Conference Agenda

Overview and details of the sessions of this conference. Please select a date or location to show only sessions at that day or location. Please select a single session for detailed view (with abstracts and downloads if available).

Session Overview
RN37_01a: The role of culture and creativity in urban transformation
Wednesday, 21/Aug/2019:
11:00am - 12:30pm

Session Chair: Lígia Ferro, University of Porto / Faculty of Arts and Humanities
Location: BS.3.19
Manchester Metropolitan University Building: Business School, Third Floor, North Atrium Oxford Road

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The Impact of "Big" and "Small" Art on Urban Change & Community Building: Voice from Katowice (Poland)

Marta Klekotko


The paper discusses various perspectives on arts and culture in urban change and community building. It provides case study of Katowice, (post)industrial city in Upper Silesia Region in Poland and analyses uses and misuses of arts and culture in urban development and community integration. Answering the question why some cultural interventions and investments favour urban change, while others seem to have no significant impact, the paper points to the problem of participation and empowerment on the one hand and city branding on the other. It analyses interactions between uses and misuses of "big" and "small", mainstream and alternative arts, top-down cultural policies and bottom-up art initiatives and attempts to identify mechanisms that underlie urban change and community building.

The Destruction of Monuments: An Analysis Urban Morphology of Diyarbakir/Suriçi

Sibel Bekiroğlu

Middle East Technical University, Turkey

Within the electoral period of 2015, the armistice between PKK (Kurdistan Workers’ Party) and Turkish state ended. Like many other regions of Kurdish provinces, Suriçi, a historical province of Diyarbakir located at the center of the city, became the venue of security operations and armed conflict by the Turkish army. Named as “ditches war” (hendek savaşları) Suriçi became the main area of the conflict which was, to a great extent, resulted many deaths and the ruinization of the province. Many times through the conflict period, curfew declared by the Turkish government and the state of emergency became the ordinary situation in the region. Resembling an urban war, the space became one of the main agents of the conflict with its own morphology and historicity. As Lefebvre put into words, each society has its own spatiality and also centrality which reveals both possibilities and contradictions of the given situation. This centrality (or the spatial architectonics) asserts itself in the architecture or more accurately in the monument in which memory leaves its mark on the space. In that sense, this study, by using photos, reports, maps news and interviews about Suriçi, will be an effort to examine the destruction of the rhetoric topoi (in another words, monumentalization of the mediocrity) of Suriçi with reference to Lefebvre’s concept of monument and to the urbicide literature.

The Values of Live Music in Urban Development: the Case of Rotterdam

Arno van der Hoeven, Erik Hitters

Erasmus University Rotterdam, the Netherlands

This paper examines the role of live music ecologies in urban development. Live music ecologies can be defined as the networks of music organisations (e.g. venues, festivals and talent competitions) that together support local live music performances and scenes. The paper seeks to contribute to the existing research on the sociology of music by conceptualising the impact of live music on urban places.

To understand the role of live music ecologies in urban development, this paper distinguishes four different values. The social value of live music concerns its contribution to social capital, community engagement and identity building in cities. Cultural value, which could also be described as the intrinsic value of music, encompasses the dimensions of musical creativity, cultural vibrancy and talent development. The economic value of live music includes its role in job creation, increased tourism and consumer spending. Finally, spatial value concerns the impact that live music has on the ways in which the physical environment of cities is experienced by citizens and managed by policy makers and urban planners.

These four values will be explained by discussing the case of live music in Rotterdam. Rotterdam is the second city in the Netherlands in terms of population size. After the bombings in the Second World War, festivals have played an important role in redeveloping the cultural infrastructure of this post-industrial port city. As this paper discusses, public and private organisations in Rotterdam have used live music in various ways to achieve social, cultural, economic and spatial objectives.

Right to the City in the Urban Peripheries: Street Art at Quinta do Mocho

Otávio Ribeiro Raposo

Centre for Research and Studies in Sociology - University Institute of Lisbon (CIES-IUL), Portugal

Quinta do Mocho, social housing neighborhood on the outskirts of Lisbon, has usually been addressed by the media as one of the major "problematic neighborhoods" in Portugal, a label based on the supposed relationship between its young residents and crime. But the reason why Quinta do Mocho is currently a popular news is actually art. Indeed, the area has recently been transformed into one of the most important street art hotspots in Europe, with more than 100 large-scale works decorating the social housing buildings where roughly 3,000 people live. This project has been organized by Loures Municipal Council since 2014 and involves the participation of some young residents. They are the ones leading the guided tours, in which they present a perspective on their neighborhood, which is different from traditional stereotypes.

It can be very fruitful to analyse the effects of this project on the political and cultural citizenship of Quinta do Mocho's inhabitants through the prism of Henri Lefebvre's theory of the right to the city. From this perspective and based on ethnographic observation of the guided tours, I intend to debate how the residents of the neighborhood, most of them coming from the former African colonies, are facing such changes. Will the population get involved in the artistic intervention that is being developped in the neighborhood?To what extent will the valorization of the neighborhood through art be capable of reconfiguring the place of its residents in the hierarchy of the city? While artistic expressions are excellent ways to overcome segregation and stigmatization processes among subaltern groups, it is important to debate their limits and the political exploitation of art when approaching social issues.