Urban Culture in Theory and Action

Course content

This summer school presents students with a unique opportunity to experience urban culture in theory and action in Copenhagen, 8th to 20th of August 2016.

The program focuses on cultural entrepreneurship and social innovation in the city by combining urban theory with hands-on practice. Through a combination of lectures, seminars, tutorials, workshops and field trips, the student will engage with cultural practitioners, social activists and urban theorists. Bringing academic knowledge of urban life together with empirical know-how generated by actors, the program do-it-yourself approach will help students develop their own ideas into project proposals that can inspire entrepreneurship and innovation in their home cities.

The program is tied together with the simultaneous STRØM electronic music festival (http://www.stromcph.dk/) and embedded within Copenhagen’s alternative spaces, including the co-creative community PB43 (http://pb43.dk/). Using Copenhagen as a laboratory for studying the creative and innovative use, development or repurposing of urban space, the summer school also opens up to cross-cultural and global perspectives through presentations of research from around the world.

The program consists of lectures and talks by Danish and international scholars of standing; seminars and group tutorials run by the summer school team; and numerous field trips, fieldwork assignments and workshops outside the university, some of which are organized by the STRØM and PB43.

Students are expected to:

  1. Be prepared by having studied the required reading before the summer school begins; 2. Attend all obligatory sessions; 3. Actively participate in group work, discussions and field trips.


The program seeks to cultivate a knowledge of:

  • Relevant problems in the study of the relationship between cities and culture;
  • Practical approaches to social and cultural entrepreneurship, innovation and project work in networks, businesses, organizations and institutions engaged with urban culture and space;
  • Creative, innovative and artistic approaches to change, development and improvement of urban societies, particularly the alternative use of urban space.


Students should develop general skills in:

  • Applying relevant theories, methods and tools of the program in project development;
  • Identifying, analyzing and understanding the potentials and challenges contained within a city or a specific urban space;
  • Contributing to creative processes in new or established networks, businesses, organizations and institutions.


Students will be trained in:

  • Formulating and presenting an idea for an urban cultural entrepreneurship or social innovation project;

Discussing the idea in relation to cross-cultural and comparative perspectives.


Master’s level in Global Urban Studies the 2015 curriculum

Danish and international MA-level students from any discipline and any university with an interest in cities and culture are encouraged to apply

Learning outcome

MA Elective in Global Urban Studies (Kandidattilvalget i Globale Bystudier, 2015-ordningen):

Urban Culture in Theory and Action (Bykultur i Teori og Handling), HTÆK03361E.

The program consists of lectures and talks by Danish and international scholars of standing; seminars and group tutorials run by the summer school team; and field trips and fieldwork assignments outside the university.

A text corpus and/or course book will be specified for accepted students by May 1st. It is expected that students read all the required text material before the summer school.

Good English skills are required.

After enrolment, students must no later than 27 July 2016 submit an outline (max. 250 words) of an idea for a cultural or social project (e.g. an alternative use of public space, a community development initiative, a festival, event, happening, exhibition, installation, performance, showcase, competition, intervention etc. – all creative ideas are welcome). Students will then be paired in groups based on the affinity of their project ideas, and together, they will develop hypothetical projects.

7,5 ECTS
Type of assessment
Criteria for exam assessment

Short courses / Copenhagen Summer University

  • Category
  • Hours
  • Excursions
  • 24
  • Exam
  • 1
  • Preparation
  • 100
  • Lectures
  • 22
  • Colloquia
  • 15
  • Practical exercises
  • 10
  • Project work
  • 21
  • Guidance
  • 12
  • English
  • 205