Urban Subversion and the Creative City

Urban Subversion and the Creative City Paperback cover

My first monograph, Urban Subversion and the Creative City was published by Routledge in April 2015, with the paperback published in August 2016. The video below gives a very brief overview of what the book is about, but if you want a slightly more in-depth synopsis, you could do worse than listen to my talk I gave at RIBA on ‘Play and Urban Subversion’.

The book is the culmination of over 5 years worth of research into Creative City policies and urban subversive activity. It shows the latter can be thought of as a challenge to the former, through a number of different case studies from all over the world.

You can buy it from Routledge direct with a 20% discount using this flyer, or from all good online book stores (like Amazon, which isn’t ‘good’ as such….) There’s also a truncated version on Google Books.


Here are some endorsements from academics around the world…

Urban Subversion and the Creative City is Oli Mould’s bold plea for truly creative urban thought and action … Creative, that is, in a wide range of subversive but always social ways, and not only outside but against the softly suffocating hegemony of authorized versions of the Creative-Cities script, in all its banal ubiquity. Not before time, this is the creative city turned upside down.”
Professor Jamie Peck, Canada Research Chair in Urban & Regional Political Economy and Professor of Geography, University of British Columbia

“The Creative City of neoliberal urbanism has met its match: In this fascinating, meticulously researched, truly global book, Oli Mould introduces us to the creative city of subversion and desire. A much needed act of liberation from the official terrain occupied by the creative class.”
Professor Roger Keil, Faculty of Environmental Studies, York University, Canada.

“Oli Mould is a legendary scrapbooker of all things urban, and the city itself – its benches, billboards, pavements, parks – is his raw material. Urban Subversion is the product of many years of quiet but critically discerning rambling through diverse urban places and through eclectic academic ideas. Mould has painstakingly traversed both the world’s iconic and ignored cities, collecting and photographing, asking questions and talking with those who make cities genuinely creative places – not the cashed-up hipsters, Creative City policy wonks or think-tank ‘expert’ authors of glossy strategic plans, but the activists, artists and ordinary people on the street whose desire to use the city to other ends make meaningful life out of concrete, brick and bitumen. This book is a rare insight into how to think the creative city differently, a book that crackles with conflicting voices, but always sees the city as a space of possibility.”
Professor Chris Gibson, Director, Global Challenges Program, Professor in Human Geography, University of Wollongong, Australia.

The book has been reviewed on the Urban Geography Research Group website, and in Urban Studies. You can listen to me talking about it on the New Books Network Podcast.


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