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Image: Tina Jonsson, Umeå kommun

Strategy, design and organizing in city development processes

Research project The project intends to investigate how activities are coordinated, designed and organized in the city of Umeå during the European Capital of Culture year 2014 (ECoC 2014). Specifically, we study how strategic development is staged, designed and translated in the ECoC project’s action nets.

In this research project we intend to investigate how activities are coordinated, designed and organized in an ambitious cultural project. Specifically, we study how a city develops into one of Europe's cultural capitals, and how strategic development is staged, designed and translated. Becoming a city of culture is achieved through action nets that seek to match urban innovation and developmental needs in order to produce the conditions for dynamic innovation. The strategy-as-practice approach is best able to conceptualize how strategy works in such a context. The approach focuses on explaining the everyday activities of organizations as they seek to exploit new windows of developmental opportunity emerging from the interaction amongst practices, praxis and practitioners. This study uses this approach to answer the following questions: (1) Given the premises of a major cultural project, how are cities strategic practices designed and organized to deliver it? (2) Given a strategic development initiative of the magnitude of a Capital of Culture, how is interaction with citizens embedded in these practices? The research project, which spans a period of three years, seeks to answer these questions through detailed empirical studies of everyday strategic activities within the city of culture project. It will be conducted in close cooperation with leading international researchers and the outcomes will enrich both academic and practical knowledge of urban and regional development.

Head of project

Nils Wåhlin
Other position

Project overview

Project period:

2013-01-01 2016-12-31


Riksbankens Jubileumsfond (RJ)

Participating departments and units at Umeå University

Umeå School of Business, Economics and Statistics

Research area

Business administration
Latest update: 2019-06-05