Urban Studies Foundation finances a new series of urban Forums: European Creative Cities and Covid-19: exploring urban creative economies and policies in the age of Covid-19

The COVID-19 pandemic calls for a need to re-think the link between the urban and creativity.

Even before the Covid-19 crisis, urban creative economies and policies scholarship needed to be readdressed to develop more inclusive and sustainable models for development. This need has been heightened by a pandemic in which Creative and Cultural Industries (CCIs) have been among the worst-hit sectors of the economy alongside radical changes to population distribution and interaction within and with urban spaces and transformations in creative production and cultural engagement.

Focusing primarily on the European context, three Urban Forums (primarily online) will be organized in 2021 – in Dundee, Scotland, L’Aquila, Italy and Helsinki, Finland – and a colloquium in Biella, Italy in 2022. The Forums will be open discussion spaces focusing on the local context including workshops on virtual co-production methods and round table discussions on: the impact of Covid-19 had on the city’s creative economies; alternative forms of creativity and urban interaction emerging during pandemic; and local opportunities for sustainable and inclusive (re)development and policymaking. In recognition of emerging creative centres in the global South and the value of diverse perspectives, mutual learning opportunities will be developed through ‘twinned’ discussions with southern cities.

A key focus of the Colloquium will be developing papers for a peer-reviewed special issue journal on European Creative Cities and Covid-19. It will also include themed discussions and a workshop on decolonialising urban studies. A public photo/short video competition will add a visual dimension to the series.

With an emphasis on Early Career Researcher participation, the series aims to include participants from a range of disciplines and institutions who share a common interest in creative cities policies, urban creative economies development and issues associated with the pandemic.