AG Creative processes in urban development and urban research

AG Creative processes in urban development and urban research

AG 280.033 by Roland Krebs and Levente Polyák

Link: TISS.

Virtual seminar room: Link.


General information

The workshop format course (AG) “Creative processes in urban development and urban research” takes place in the course of module 11 “Urban culture, public spaces and markets: Economy and Innovation” which is offered during three three-to-four-days block events by the Interdisciplinary Centre for Urban Culture and Public Space (SKuOR) in Vienna and Budapest. The Budapest workshop will take place between 09th and 13th of May 2011. Financial support for travel and accommodation expenses (partly) will be granted by Vienna UT.

Master students (late Bachelor or early PhD), international students as well as students working interdisciplinarily are warmly welcome. This course is held in English language. Participants of this course are highly recommended to take part in the other courses of module 11, namely 280.032, 280.038, 280.039, 280.040. Please register for module 11 via TISS registration (registration at VU 280.038) until 9th of March 2011 (2pm) and send a short 1A4 page statement of motivation to Single-course registration directly at the Kick off Meeting on 8th of March (starting 4 pm) or personally at SKuOR office after 7th of March.


Subject of course

The notion of creativity has been a central topic in current urban research. However, in most research agendas, creative processes are often reduced to artistic practices or to activities within the creative industries. Expanding the definition of urban creativity, the Creative Processes in Urban Development and Urban Research course aims to investigate various micro-economic practices that reclaim their share of public space. With a special focus to urban markets, the course will explore the role of organizations and civil initiatives in the production of urban space as well as the dynamics between informal and institutional actors. With the help of concentrated on-site workshops and regular tutorial meetings, and by cooperating with their Hungarian counterparts, students will conduct research in groups within this framework to analyze specific food markets in Budapest and Vienna, looking at urban markets as public spaces, communal situations, nodes in food infrastructures, interfaces of social integration and economic engines.


Structure of course

AG Slot 1+2: Wednesday, 30.3.2011, 4 to 5:30 pm

Theme: Startup session – Introduction, structure of course (subject and aim of course, time schedule, final presentation, evaluation), presentation of eight study areas in Vienna (4) and Budapest (4), group finding (groups with 2-3 students) and distribution of study areas in Vienna, distribution of study tasks and preparatory information for the Viennese Workshop.

AG Slot 3+4: Thursday, 7.4.2011, all day starting at 9:00 am

Theme: Vienna Workshop day one – Introduction to methodology, research and mapping techniques (group), field research on site (day one), assessment and analysis in workgroups and discussion. Guest lecture by Austrian artist Andreas Strauss (invited, not confirmed).

AG Slot 5+6: Friday, 8.4.2011, all day starting at 9:00 am

Theme: Vienna Workshop day two – come together – discussion of lessons learnt from day one, field research on site (day two), assessment and analysis, presentation of findings (group)

AG Slot 7+8: during the Budapest excursion

Theme: Budapest Workshop day one – field research on site (day one) together with students of University of Technology Budapest, assessment and analysis in workgroups and discussion.

AG Slot 9+10: during the Budapest excursion

Theme: Budapest Workshop day two – come together – discussion of lessons learnt from day one, field research on site (day two), assessment and analysis, presentation of findings (group)

AG Slot 11: Wednesday, 25.5.2011, 4 to 5:30 pm

Theme: Tutorial #1

AG Slot 12: Wednesday, 08.6.2011, 4 to 5:30 pm

Theme: Tutorial #2

AG Slot 13: 30.06.2011

Theme: Final presentation with invited guest critics (end of course)


Dates and places

– Kick off Meeting: 8th of March 2011, 4-6 pm, Sem 268/1, Karlsgasse 13/1.
– Slot 1+2: Wednesday, 30th of March 2011, 4 to 5:30 pm
– Vienna Workshop: 7th and 8th of April 2011, all day starting at 9:00 am
– Budapest Workshop: within excursion from 08th to 13th of May 2011
– Slot 11: Wednesday, 25th of June 2011, 4 to 5:30 pm
– Slot 12: Wednesday, 8th of June 2011, 4 to 5:30 pm
– Final presentation: 30th of June 2011


Aim of course

The course offers an experimental and creative approach to urban research and urban development. Complementing the lectures delivered by the Vienna Visiting Professors, the course aims to develop skills to recognize the dynamics of the production and development of urban public space. The practice-oriented course is being carried out in two intensive on-site workshops in squares with formal and/or informal markets in Budapest and Vienna and with additional tutorial meetings in Vienna. Interdisciplinary teams work in small groups on 8 urban markets in both capital cities and collect observations, generate ideas, elaborate interventions or develop concepts for the development of the sites. The product of the course is the “urban market reader”, a collection of observations, analyzes and statements related to urban markets in the two cities.


Skills to be provided during the course

The course offers an interdisciplinary approach to urban public spaces, where students have to rely upon a combination of viewpoints and a variety of resources in researching urban food markets. With organized field research in Budapest and Vienna, the course will enable students to compare similar phenomena in contrasting architectural, urban, social, economical and political settings. While the group-format of the research will help students elaborate cooperative ways of doing research and developing presentation materials, individual skills in intercultural exploration, mapping, analysis, and presentation will also be enhanced.


Teaching approach

The course offers a strong practice-oriented approach in field research and interdisciplinary work in urban development and planning. The intensive workshops in Vienna and Budapest following the principles of learning-by-doing and innovative research will not only lead to interesting interdisciplinary results, but also deliver a fruitful comparison and interaction between both cities. The students will gain the experience of conducting research in both cities and of comparing them. The collaboration with students of various nationalities and academic backgrounds enriches the creative aspect for the course. The course is accompanied by guest lectures of artists, planners and architects whose work focus on urban public space.


Material, skills needed to attend the course

The course is open to all interested students. However, good knowledge of English is required, and basic skills in graphic design, cartography, photography, video, and interviewing will be appreciated. All students are encouraged to bring their recording devices (digital cameras, camcorders, sound recorders).



The evaluation of the course will be based upon the following activities:

20% participation in discussions
20% partial results, continuous coursework and research
60% research results and final presentation




Evans, Graeme: Cultural Planning: An Urban Renaissance? London: Routledge, 2001

Jacobs, Jane: The death and life of great American cities. New York, NY: Random House, 1961.

Koc, Mustafa, Rod MacRae, Luc J.A. Mougeot, and Jennifer Welsh (eds.): For Hunger-proof Cities. Toronto: International Development Research Centre, 1999

Low, Setha and Neil Smith: The Politics of Public Space. London: Routledge, 2005

Zukin, Sharon: Naked City: The Death and Life of Authentic Urban Places. New York and Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2010

Additional materials

Harvey, David: The Enigma of Capital. London: Profile Books, 2010

Tinker, Irene: Street Foods. Urban Food and Employment in Developing Countries. New York and Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1997

Architectural Design, Vol 75. No. 3, May/June 2005 – Food and the City

Lectures of the 7th International Public Markets Conference (audio material), April 24-26, 2009., San Francisco, CA

Urban Studies, November 2008. Special Issue: Gentrification


Castells, Manuel: The City and the Grassroots. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1983

Center for Urban Pedagogy: Vendor Power.

Dewar, David, and Vanessa Watson. 1990. Urban markets: Developing informal retailing. London: Routledge.

How to Turn a Place Around. A Handbook for Creating Successful Public Spaces. New York: Project for Public Spaces, 2005

Landry, Charles: The Creative City. A Toolkit for Urban Innovators. London: Comedia, 2000

Ruggiero, Vincenzo: Movements in the City. Conflict in the European Metropolis. New York: Prentice Hall, 2001

Smith, Neil: The New Urban Frontier: Gentrification and the Revanchist City. London: Routledge, 1996

Winne, Mark: Closing the Food Gap. Resetting the Table in the Land of Plenty. Beacon Press, Boston, 2008