinburgh Futures Institute

Postgraduate Course: Cities as Creative Sites: Urban Studio (fusion on-site) (EFIE11032)

Course Outline
SchoolEdinburgh Futures Institute CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits10 ECTS Credits5
SummaryEdinburgh is a site of prolific, diverse and sometimes contested cultural events and discourses. First critiquing literature and international projects around 'The Creative city', the course, envisioned as an urban studio, then explores locally based creative activities, groups and their associated place(s) in the city as a site-based case study. Group work traverses documentation in situ and remotely gathered knowledge from planning documents, media comment and creative activity narratives. Site stories and spatial studies can reveal incidents, qualities and constituents of strategic and tactical urban project negotiation and agency.

Interrogating cities as creative sites: through site-based case studies of cultural projects, events, urban spaces and discourses.
Course description It has been argued that sites are 'brought under control' for development through intervention or action being situated in a (usually professional) discourse, while other qualities and narratives are suppressed (Beauregard, in Burns and Kahn, ed. Site Matters 2020). A recent dominant discourse has concerned 'The Creative city', solidified in UNESCO's Creative City Network (UCCN, since 2004). Studying shifts from places to sites again becoming places is a way of revealing more nuanced narratives (site stories) of how creative activity is entangled with the urban (spatial studies). Case studies will accumulate into an archive that questions what makes a city, or place(s) in a city an existing, potential or redundant 'creative' site.

In the course you will assemble and evaluate site stories and spatial studies of urban creative activity - for example cases of established festivals or community arts events or proto-cultural institutions and infrastructures. You will work in groups to research, evaluate and critique an international case study (pre-intensive phase, desk based) before focusing on an Edinburgh case study (intensive phase, site based- virtual and in-situ). Groups will be formed to include remote and Edinburgh-based participants who work synchronously during the intensive phase on the locally based case study. Site knowledge is developed through the lens of both proximity of encounter (audio, visual and fieldwork documentation in situ) and remote practice (gathered knowledge from planning documents, media comment and creative activity narratives). Presentations of findings are exchanged between the site and a digital forum, with remote students presenting virtually 'on-site' and Edinburgh-based students presenting 'off-site'.

You will be introduced to the discourse of The Creative City and UCCN from academics across disciplines such as History/theory of Art and Urban Studies. Approaches to exploratory methodologies (site stories, spatial studies) will be guided by academics with practice-based expertise in Architecture, Cultural Geography, Literature Studies. The course aims to foster a critical imagination through visual experimentation and multi-media techniques. A video-making and visual documentation workshop in the intensive phase of the course will support group and individual documentation skills.

Edinburgh Futures Institute (EFI) - On-Site Fusion Course Delivery Information:

The Edinburgh Futures Institute will teach this course in a way that enables online and on-campus students to study together. This approach (our 'fusion' teaching model) offers students flexible and inclusive ways to study, and the ability to choose whether to be on-campus or online at the level of the individual course. It also opens up ways for diverse groups of students to study together regardless of geographical location. To enable this, the course will use technologies to record and live-stream student and staff participation during their teaching and learning activities.

Students should be aware that:
- Classrooms used in this course will have additional technology in place: students might not be able to sit in areas away from microphones or outside the field of view of all cameras.
- Unless the lecturer or tutor indicates otherwise you should assume the session is being recorded.

As part of your course, you will need access to a personal computing device. Unless otherwise stated activities will be web browser based and as a minimum we recommend a device with a physical keyboard and screen that can access the internet.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Information for Visiting Students
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Not being delivered
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Analyse and evaluate the relationship of a cultural/creative project, event, group with distinct place(s).
  2. Document and study the spatial characteristics of activity in an identified urban site synthesising physical and digital techniques.
  3. Work with methodologies that explore 'site stories'- shifts from place to site and vice versa.
  4. Collaborative effectively with others.
  5. Use visual and multi-media communication skills in the assembly of documentation, critical analysis and presentation.
Reading List

Beauregard, Robert A. (2020) 'From Place to Site: Negotiating Narrative Complexity' and other essays in Kahn, Andrea and Burns, Carol J., eds. Site Matters. Strategies for Uncertainty Through Planning and Design, Routledge

Corner, James (2011) 'The Agency of Mapping: Speculation, Critique and Invention', Chapter 1.12 in Dodge, M., Kitchin, R., Perkins, C. The Map Reader: Theories of Mapping Practice and Cartographic Representation, Wiley

Landry, Charles (2008) The Creative City: A Toolkit for Urban Innovators, Earthscan publications, 2000; 2nd ed Routledge

McLean, H (2014) Digging into the creative city: A feminist critique Antipode 46(3)

Miles, Malcolm 'A Post-Creative City?', RCCS Annual Review, 2013, Volume 5, issue 3 Article published in RCCS99 (December 2012).

Pauwels, Luc 'Visually Researching and Communicating the City: A systematic Assessment of Methods and Resources', International Journal of Communication 10, 1309- 1330

Sturglausen, Brent Introduction to 'Critical Spatial Practice Forum' Society and Space [accessed 18 may 2021]


Flew, Terry ed. (2004) Creative Industries and Urban Development. Creative Cities in the 21st century, Routledge

Gerhard, Ulrike Hoelscher, Michael and Wilson David, eds. (2017) Inequalities in Creative Cities. Issues, Approaches, Comparisons, Palgrave Macmillan US

O'Connor, J. and Gu, X. (2020) Red Creative

Radaelli, E (2019) Connecting Arts and Place

Rose, G (2015) 'Visual reserch methods in an expanded field: what next for visual research methods?' [accessed 18.05.2021]

Taylor, J. (2020) The art museum redefined

Troiani, Igea and Ewing, Suzanne eds. (2021) Visual Research Methods in Architecture, Intellect, University of Chicago Press

Zukin, Sharon (2020) The Innovation Complex: Cities, Tech and the new economy, Oxford University Press

Case Studies:

(llst and references to be built up over course iterations, for instance).

798 Art Zone (Williams)
Liverpool (O'Brien)
Hudson's Yards
V&A Dundee (Ewing)
The Walking City (O'Keefe)
Cultural Creative Spaces and Cities
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills University of Edinburgh graduates draw on their initiative and experience to expand and fulfill their potential. Making the most of a confident and reflective approach, they take personal responsibility for pursuing their goals and opportunities to grow.

University of Edinburgh graduates use their highly-developed skills in research and enquiry to identify and creatively tackle problems, and to seek out opportunities for learning.

University of Edinburgh graduates use skilled communication to enhance their understanding of a topic or context and to engage effectively with others.
KeywordsCities,Creative Sites,Cultural Projects,Urban Literacy,Speculative Research Methods,Critical
Course organiserMs Suzanne Ewing
Tel: (0131 6)50 2303
Course secretary
Help & Information
Search DPTs and Courses
Degree Programmes
Browse DPTs
Humanities and Social Science
Science and Engineering
Medicine and Veterinary Medicine
Other Information
Combined Course Timetable
Important Information