Call for papers : First international workshop “Beyond Creative Cities : People, Places, Innovation”

The workshop « Beyond Creative Cities » will take place on 1st-2nd April 2021 in Nantes. It is organized by the SCAENA (supported by the Agence Nationale de la Recherche) and DEMEXTRA (supported by PUCA – Plan Urbanisme Construction Architecture) research programs. It will be held as part of the “Nantes, European Capital of Innovation” event organized by Nantes., which has been awarded European Capital of Innovation for 2019 notably for its capactiy to involve citizens in co-shaping the city. This workshop aims to gather researchers, professionals, public and private organizations, and to address the questions of innovation models, the relationship between artistic activities and digital technologies, the territorial innovation and the making of the city.

Initially planned for 8 to 10th of October 2020, the workshop is postponed to 1st and 2nd of April 2021 in Nantes.

[Voir la version française]

Call for paper

The idea of creative city first emerged in the late 1980s/early 1990s combining three initial ingredients : mapping the cultural industries, promoting an innovative design of local public policies and fostering a cultural urban renaissance around strong public investments in art and cultural amenities. Throughout the 2000s, the buzz that surrounded the creative class and industries contributed to a real storytelling and the application of the creative city agenda. If the debates around the creative city were mainly focused on issues of attractiveness, place branding and the clustering of creative activities, they neglected the pioneering postulates which were at the origin of the formulation of what was to become one of the most important urban models of the late twentieth century : the link between creative abilities of people, place-making and the production of innovations and novelties.

Thirty years later, the picture is still confused.  As Graeme Evans reminds us, «The creative city imaginary is an evolutionary concept, reflecting post-industrial and cultural ‘turns’, resulting in a hybrid of assemblages and definitions; assemblage in terms of both sociospatial theory, notably in geography, and in the visual art practice of creative construction through ‘found objects’, where the creative city is seen to draw on a city’s cultural assets, ‘offer’ and ‘creative essence’. The latter is often manifested in creative industries and  strengths in innovation and design, and in the more experiential buzz and scene associated with contemporary attractive cities. » (Evans, 2017 : 311)

The main objective of the workshop is to challenge the creative city idea in the light of the 21st century issues :

1. Beyond creative classes: a cooperative society based on maker ethos

2. Beyond creative clusters: some new paths of innovation?

3. Beyond creative cities: urban innovation regimes ? 

Overall, this first international workshop questions the future of creative cities: what were they ? what will they become ?

Read the entire Call for papers and submit a proposal on conference website
Download Call for paper (pdf)

Scientific committee 
Charles Ambrosino (Université Grenoble Alpes), Etienne Capron (Université d’Angers), Caroline Chapain (University of Birmingham), Cécile Clergeau (Université de Nantes), Patrick Cohendet (HEC Montréal), Laurent Devisme (ENSA Nantes), Sandrine Emin (Université d’Angers), Mathias Guérineau (Université de Nantes), Gérôme Guibert, (Université Sorbonne Nouvelle – Paris 3), François Ménard (PUCA), Hélène Morteau (Université Grenoble Alpes), Montserrat Pareja-Eastaway (University of Barcelona), Dominique Sagot-Duvauroux (Université d’Angers), William Straw (McGill University), Raphaël Suire (Université de Nantes), Jean-Paul Thibaud (ENSA Grenoble), Elsa Vivant (Université Gustave Eiffel), Sharon Zukin (Brooklyn College & City University of New York), 

Local Organizers
Charles Ambrosino (Université Grenoble Alpes), Etienne Capron (Université d’Angers), Laurent Devisme (ENSA Nantes), Clémence Guillemont (Université d’Angers), Hélène Morteau (Université Grenoble Alpes), Dominique Sagot-Duvauroux (Université d’Angers), Raphaël Suire (Université de Nantes), 


Extended abstracts may be submitted in French or English (but the conference will be in english) and should not exceed 3,000 words.

Papers should be sent to the following e-mail address ( or directly to conference website (

Key dates

Submission deadline: 31 May 2020
Notification of acceptance: 15 July 2020
Conference : 1st-2nd April 2021

For further information

For further information about this workshop please contact: Clemence Guillemont ( )

The workshop is sponsored by :

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