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Cities in transition: Exploring the role of urban cultural policies

City, Territory and Architecture welcomes submissions to the thematic series - Cities in transition: exploring the role of urban cultural policies.

The Special Issue opens a debate on the role of cultural policies and initiatives in urban transformations and their potential contribution to urban transition processes. Activities developed in different cultural domains (e.g. including architecture, heritage, performative arts, visual arts) by different urban stakeholders have been broadly recognised as potential drivers of change at the city and neighbourhood levels. Nevertheless, their contribution to the long-term restructuring of spatial, social and organisational settings and their effects on citizens’ routines and behaviours needs to be further explored. Also, it is crucial to critically reflect on the paths through which cultural policies trigger (purposive or unintended) effects at multiple levels, and on their social and political implications. 

This thematic series hosts research reflecting on the role and meaning of culture-led transformative dynamics in cities and on the mechanisms through which they emerge. In addition, they will investigate how cultural activities contribute to (re-)shape cities in their socio-spatial and institutional configurations and affect citizens’ quality of life. Multidisciplinary and cross-silos research investigating context-specific and exogenous factors intervening in different urban settings is particularly appreciated. 

The Special Issue investigates research and case studies that tackle conceptual, analytical and empirical challenges related to the interaction among cultural policies and urban processes generating change in cities’ material and intangible components. Submissions relate, but are not limited, to the following perspectives and questions:

Interpretative perspective: 

● Why is an “urban transition lens” relevant to interpret culture-led urban transformation?

● What defines the transitional/transformation potential of a cultural policy at an urban scale?

● What are the most relevant (positive and negative) social and spatial effects of cultural policies?

 ​​​​​​Analytical perspective:

● How to analyse interactions among cultural policies and socio-spatial transformative dynamics?

● How can culture-led transformations be detected and assessed? 

● How to evaluate the effects of cultural policies on cities and urban processes?

Empirical perspective:

● What factors enable the generation of transformative dynamics in specific urban settings? 

● How do contextual conditions affect the development of culture-related transformations?

● Which factors contribute to the emergence and consolidation of transition dynamics?

Lead Guest Editors

Irene Bianchi, Ilaria Tosoni
Department of Architecture and Urban Studies – Politecnico di Milano, Italy

Pau Rausell Köster
Department of Applied Economics – University of Valencia, Spain

Submission Instructions

The Special Issue is open to invited contributions only. The submission procedure will follow the submission guidelines provided by  City, Territory and Architecture. All submissions will undergo rigorous peer review and accepted articles will be published within the journal as a collection.

Submissions will also benefit from the usual advantages of open access publication:

  • Rapid publication: Online submission, electronic peer review and production make the process of publishing your article simple and efficient. 
  • High visibility and international readership in your field: Open access publication ensures high visibility and maximum exposure for your work - anyone with online access can read your article
  • No space constraints: Publishing online means unlimited space for figures, extensive data and video footage
  • Authors retain copyright, licensing the article under a Creative Commons license: articles can be freely redistributed and reused as long as the article is correctly attributed

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  1. Cultural projects, particularly when aiming at social impact, are usually the result of the context, values, and social fabric. Some endogenous factors, such as governance models and availability of resources,...

    Authors: Lluís Bonet, Giada Calvano and Pablo Fernández Compañ
    Citation: City, Territory and Architecture 2023 10:9
  2. This article reports a first attempt to combine the analysis of socio-technical mechanisms and initiative-based learning to sense sustainability transition signals in cities. Relying on the analysis of cultura...

    Authors: Grazia Concilio, Irene Bianchi and Ilaria Tosoni
    Citation: City, Territory and Architecture 2023 10:5
  3. Cultural policies can be a strategic key to shaping more inclusive and sustainable urban regeneration processes, especially exploiting the acceleration promoted through transition dynamics. The City of Issy-le...

    Authors: Anna Moro and Eric Legale
    Citation: City, Territory and Architecture 2023 10:4
  4. This article defines "cultural experience" and places it in a holistic conceptual model; “the cultural city” where it plays a relevant role in improving the performing of cities. The conceptual model combines ...

    Authors: Pau Rausell-Köster, Sendy Ghirardi, Jordi Sanjuán, Francesco Molinari and Borja Abril
    Citation: City, Territory and Architecture 2022 9:40
  5. The article discusses the context and conditions for implementing culture-based interventions for health and well-being in an urban setting. Specifically, the article presents the case study of a cultural inte...

    Authors: Claudia-Maria Cacovean, Marina-Denisa Dascăl and Maria-Rarița Zbranca
    Citation: City, Territory and Architecture 2022 9:37
  6. Despite the proposed ‘certainty’ in a city or region hosting a mega-event, there has long been issues of uncertainty surrounding the planning and implementation of what have until now essentially been mega-pro...

    Authors: Zachary M. Jones, Stefano Di Vita and Davide Ponzini
    Citation: City, Territory and Architecture 2022 9:34