Urban Music Studies

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CfP Cities and Culture: Critically re-evaluating urban cultural policy frameworks

Call for proposals for edited volume

Editors: Dr Christina Ballico, Department of Music, University of Aberdeen

Dr Allan Watson, School of Social Sciences and Humanities, Loughborough University

Cultural planning holds a central place in urban regeneration and urban re-profiling initiatives in cities around the world. Over the past 20 years, interest in the ways in which cities might be re-imagined and place-branded through specific creative and cultural identities and activities has increased exponentially. Urban policymakers have sought to find ways to leverage place-based cultural identities to drive a range of urban development, economic, heritage, and tourism initiatives. This is demonstrated, for example, through the wide enactment of a range of culturally focused urban development strategies (for example, Music City initiatives) and the development of a range of ‘creative’ and ‘cultural’ frameworks (for example, the UNESCO Creative Cities Network).

Given that creative cities policy frameworks are becoming increasingly prevalent on a global scale, and in light of long-standing critiques regarding economic determinism and the narrow understanding of ‘culture’ deployed in such frameworks, in this volume we seek to bring together contributions which offer critical re-evaluations grounded within diverse geographical contexts. Thematically, we welcome contributions which consider the following issues:

  • The city-specific impacts of creative and cultural cities frameworks and their capacity to support urban regeneration and social and economic development, for example the UNESCO Creative Cities Network, other international or national frameworks such as City of Culture awards, as well as localised initiatives.
  • City-specific cultural policies and regulatory frameworks which might support and/or inhibit particular forms of creative and cultural initiatives and activities, both in the short and long term.
  • Alternative strategies and methods for evaluating the success of creative city policies beyond economic determinism and shifting attitudes toward arts and culture as a social and cultural good.
  • Consideration of the ways in which creative and cultural city policy frameworks might be re-worked, re-imagined, or re-invigorated in order to provide more equitable forms of urban, social, and economic development in cities.
  • The capacity of arts and cultural activity to address local environmental issues and broader climate change and sustainability goals.
  • Critical evaluations of in-situ place activation and cultural engagement initiatives, and/ or activities with a particular consideration of their impact/s and how they fit within city-wide frameworks and policy initiatives.

Deadline is October 31, 2023

Contact: citiesandculturebook@gmail.com