1st Edition

Arts in Place The Arts, the Urban and Social Practice

By Cara Courage Copyright 2017
    248 Pages
    by Routledge

    246 Pages 18 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    This interdisciplinary book explores the role of art in placemaking in urban environments, analysing how artists and communities use arts to improve their quality of life. It explores the concept of social practice placemaking, where artists and community members are seen as equal experts in the process. Drawing on examples of local level projects from the USA and Europe, the book explores the impact of these projects on the people involved, on their relationship to the place around them, and on city policy and planning practice.

    Case studies include Art Tunnel Smithfield, Dublin, an outdoor art gallery and community space in an impoverished area of the city; The Drawing Shed, London, a contemporary arts practice operating in housing estates and parks in Walthamstow; and Big Car, Indianapolis, an arts organisation operating across the whole of this Midwest city.

    This book offers a timely contribution, bridging the gap between cultural studies and placemaking. It will be of interest to scholars, students and practitioners working in geography, urban studies, architecture, planning, sociology, cultural studies and the arts.


    1. Introduction: social practice placemaking in a global context

    2. Arts in place

    3. A typology of placemaking

    4. The Drawing Shed, London

    5. Art Tunnel Smithfield, Dublin

    6. Big Car, Indianapolis

    7. Conclusion: towards a deeper understanding of the arts in placemaking

    Appendix: demographic and statistical information



    Cara Courage is an arts and urban researcher, curator and commentator. She completed her PhD at the University of Brighton, UK, and has an urban arts career spanning over fifteen years, with her own arts-based placemaking practice and specialism in public engagement in the built environment.