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COST Action 18126 Writing Urban Places proposes an innovative investigation and implementation of a process for developing the human understanding of communities, their society, and their situatedness, by narrative methods. It focuses particularly on the potential of narrative methods for urban development in European medium-sized cities.


Dear members of the Writing Urban Places Action, 

In this final stretch of our COST Action Writing Urban Places, this period is one of harvesting yet looking on possible ways to further evolve. 

Many of the projects that have been initiated within, as well as across, our working groups are now coming to a conclusion, edition, production, and presentation. We are looking forward to delivering, in the coming months, the new issue #7 of the Writingplace Journal, a special edition of the NALANS - Journal of Narrative and Language Studies, the Repository of Methods’ book, and the Other Destinations´ collection of translations of literary renditions of different European cities. Many active members of the network are involved in these projects, as authors, editors, reviewers, creatives and participants, and we are more than grateful to all who have shared their time, expertise and enthusiasm with us. 

Our main event this year will be the conference in Delft, on June 2nd, where we will look back at the objectives and ambitions with which we started this Action, and present the key moments and outcomes. On that occasion, we will also celebrate the projects mentioned above as all events and activities that resulted from this network, and present a preview of our final publication Writing Urban Places, which will contain reflections by each working group, plus contributions from all the mid-size European cities that have hosted our activities during the Action. We are currently drafting the programme for the conference and expect to announce more details soon. 

In the coming period, some more activities will unfold, such as our third Training School (following our Training schools in Tallinn in 2021 and in Osijek in 2022) which will be held in Tirana, Albania, in late March. Warm thanks go to the local organizing team for preparing this promising event. 

From the Action Chairs, 
Susana Oliveira & Klaske Havik


Literary Geographies: Social and Educational Views from written Cities

Members of our Cost Action Klaske Havik, Silvia Quinteiro, Angeliki Sioli and Sonja Novak, were invited speakers at the Fourth International Congress Literary Geographies “Social and educational views from written cities” which was held 26 – 28 October 2022 at the University of Valencia, Spain and had the opportunity to present results that emerged from our Writing Urban Places network over the past three years. Read more.

Narrating Hiedanranta Archive – Stories to Keep Alive 

Edited by Elina AlataloDalia Milían Bernal and Mathilde Merolli, the book is a digital archive of the materials created during the tree-days workshop Narrating Hiedanranta: Stories of Objects and Subjects of Urban Places held in Tampere, Finland, from 8 – 10 June 2022. 

The city and the myth:
Journey to Çanakkale 

The fieldwork was organized on 18 – 20 July 2022 by Giuseppe Resta and explored what is believed to be the setting of the mythic Troy, overlooking the Dardanelles strait. In line with the focus on narrative methods for urban development in European medium-sized cities, the organizers decided to investigate the relationship between the city and the myth, namely the visible and the invisible, travelling from Istanbul to Çanakkale. Read the full report here.

Following the outdoor itineraries, the participants collected personal visual interpretations of Çanakkale. The material has been recorded in a personal travelogue, which reflects the experience of the journey that each participant took on in Çanakkale, exploring the narrative potential of the myth and the site. 

Edited by Giuseppe Resta, The City and Myth aimed at presenting these travel journals as instinctive, naïve, and essentially empirical. 

Skopje Brutalism Trail 

The workshop Skopje Brutalisam Trail was held at the Faculty of Architecture, Ss. Cyril and Methodius University in Skopje from the 28th to the 30th of September. The theme of the workshop referred to the Brutalist architecture in Skopje, an important legacy that represents the act of world solidarity in rebuilding the city after the catastrophic earthquake in 1963. The fieldwork was organized by Slobodan VelevskiMarija Mano VelevskaBlagoja Bajkovski and Ana Rafailovska and a detailed report was published on our webpage. Read more.

Workshop video-report: Skopje Brutalism Trail
Skopje Brutalism Trail - Aftermovie


The third day was dedicated to adapting the findings and the writings for the purposes of a public performance. The intensive, creative and productive experience culminated with the performance that took place in the yard of the Faculty of Architecture in Skopje where a scaffolding installation was constructed insinuating a part of Domche’s inner space. You can watch the first act which tells the story of far-away buildings, in relation to the first task I am building.

Open Meeting #3

Our #3 Open Meeting, organized by Working Group 1, took place on October 19th, 2022. We used this online seasonal gathering to discuss the news, events, and calls included in our 9th Newsletter and also to host the Management Committee annual meeting. 

STSM Grants 2023 

“The Planned and Unplanned” 
Willie Vogel

The last fieldwork event of this action will take place in Tirana and Kamza, Albania. Under the theme of The Planned and Unplanned, we will explore their notions: embodied explorations, commoning practices and material unrest. To support this fieldwork event I have done a pre-research on the theme Material Unrest under the title: “Entangled Materials in Tirana and Kamza, Albania - A reading of the material unrest.” I have followed two material ecologies through which I explored the social, political and environmental structures which write the city, namely concrete and “waste” products. By starting outside the city, around the river banks of Milot, I followed the gravel from the countryside to the city centre. With this move inside I have seen the extraction sides, the factories, the building sites, the self-made neighbourhoods under threat of being demolished and the newly constructed high-rise apartment blocks and hotels. Since the ecologies of concrete and the “waste” with which the self-made neighbourhoods are made are critically debated I want to take an objective observing standpoint which I have tried to translate into my writing (both poems and daily itineraries), diagramming plus mapping and the recordings (moving images and voices). The purpose of the produced material is to unravel certain city-making activities so we can reflect upon them.



For our Spanish-speaking colleagues, here is an interview with Jorge Mejia Hernandez, Leader WG1, recorded at the Universidad Santo Tomas from the city of Tunja, Colombia.

In the fall/winter period of 2022/2023, WG1 has continued running our internal and external communications, keeping our website and social media accounts up to date. We also organized our habitual Open Meeting in mid-October. During this period we have increased our membership. A warm welcome to all new members! 
Willie Vogel, who for a long period run our website and social media strategy, will focus now on her work as an architect. Starting January she has been replaced in these tasks by Holly Dale, also an architect, who is already proposing wonderful ideas to continue improving our work. As a group we welcome Holly, and sincerely thank Willie for her efforts and dedication.  
While we continue preparing our contribution to our final publication, we have also initiated a new project which intends to add a new and relatively unused medium to our communications strategy. By inviting all action members to produce short films, we hope to reach beyond the network and communicate with the citizens and institutions that are also part of our work.  
WG2 has in the fall/winter period of 2022/2023 actively participated in the Skopje workshop on 28-30th September 2022 and the Open Meeting of our COST Action on 18th October 2022. With many of the WG2 members, we are currently cooperating on the final COST publication with several articles, among which, there is one on working definitions of the intermediate city as an equivalent of the term "mid-size" as well as two case studies in connection with the fieldwork events in the cities of Osijek, Croatia and Çanakkale, Turkey. 

WG3  entered 2023 with fresh news. The book REPOSITORY: 49 Methods and Assignments for Writing Urban Places (nai010publishers/COST) is finally ready to print. It results from a collective effort offering a set of methods and assignments to stimulate new approaches in architecture, urban planning, other fields of spatial development, and urban studies. It also intends to invite creative, often embodied, sometimes playful engagements with the material and immaterial dimensions of urban places, within academia and beyond. A book launch is scheduled to take place in Tampere (Finland), while some Zoom sessions will allow for broader dissemination. In parallel, WG3 has been working on a book chapter to discuss the role of urban narratives and the methods to locate, understand and construct them whilst reflecting on the efforts and activities of the group to find and gather such methods. Throughout this year, our working group will focus on disseminating the book and, in collaboration with other WGs, organize a couple of activities to encourage members to use it, undertake one assignment, and report back at our final conference in Delft.

Working Group 4 (WG4) activities at the beginning of the grand period 4 are developing in accordance with the plan for continuing the successful series of fieldwork events mainly executed in the previous grand period. Within this line of activities, the last fieldwork in Tirana will be performed as a training school and will last for three days within a frame of one week. This time the training school will have a combined format of one day as an online meeting (24 March) and two days (30-31 March) with the in-situ visit of Tirana and the nearby district of Kamza as a distinctive case study area. The preparation for the call for participation and its announcement was conducted within the planned time frame during January 2023, now being in the phase of evaluation and selection of the participants. The event will try to explore the ongoing social and spatial tensions that emerged in the process of the formation of this build urban substance which is a result of concepts of the planned and the unplanned. The chosen working methods for this fieldwork event are different than the previous ones and therefore the expected results are promising yet another successful contribution to an already rich research experience from the previous workshops and training schools of our Cost Action.
We are also glad to share the information that the latest issue of Writing Places Journal No. 7 entitled Taking Place. Reflections from the fieldworker is in the last stage of editing with the proofreading and design layout already finished. This issue is planned to be published in the following month.
A number of the Working group 4 members are also involved in the process of preparation of texts for the final publication dedicated to the activities and research topics of our COST Action.
As part of the events related to the work of WG4 at least two STSMs are expected to be conducted in the forthcoming period. The procedure for the first one related to the Tirana training school is already underway, while the second one is expected to be prepared in the following months since is related to the research visit to Skopje in mid of May and is part of making a short film organized by the members of Working group 1.


Training School: Tirana and Kamza – the planned, the unplanned, and everything in between

The Training School in Tirana and Kamza will work with psychogeographic walks and ethnographic film as research-creation methods to explore the tension between two concepts that have been crucial for the formation of these cities: the planned and the unplanned.

49 Methods and Assignments for Writing Urban Places

A field guide with inspiring methods and assignments for urban studies

> A handy and accessible introduction to methods of urban engagement
> Contains practical and surprising assignments for the reader
> Explores the special interface between architecture and literature

Repository. 49 Methods and Assignments for Writing Urban Places offers a set of methods and assignments intended to stimulate new approaches in architecture, urban studies, and other fields of spatial development and to invite creative, often embodied, and sometimes playful engagements with the material and immaterial dimensions of urban places.
The Book will soon be available for download on our Cost Action page.


Call for Papers:
International Conference “Photography and Culture Industries: From Leicas to Likes”
The Centre for Intercultural Studies of ISCAP-P.PORTO will host the Conference “Photography and Culture Industries: From Leicas to Likes”, organised in partnership with the Centre for Languages, Literatures and Cultures of the University of Aveiro, on 13 and 14 July 2023. Read more.

Call for Entries:
The fifteenth edition of AFFR (Architecture Film Festival Rotterdam), the world’s largest film festival on architecture and the city, will take place from 4 to 8 October 2023. The first titles have already been submitted, our Call for Entries is open until May 10!  Read more.

Call for Papers:

LIT&TOUR fosters research in the areas of Literature and Tourism and includes experts from all over the world. It offers free access to knowledge and a rigorous peer-review-based system.

Any current calls for articles for this journal on a special theme or topic will be listed below. This journal has an open call for general submissions year-round. Please visit the Information for Authors for further information.

 Upcoming Agenda 

> Consolidating new strategies of communication towards our final conference on June 2. This includes a few short films that will show some of our social activity as well as past and upcoming fieldwork events; but also a series of smaller projects which we hope will involve many more action members. 
> WG1 contribution to the final book.
> Final newsletter issue before the conference. 

Finishing the project Other Destinations. Translating the Mid-sized European City
Special issue of the Journal of Narrative and Language Studies
> Contributing to the final COST book and starting the preparations for the closing event in Delft.
> Despite the fact that our Action officially finishes on 14th September 2023, our cooperation will surely go beyond this date as we continue to share calls for papers, such as for the journal LIT&TOUR.
> or calls for presentations at conferences (e. g. the 9th international NALANS conference in Karadeniz, Turkey).

> Publication of Repository (book).
> Book launch in Tampere and dissemination of Repository.
> Organization of activities to use and test different methods.
> Completion of a chapter about the methods for the final publication of the Action.

> following the next fieldwork event in Tirana (end of March).
> publication of Writing Place #7 - Taking Place. Reflections from the fieldworker.
> coordinating STSM related to the activities of WG4.
> participation of WG4 in the final event in Delft.
> preparing the chapter about fieldwork for the final publication of the COST Action.
Copyright © COST Action 18126, All rights reserved.

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COST Project · Delft University of Technology · Delft, South Netherlands 2600 AA Delft · Netherlands

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