Project: Festivals, events and inclusive urban public spaces in Europe

Duration 01/05/2019 - 05/11/2022
Project Topic Festivals and events have the power to ‘disrupt’ the fixed nature of public space and to change the dynamics of spaces, both temporarily, and in the longer-term. Turning public spaces into festive spaces may make them more welcoming for diverse ethnic and socio-economic groups that do not normally use them and staging events might also encourage different behaviours producing the inter-subjectivity that can foster the integration of migrants and other socially excluded people. This is particularly important in the ‘super-diverse’ places that have experienced high levels of heterogeneous immigration over the past two decades. However, there is also evidence that contemporary festivals and events might reinforce the exclusionary character of public spaces which tend to serve audiences that have the financial and cultural resources to consume. Events may also displace existing users of public spaces by physically, financially or symbolically excluding them.FESTSPACE will advance theoretical and methodological knowledge in the fields of festivals, events and public space, working closely with influential academic and non-academic partners from across Europe. Through our academic network and Associate Partners’ reach and influence we will inform European policy by exploring approaches to both urban design and cultural policy, strengthening the pan-European academic network studying the effects of festivalisation processes on access to and uses of public space and informing urban policy and planning actors as to how festivals and events can be deployed more effectively to improve cultural understanding and inclusion. The research will contribute to academic knowledge on festivals, events and inclusive urban design and will also produce non-academic impact through knowledge exchange activities with associate partners, including the production of an accessible website, best practice guidelines for participatory planning, the production of a project documentary, and extensive dissemination with academic and non-academic networks.
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Call HERA Joint Research Programme “Public Spaces: Culture and Intergration in Europe”

Project partner

Number Name Role Country
1 University of the West of Scotland Coordinator United Kingdom
2 University of Westminster Partner United Kingdom
3 Dublin Institute of Technology Partner Ireland
4 University of Gothenburg Partner Sweden
5 Universitat Oberta de Catalunya Partner Spain