Purpose and learning objectives

Upon completion of this course, students are expected to be able to:
– in writing and verbally conduct a scientific discussion on different aspects and perspectives on the role of culture in urban development.
– analyze the positions and relationships of actors, and other stakeholders in culture and urban development.

Content and teaching methods

What is the role of culture in urban development? What role does for example artists play? In both research on innovation-driven economies and globalized, knowledge-intensive communities as in practical work with urban strategy and development, culture have a prominent role when cities and places compete and positions themselves against each other. At the same time, culture plays a major role in local planning and social development - How, for example, is a public space like a square or a park designed with art? What role play local art galleries or music scenes? Large resources are invested by society on culture and understanding for aesthetic skills of different kinds, is becoming increasingly important in planning and other parts of the labor market. Internationally there is extensive research on the issues of culture and creativity on which this course is based. The course thus deals with theory and practice regarding the role of culture in urban development and planning, internationally and in Sweden, with particular regard to urban policy and strategic planning on the one hand, and cultural producers (as artists, film makers and others) and cultural institutions on the other. The focus is on the spatial, social, political and economic relations between different actors in the field and its urban geographical and social science significance. For these reasons, the course fulfils an important role for all interested in the field of space, city and culture. 

The course thus deals with the theory and practice of the role of culture in urban development and planning internationally and in Sweden. The focus is on the spatial, social, political and economic relations between different actors in the field and their geographical and social science significance. The course is structured around lectures, excursions, seminars and place analyzes. The approach is international (incl. Swedish and international examples), and the literature is based mainly on articles in international scientific journals. Topics covered are policy, strategic planning, urban development, urban theory, concepts of space, concepts of culture, creativity and innovation, public spaces, cultural institutions, alternative conceptual spaces and experimental methods, spatial identity issues, domination / emancipation and power, international and local networks and what these issues mean in innovation-driven economies and globalized, knowledge-intensive communities.

The module contains introduction, lectures, seminars, laboratory session and excursion.

Course facts

Course coordinator: Thomas Borén.
Course code: KG7241.
Cycle: Second Cycle.
Main field of study: Urban and Regional Planning.
Language of instruction: English.
Pace percentage: 100%.
Course start: Spring Semester.
Semester period: B.
Module sharing: No.
Special eligibility requirements: Bachelor degree incl. 90 HECs in Human Geography, Urban and Regional Planning or equivalent, or accepted to a master programme in Urban and Regional Planning, Human Geography or Globalization, Environment and Social Change. English 6.
Selection: Higher Education Credits (up to 270). In the Spring Semester 2019 the course is only open for students in a master's programme in the Department of Human Geography and incoming exchange students at Stockhoml University.
Application: For the Spring Semester 2019 students on the Master's Programme in Human Geography, 120 HECs, and the Master's Programme in Urban and Regional Planning, 120 HECs, and incoming exchange students at Stockholm University are welcome to apply by e-mail to iris.claesson@humangeo.su.se no later than October 31, 2018.

Detailed information, including grading criteria, is presented at the course introduction and via the collaboration and learning environment Mondo. Course syllabus, required reading and timetable will be available below.