Creative Cities

Professor: TBD
Course code: URB336H1
Format: Lecture/Discussion

About this course

What is a “creative city” and why would we want to live in one? The idea of the “creative city” underwrites an approach to city building that emphasizes the role of culture, the arts, and, more generally, creativity, in urban development. In URB336H1, you will be introduced to this model that gained traction in the1990s and 2000s, as advocates of creative-city policies championed the philosophy that cities should foster creativity among their citizens. They also realized that they could attract new resident-creatives by providing the right creative opportunities, spaces, and experiences. With both passionate supporters and vocal critics, the creative-cities paradigm has played a major role in shaping the fate of cities so far this century.

What you’ll learn

  • Gain an understanding of creative-city-led urbanism – and its vision for the future of cities in a changing economy.
  • Critically assess the legacy of the creative city, as well as its prospects for the future by scrutinizing both the top-down and bottom-up efforts of city planners, creative-cities artists, and urban activists.

Course highlights

You will be studying more than the role of creativity in culture and society; you will also be asked to engage with the course material through a variety of different methods, many of which are creative in nature. Get ready to show your creative side through inventive assignments and unconventional forms of communication.

A personal note from your instructor

headshot of peter galambos


I am excited to teach URB336 for many reasons, but most especially because of the exciting diversity of topics we will explore together. Creativity and the creative city paradigm allows a unique perspective on cities enabling us to integrate diverse topics, from urban development and public policy to art, architecture, and activism. I am also a believer that the perspective of creativity and creative cities is one of the best ways to understand Toronto’s recent history and reflect on the future we want to build for it.

Good to know

Recommended preparation: GGR124H1, URB235H1, UBR236H1

Exclusions: INI336H1, INI336Y1

Distribution requirements: Social Science

Breadth requirements: Society and Its Institutions (3)

Have a question?

Need more info? Want to discuss if the Urban Studies Program is right for you? Looking for help in choosing courses? Jannie Chien, the Innis College academic program coordinator, can help!