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Selling streetness as experience: the role of street art tours in branding the creative city

Andron, S; (2018) Selling streetness as experience: the role of street art tours in branding the creative city. Sociological Review (In press). Green open access

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Abstract

This article looks at the street art tours industry in London, and its function in constructing the geographic, economic and symbolic value of street art. The street art world of the capital has reached a substantial level of institutional endorsement as a proper urban creative practice, through backing such as by local councils and private developers, art galleries and book publishers. This article examines the role of walking tours in holding up street art as a cultural product of the creative city. It argues that London’s street art scene is constructed and legitimated by these tours through the strategic deployment of an authoritative discourse. Street art tours’ routes and locations are then integrated into a longer lineage of endorsements for the cultural field of street art, and interpreted as branding strategies for the creative city. In the conclusion, the role of walking tours in gentrification and urban change is discussed, with a focus on how street art works and murals contribute to performing Shoreditch as a hub of vibrancy and urban creativity.

Type: Article
Title: Selling streetness as experience: the role of street art tours in branding the creative city
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1177/0038026118771293
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
Keywords: creative city, London street art, place branding, Shoreditch, street art tour, streetness
URI: http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10050227
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