Urban Culture in Theory and Action

Course content

This summer school presents students with a unique opportunity to experience and discuss urban culture in theory and action in Copenhagen, 7th to 17th of August 2016. The course raises the questions: what is urban culture and who is it for?

The program focuses on creativity, cultural entrepreneurship and social innovation in the city by combining urban theory with hands-on practice. Through lectures, seminars, tutorials, workshops and field trips, the student will engage with cultural practitioners, social activists and urban theorists. Bringing academic knowledge of urban societies 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 while taking into consideration critical questions about urban co-existence and the cultural life of cities.

The program is supported by Copenhagen Municipality’s Kulturhavn365 (https://kulturhavn365.kk.dk/) and tied together with both the Strøm electronic music festival (http://www.stromcph.dk/) and 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 critical urban theory.

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, organized by Kulturhavn365, Strøm and PB43.

Students are expected to:

  • Be prepared by having studied the required readings and by submitting an outline of a project idea before the summer school begins;

  • Attend all obligatory sessions;

  • 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, creativity 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 skills in:

  • Applying relevant theories, methods and tools of the program as well as findings from the required readings and summer school lectures in developing a group project;

  • Identifying, analysing 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 critical urban theory.


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, creativity and urban 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 course book will be specified for accepted students. It is expected that students read all the required text material before the summer school (estimated at approximately 118.5 hours’ reading).

Good English skills are required.

After enrolment, students must no later than 2nd of August 2017 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
  • 12
  • Exam
  • 10
  • Preparation
  • 118,5
  • Lectures
  • 16
  • Colloquia
  • 15
  • Practical exercises
  • 17
  • Project work
  • 18
  • English
  • 206,5