Summer School: Artistic and other Creative Practices as Drivers for Urban Resilience

September 5-7, 2016, Museu Municipal de Espinho (Portugal)

Summer school organized by the Centre for Social Studies (CES) at the University of Coimbra, in collaboration with the ESA Research Network Sociology of the Arts, and linked to the Midterm Conference being held in Porto on September 8-10, 2016.

The summer school is being held immediately before the 9th ESA RN2 Midterm conference, in the small coastal town of Espinho, within the Metropolitan Area of Porto.

Course description summary
Urban sustainable development requires enhancing urban resilience. In this Summer School, we look at resilience as a space for translocal bottom-up learning, emerging artistic-cultural-ecological approaches or as a ‘Space of Possibilities’: Resilience as openness, possibility, emergence, praxis, mutual learning and doing . . . not a 10-point governmental program to be implemented.

Several key characteristics of resilience (redundancy, diversity, learning modes, and self-organization) can potentially be fostered in urban neighborhoods through creative practices entangling natural and cultural resources and processes such as “ecological art” and “social practice” interventions, “urban gardening” projects, autonomous social-cultural centers fighting against gentrification, and artivist actions that question unsustainable city planning and societal behaviours. However, how far does the potential of such practices reach? When and how do they scale up to wider urban institutions as drivers of transformations, fostering systemic innovations? What limits and challenges do they encounter? How far do they foster urban resilience towards sustainability as a transformative search process of fundamental change, or are they coopted into neoliberal urban development?

The summer school, conceived as an extended workshop, will explore comparative insights across different urban initiatives and projects. We invite researchers, artists, and practitioners to address together several sets of questions and reflect on their empirical research, previous project experiences, and expertise from different cities.

Researchers (multidisciplinary), graduate students and post-docs, artists, and practitioners working with community-based artistic and sustainability/resilience initiatives

During the pre-registration process, applicants are asked to submit [HERE] a brief statement on the relevant project(s)/initiative(s) with which they are involved, and why they want to attend the summer school. These statements will be reviewed as part of the participant selection process.

Deadline: Sunday, May 1, 2016.
All applicants will be notified of selection process results by Monday, May 16, 2016.

Nancy Duxbury (CES) and Sacha Kagan (Leuphana University Lüneburg; ESA RN2)

Core Team

  • Nathalie Blanc, Le Centre national de la recherche scientifique (CNRS), France
  • Hans Dieleman, Universidad Autónoma de la Ciudad de México, Mexico; Cultura21
  • Nancy Duxbury, Centre for Social Studies, University of Coimbra, Portugal
  • David Haley, Manchester Metropolitan University, England
  • Verena Holz, Leuphana University Lüneburg, Germany
  • Sacha Kagan, Leuphana University Lüneburg, Germany; ESA RN2; Cultura21

Earlybird rate (by May 31): € 150
Late rate from June 1: € 165

Fee includes: Summer School registration and materials | Welcome BBQ or dinner on Sept 5 | Lunch on Sept 6 and 7 | Breaks (5). (Accommodation and dinner on Sept. 6 at own cost.)

Maximum number of registrations: 25 | Minimum number of registrations: 20

This is a self-funded, non-profit Summer School.

For the full course description, detailed programme, bios of the core team, online pre-registration, and more, please visit:

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.