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Sports Management

Institute for Engaged Learning Get Engaged

Undergraduate Sports Management capstone students work in small teams with a community project partner to solve and/or innovate a solution to a problem. This class includes a culminating project that demonstrates student ability to work in the industry and solve complex, real-world problems.

It is a daunting lesson that takes weeks to bring everything together in a program that prides itself on developing students’ capacity to lead, think, innovate, and design.

Hunter McCune, Zac Frieden, Jake Eminian, and Bobby Lillard

Across their interviews, this group of students found that there was a demand for game film from parents, coaches, athletes, and scouts. Individuals would set up creative camera rigs to record games, but there is no dedicated...

Mark Blomeke, Richard Holden, Robert Kidwell, and Evan Whitlow

Athletes and parents invest a significant amount of money into their sports equipment to compete in youth sports. But at Grand Park, they place this investment in peril because there is not a safe place to securely store their...

Elevate Film

Dustin Frye, Taylor Smrecansky, Brady Markel, Jack Wait

During our capstone project with Grand Park, our group noticed a glaring error in content videography for the users that venture to Grand Park’s campus. After conducting interviews and putting ourselves in the shoes of the...

Grand Park Fun Zones

Austin Anderson, Kai Biami, Brooklynn Joy, and Nelson Roetter

This group found that Grand Park attendees want to have other activities to do because they need to be engaged to enjoy their experience, but there is a lack of activities at Grand Park. We set out to solve this problem by...

Grand Shoppe

Caleb Lovelace, Luke Robinson, Taylor Rowlett, and Alex Smith

During our research at Grand Park, we were able to interview many different families with many different needs. The greatest need people were wanting was something to help with all their gear. We set out to solve this problem...

Healthy Eats to Your Seats

Luis Escalante, Reagan McCoy, Logan Neukam, and Keelan Norwood

During our research, we found that visitors want to bring healthier options for their kids because there are no on-campus options besides the unhealthy reality of the concessions. The hassle of bringing and preparing these...

The Grand Park App

Cameron Gross, Taylor Ramey, Luke Rasberry, and Aleya Woodall

During our field observations at Grand Park, we quickly noticed that visitors were asking themselves the exact same set of basic questions. Things like what will I have for lunch, where is my next game going to be, and how can...

The Leisure Bleacher

Nick Lyon, Darian Riley, Ben Summers, and Jason Thompson

Fans at Grand Park need to be able to focus on the game around them, and the lack of amenities makes it difficult to do that. When fans come to watch their teams play, they don't want to have to be focused on lugging heavy...

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Home > Colleges, Schools, and Departments > Falk College > Sport Management > Sport Management

Sport Management Honors Capstone Projects

Financing Small Market Baseball: A Case Study of the Auburn Doubledays , Derek Wohlfarth

A Geographical Analysis of the Origin of National Football League Players and Draftees , Robert Murray

An Investigation into the Accounting Practices of Owners in the Professional Sport Industry with specific consideration of implications to Players, Taxpayers, and Local Governments , Stephen Michael Rathbun

Major League Soccer Case Study An Examination into the Future of the League , Matt Samost

Determinants of Major League Baseball Player Salaries , Tyler Wasserman

Marketing Pastimes: Comparing the Brand Strengths of Real Madrid & The New York Yankees , Colin Wilson Powers

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5 Ph.D. in Sports Management Capstone Topics

Top 5 topics for a dissertation in sports management.

To complete a Ph.D. in Sports Management, students have to fulfill the dissertation requirement that demands independent research, a lengthy write-up, and thesis defense. Sometimes, however, the beginning may seem like the most difficult part of the process as finding a good topic can be incredibly hard.

1. Gender in Sports

As one of the issues that have been in the spotlight recently, the role of gender in sports is certainly a great topic for any Ph.D. student. With the recent win of the United States female national team in soccer, which claimed the world title twice in a row, many have complained about equal pay issues. And rightly so. After all, women who participate in sports continue to only make a fraction of men’s salaries. This comes without any regard for efficiency and success as proven by the female soccer team that outranks their male counterparts in virtually every category. Thus, a topic in this area would be quite easy to research and even easier to write.

2. Football Safety Regulations

Over the past few decades, the National Football League has witnessed innumerable changes relating to the safety measures. After the current commissioner of the league, Roger Goodell, took over in 2006, the rules got even more strict. Nonetheless, the number of players who suffer from concussions or career-ending injuries is still concerningly high. Students who choose to make their sports management dissertation focused on these regulations and potential ways to improve them would have a very fun and exciting topic at their hands.

3. Role of Politics in Sport

A few years ago, Colin Kaepernick engaged what seemed to be the entire United States in a fierce battle over the role of politics in sport. His silent protest ignited a passionate response from both sides. Even after those types of protests passed, politics have found a way to get involved in every sport. Whilst the two spheres had many touching points throughout history, the growing connections between them have certainly impacted sports in a variety of ways. Students who are interested in this topic could look into the most common benefits and downsides of athletes and politicians crossing over into each others’ domains.

4. Improving Random Drug Testing

One of the most prevalent complaints when it comes to random drug testing is the fact that it sometimes appears to be everything but random. In 2018, for instance, NFL player Eric Reid was selected for a total of seven tests within just 11 weeks. According to The Guardian , statistics showed that the odds of this happening were highly improbable. The scandal was so large that the NFL was forced to issue a public statement explaining how their algorithm works. Since these types of problems are present across the board, sports management students in Ph.D. programs can seek ways to help improve the testing procedures.

Related Resource: Top 10 Ph.D. Programs in Sports Management

5. Holding Athletes to Unrealistic Standards

Although incredibly high earnings and fame are very attractive benefits of being a successful athlete, there are quite a few downsides as well. The most dangerous one is the fact that people tend to hold these individuals to unrealistic standards. Since they are constantly under the spotlight, it is not uncommon to see them being criticized for pretty much anything that they do. Such unreasonable scrutiny can be very dangerous and push those individuals to a breaking point. Hence why a topic explaining why athletes should not be held above anyone else could be both insightful and helpful.

Students who may want to combine other topics in their dissertation can look into questions related to athletes’ pay, media’s role in sports, and so on. Those who may simply want to focus their Ph.D. in Sports Management on contemporary sports issues, however, should look into one of these five choices.

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sports management capstone project examples

The Best 150 Capstone Project Topic Ideas

10 May 2022

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❔What is a Capstone Project?

Capstone Project Ideas:

✅Capstone Writing: 10 Steps

The long path of research works ahead, and you can’t find any capstone project ideas that would be interesting and innovative? The task can seem even more challenging for you to feel all the responsibility of this first step. The top 150 capstone ideas presented below aim to make a choice not so effort-consuming.

With the list of the capstone project topics we've picked for you, you'll be covered in major subjects. Continue reading, and you'll get ideas for capstone projects in information technology, nursing, psychology, marketing, management, and more.

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What is a Capstone Project?

Educational institutions use the capstone project to evaluate your understanding of the course on various parameters. For the students, the work on the project gives an excellent opportunity to demonstrate their presentation, problem-solving and soft skills. Capstone projects are normally used in the curriculum of colleges and schools. Also called a senior exhibition or a culminating project, these assignments are given to finish the academic course.

This assignment has several different objectives, among which are the following:

It's not that easy to pick the right capstone paper topic. The problem intensifies as each student or separate teams have to work on a single assignment which has to be unique. The best capstone project ideas may possibly run out. However, whatever topic you opt for, you’d better start your preparation and research on the subject as early as possible.

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Amazing Capstone Project Ideas for Nursing Course

Studying nursing is challenging, as it requires a prominent theoretical foundation and is fully practical at the same time. You should have to do thorough research and provide evidence for your ideas, but what to start with? The preparation for your capstone project in nursing won’t be so overwhelming if you make use of these capstone title ideas:

Attractive Computer Science Capstone Project Ideas

Computer science is so rapidly developing that you might easily get lost in the new trends in the sphere. Gaming and internet security, machine learning and computer forensics, artificial intelligence, and database development – you first have to settle down on something. Check the topics for the capstone project examples below to pick one. Decide how deeply you will research the topic and define how wide or narrow the sphere of your investigation will be.

Build your thesis statement

This is AI-powered online tool that lets you create a thesis statement about any topic you need.

Several High School Education Capstone Project Ideas for Inspiration

High school education is a transit point in professional education and the most valuable period for personal soft skills development. No wonder that the list of capstone project ideas in high school education involves rather various topics. They may range from local startup analysis and engineer’s career path to bullying problems. It’s up to you to use the chosen statement as the ready capstone project title or just an idea for future development.

Capstone Project Topics in Information Technology – Search for Your Best

Information technology is a separate area developed on the basis of computer science, and it might be challenging to capture the differences between them. If you hesitate about what to start with – use the following topics for capstone project as the starting point for your capstone research topics.

Psychology Capstone Project Ideas

Society shows increasing attention to mental health. The range of issues that influence human psychology is vast, and the choice may be difficult. You’ll find simple capstone project ideas to settle on in the following list.

Stuck with finding the right title?

Get plenty of fresh and catchy topic ideas and pick the perfect one with PapersOwl Title Generator.

Capstone Project Ideas for Management Course

Studying management means dealing with the most varied spheres of life, problem-solving in different business areas, and evaluating risks. The challenge starts when you select the appropriate topic for your capstone project. Let the following list help you come up with your ideas.

Capstone Project Ideas for Your Marketing Course

Marketing aims to make the business attractive to the customer and client-oriented. The variety of easy capstone project ideas below gives you the start for your research work.

Best Capstone Engineering Project Ideas

It’s difficult to find a more varied discipline than engineering. If you study it – you already know your specialization and occupational interest, but the list of ideas below can be helpful.

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Editors on PapersOwl can edit your paper and give recommendations on how to improve your writing:

Capstone Project Ideas for MBA

Here you might read some senior capstone project ideas to help you with your MBA assignment.

Capstone Project Ideas for an Accounting Course

Try these ideas for your Capstone Project in Accounting – and get the best result possible.

Capstone Writing: 10 Essential Steps

Be it a senior capstone project of a high school pupil or the one for college, you follow these ten steps. This will ensure you’ll create a powerful capstone paper in the outcome and get the best grade:

Preparation of a powerful capstone project involves both selection of an exciting topic and its in-depth examination. If you are interested in the topic, you'll be able to demonstrate to your professor a deep insight into the subject. The lists of ideas above will inspire you and prepare you for the successful completion of your project. Don’t hesitate to try them now!

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sports management capstone project examples

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Institute in Engagement Learned Get Interested

Headstone with Sports Management

Sports management foundation projects.

Undergraduate Sports Administrative capstone students job in small teams with a community project partner to solve and/or innovation a solution to a problem.   This class includes a culminating show so demonstrations student ability into work in the industry and solve complex, real-world problems. It is an daunting lesson that takes weeks to brought everything together in an program that prideful myself on developing students’ capacity to run, consider, innovate, and design.

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sports management capstone project examples

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Capstone Project: To Become an Effective Manager in the Sports Industry Report (Assessment)

Achieving success in any industry is always a complicated process requiring much effort and dedication. Nevertheless, my practice allows me to formulate essential strategies and goals and share my thoughts with the audience. The foremost thing anyone who wants to harness the sports business needs to accomplish is realizing the fallacy of considering the industry solely as a complex promotion of athletes and sports teams. It is a more complex and dynamic system that involves applying marketing principles to sports products through cooperation. Businesses cannot afford to stand in one place for long; therefore, the natural inclination to keep improving is a valuable quality that should not be underestimated (Westerbeek & Karg, 2022). Analyzing results throughout the career is essential, evaluating which aspects to focus on and how to enhance. This type of self-reflection and motivation is valuable in industry, especially when starting your own business.

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My primary strategy is to use my failures as an incentive to forget about defeat and try again; otherwise, success is impossible. The ability to recover from failure is one of the fundamental aspects of being an athlete, and it is as crucial for business. Obstacles only motivate entrepreneurs because each failure provides an opportunity to start over — only this time will one be wiser because of the experience (Westerbeek & Karg, 2022). Moreover, to succeed in sports, many people resort to the help of qualified professionals from their environment. Trusted associates – coaches, mentors, partners, and teammates share advice and support on the path to achieving goals. Having such a circle of support is essential for any successful business, and it will help me acquire the desired.

Gratitude to the university, I already have a network of contacts, and this is one of the most potent benefits of studying. Full Sail also permits me to move up the career and academic ladder. It offers a system, a coherent structure, which enables to see different options immediately and plan the future. The training develops communicative skills, teaches how to express thoughts, makes people feel at ease, and demonstrates oneself accurately. All these skills will contribute to the faster achievement of goals, and concurrently with the acquired knowledge, I will be able to become an effective specialist in the field of sports business. The network of professional training is full of opportunities for personal growth and networking, which makes it easier to move toward the bottom line. Everyone can find the right mentor throughout it and get the support and inspiration to be motivated and continuously be the best version of themselves.

To succeed, it is vital for me to be an expert in development and promotion to strengthen the organization through digital and traditional media. After graduation, I want to analyze sports market events and organize events that meet advertising and communication needs. In the long term, my goal is to become an effective manager in the sports industry and manage a sports organization according to market conditions. Furthermore, the most critical element of any business plan is to refine and test the idea with potential customers to make the product better and more successful. Focusing on feedback is one of the main steps in advancing a career.

It is crucial to remember that athletes and entrepreneurs are disciplined and dedicated, giving all their time to achieving their goals. Success comes to those who keep fighting when others may have already given up in both business and sports. This rule will be the leading métier on the way to my success, and together with faith in my strength, I will be able to get the desired.

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Westerbeek, H., & Karg, A. (2022). International Sport Business: Current Issues, Future Directions . Taylor & Francis.

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IvyPanda. (2023, April 14). Capstone Project: To Become an Effective Manager in the Sports Industry. Retrieved from https://ivypanda.com/essays/capstone-project-to-become-an-effective-manager-in-the-sports-industry/

"Capstone Project: To Become an Effective Manager in the Sports Industry." IvyPanda , 14 Apr. 2023, ivypanda.com/essays/capstone-project-to-become-an-effective-manager-in-the-sports-industry/.

1. IvyPanda . "Capstone Project: To Become an Effective Manager in the Sports Industry." April 14, 2023. https://ivypanda.com/essays/capstone-project-to-become-an-effective-manager-in-the-sports-industry/.


IvyPanda . "Capstone Project: To Become an Effective Manager in the Sports Industry." April 14, 2023. https://ivypanda.com/essays/capstone-project-to-become-an-effective-manager-in-the-sports-industry/.

IvyPanda . 2023. "Capstone Project: To Become an Effective Manager in the Sports Industry." April 14, 2023. https://ivypanda.com/essays/capstone-project-to-become-an-effective-manager-in-the-sports-industry/.

IvyPanda . (2023) 'Capstone Project: To Become an Effective Manager in the Sports Industry'. 14 April.

Kinesiology & Sport Management

Education & Human Development

Kinesiology & sport management, how to apply.

Kinesiology & Sport Management

Which Department the Kinesiology and Sport Executive

The Specialty of Kinesiology and Sport Management (KNSM) is one the greatest academic department at Texas A&M University, generating on 90,000 credit hours and 200,000 (modified) weighted student credit hours each year. Marriage 5:20 PM - 7:50 PMI. MPSM-900-01. Capstone. This course provides into gelegenheit for students to apply what they have ...

As one of four departments in the Schooling of Education and Humanitarian Development, KNSM is currently home on via 3,000 freshman students, 246 master’s students, 70 phd students (3,921 total), 179 minion undergraduate, 103 faculty memberships, 32 employees membersation and 90 fund graduate deputies. Are you involved in both businesses and athletics? UWF's sport management degree will put you on that path to apex jobs in this multi-billion-dollar industry.

Divisions of Health & Kinesiology

The department is comprised of three our: Kinesiology ,  Choose Management  and the  Bodywork Education Activity Program . Jeder division offers various study  and  outreach browse promoting continuing education for collegiate and the our.

(Note: The Health Education division will be realigned into the School of General Health starting Fall 2022.)

Division off Kinesiology

We give graduate access and appreciation for all things kinesiology, emphasizing this biologically basis to training and movement.

Division of Entertainment General

The Sport Management Start is one of the top 5 programs in the country.

Division of Physical Education Activity Program

PEAP offers health and fitness activity classes to every Slates A&M student.

Formerly Undergraduate Show

Kourtney marteen.

During her time such a Group Fitness Instructor toward Texas A&M Hobby Sporty, she has screened with the possibility toward order WELLNESS WORKS! fitness assize to faculty and associates at Texas A&M. She went on to complete her graduate internship with WELLNESS WORKS! before to-be named Employee Wellness Event in 2017.

Bachelor’s →

Master’s →

Emphasis Areas

Sport Management

Bachelor of Science in:

  tuition computers,   how to apply, b.s. into sport steuerung.

Our bachelor’s degree in Sport Management is designed to prepare students for careers as administrators and managers in athletic, healthy, and country club industries, such well as entry-level management locations in college and professional athletic organizations. Innovates With Design Thinking in one Sports Management Capstone Course

Thru our program, pupils represent prepared fork variety roles in of areas of sport business and promotions, sales, marketing analyzing, and fan behaving with with skills in facility & conference management/planning, financial & leadership management, and business planning.

Who curriculum stays in tune with the sport industry to ensure graduates students are competitive in the block. Students complete their degree plan with a culminating experience that comprises of choose (4) options:

For extra information via admission, consider Undergraduate Admissions information .

Program Details

Degrees Offered: Bachelor of Science in Sport Management Program Delivery:  Traditional How Lessons:  120

Degree Plan

Our degree plan allows students the freedom to pursue a minor from an proven list (i.e., business, journalism, speech communications, etc.).

Degree Plans

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Hannah Malcomb

Academic advisor iv, frequently asked questions.

I still have questions. What can I contact to help mir?

Please think get to contact our front office in 979-845-4530 for further questions.

I am a transfer student and I want to change own major to an KNSM choose. What course will transfer?

For courses not specified in our transfer provisions per majority, refine to our  Transfer Course Equivalency Guide .

How could these programs help me get into professional school?

Our programs typically had pre-requisites built in, or can be paired the courses offered at Texas A&M. Get advisor willingness work with you on your academic your when keeping graduation a upper priority. You desires be encouraged to get inches contact about the Prof Your Advising Office; they provide resources and services the can help thee get into the professional school of your choice.

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sports management capstone project examples

This course is part of the Esports Specialization

Esports Management Capstone Project

Image of instructor, Stephane Muller

Financial aid available

University of California, Irvine

About this Course

We will analyze the pros and cons of creating a single or multiple Esport organization and recommend an effective branding strategy for a hypothetical Esport organization based on current Esport branding considerations.

You will develop a plan for recruiting funding resources for a hypothetical Esports organization and choose an Esport organization role of interest, other than Owner, and describe your reasoning.

Could your company benefit from training employees on in-demand skills?


Stephane Muller


University of California, Irvine

Since 1965, the University of California, Irvine has combined the strengths of a major research university with the bounty of an incomparable Southern California location. UCI’s unyielding commitment to rigorous academics, cutting-edge research, and leadership and character development makes the campus a driving force for innovation and discovery that serves our local, national and global communities in many ways.

See how employees at top companies are mastering in-demand skills

Syllabus - What you will learn from this course

Getting started.

Congratulations! You've made it to the final course in this program! This capstone project is designed to allow you to take the knowledge you have gained through the previous courses and put that knowledge into practice. This section will prepare you for your capstone project and final peer review. It will also answer any questions you might have about the project assignment and the grading rubric.

Content Review

This section is meant for those who wish to have additional feedback on their project before the final peer review submission and evaluation.

Final Project Assignment Submission

This is your final peer review assignment submission portion of the course. Please be mindful that there will be no extension given to learners for any deadlines set.


This course teaches you how to do the management of an E-Sports through various examples which makes it easy to understand the subject. Well executed subject and well paced and very crisply delivered.

About the Esports Specialization

The Esports Management Specialization prepares students to turn a passion for gaming into a viable career. According to a market report by Newzoo, global esports revenues have reached $906 million in 2018, a year-on-year growth of +38%. Speak knowledgeably about the history, community, and business of esports with future employers and other stakeholders in the industry. Individuals aspiring to launch or already beginning their career in the business of esports. This program suits game developers, finance professionals, community managers, marketers, and project managers. Overview of esports will introduce learners to the roles and influences that game developers have in the industry. Learners get a glimpse into the structures of an organization and how it builds a brand. Learners will also be informed of the jobs available in esports and where to get started in order to be involved.


Frequently Asked Questions

When will I have access to the lectures and assignments?

Access to lectures and assignments depends on your type of enrollment. If you take a course in audit mode, you will be able to see most course materials for free. To access graded assignments and to earn a Certificate, you will need to purchase the Certificate experience, during or after your audit. If you don't see the audit option:

The course may not offer an audit option. You can try a Free Trial instead, or apply for Financial Aid.

The course may offer 'Full Course, No Certificate' instead. This option lets you see all course materials, submit required assessments, and get a final grade. This also means that you will not be able to purchase a Certificate experience.

What will I get if I subscribe to this Specialization?

When you enroll in the course, you get access to all of the courses in the Specialization, and you earn a certificate when you complete the work. Your electronic Certificate will be added to your Accomplishments page - from there, you can print your Certificate or add it to your LinkedIn profile. If you only want to read and view the course content, you can audit the course for free.

Is financial aid available?

Yes. In select learning programs, you can apply for financial aid or a scholarship if you can’t afford the enrollment fee. If fin aid or scholarship is available for your learning program selection, you’ll find a link to apply on the description page.

More questions? Visit the Learner Help Center .

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Revue belge de géographie

Accueil Numéros 4 Constructing urban cultural lands...

Constructing urban cultural landscapes & living in the palimpsests: a case of Moscow city (Russia) distant residential areas

A metaphor of palimpsest is used to describe the multivocal cultural landscapes since the 1970s. Interventions into new cultural / humanistic geography, semiotics and the theory of regional geography help to regard each layer of the palimpsest as a constructed context, centered by dominant representation of a place. Real-and-imagined landscapes are regarded as palimpsests lived through everyday practices seen as processes of (re)construction of new layers. Trying to unite those “constructing’ and “living’ perspectives is a challenging task for urban cultural agenda. A series of mobile quest games was made by the author for Moscow Agency for Area Development through Culture in order to construct new tourist sights outside city centre. This project is discussed as a case of constructing new geographical contexts (palimpsest’ layers) and the lived experience rediscovering the distant residential areas, traditionally regarded as standardized “non-places’, as becoming rich in symbolic capital.

La métaphore du palimpseste est utilisée pour décrire les paysages culturels polysémiques depuis les années 1970. Les emprunts à la nouvelle géographie culturelle/humaniste, à la sémiotique et à la théorie de la géographie régionale aident à percevoir chaque couche du palimpseste comme un construit contextualisé, centré sur une représentation dominante d’un lieu. Les paysages à la fois réels et imaginés sont envisagés comme des palimpsestes vécus à travers des pratiques quotidiennes, elles-mêmes vues comme des processus de (re)construction de nouvelles couches. Tenter d’unifier ces perspectives en construction et vécues est un enjeu à l’agenda de la culture urbaine. Une série de jeux de questions sur le terrain ont été construits par l’auteur pour l’Agence moscovite du développement par la culture, afin de construire de nouvelles perspectives touristiques en dehors du centre de Moscou. Ce projet est discuté comme étude de cas d’une volonté de construction de nouveaux contextes géographiques (couches du palimpseste) et d’une expérience vécue de redécouverte de zones résidentielles périphériques, traditionnellement perçues comme des « non-lieux » standardisés, mais qui pourraient acquérir un riche capital symbolique.

Entrées d’index

Mots-clés : , keywords: , texte intégral.

I’m thankful to Uliana Seresova , Assistant Professor of Academy of Public Administration of Moscow region (Russia) for her assistance in the empirical study mentioned in the article.

1 Every city is a place, a place we live in or a place we love, a place we are willing to leave or a place we hate. That means, that any place has multiple functions, visions, representations, emotional ties with people. A model of palimpsest is a one I use hereby to consider that inevitable multiplicity.

2 The structure of this article is as follows. At first I study the history of the “place as palimpsest” concept, trying to single out what it could mean to geographers and social scientists. The contradiction of the idea of symbolic construction of cultural landscapes originating from the new cultural / humanistic geography and the turn to everyday life practices of people shaping the landscape (typical for critical geographies) is in the focus of the 2 nd part of this paper. Finally I use an example of a cultural project I’ve designed in Moscow (Russia) in order to describe how this original place model and these contradictory concepts are shaped and contested in a Post-Socialist city.

Place as palimpsest

3 The term “palimpsest” originally described a medieval manuscript in which new text was written over previous text that had been erased. The word originates from the Greek “palin”+ “psaio” (“again I scrape”). What was peculiar about palimpsests was the fact that any layer didn’t fully erase their predecessors, so one could always recognize the previous layers of the text written earlier (Mitin, 2010). These specific features have made a palimpsest an important metaphor used in social sciences and the humanities to stress multiplicity of a text or phenomenon, to witness its layering and to single out some – by chance partly hidden – layers of reality.

4 The idea of palimpsest was borrowed by geographers from the theories of architecture and urban history. The original metaphor was used to describe the coexistence of material elements that originated in different historical periods in a building or an urban site. This is how A. Baglajewski describes Gdansk city in Poland:

“Textual Gdansk – to say it from the very beginning – is a place-palimpsest of mixed & hidden civilization and material cultural layers, a specific melting pot of traces, fragments, elements that may be pulled out of the recent new layers and read in different languages […]. Gdansk is made of those layers taken together, but not any of them alone” (Baglajewski, 1998, pp. 9-11).

5 This seems close to the classic interpretations of temporal changes in the cultural landscapes (Sauer, 1963) and sequent occupance (Whittlesey, 1929). However it was transformed into a certain model within historical geography by J. Vervloet in the 1980s only (Vervloet, 1984).

Figure 1. Historical-geographical model of landscape as palimpsest.

Figure 1. Historical-geographical model of landscape as palimpsest.

Vervloet, 1984, p. 2; translation: Urbanc et al., 2004, p. 119

6 The first geographer to call a landscape a palimpsest was obviously Donald Meinig (Meinig, 1979) who wrote in the preface to a famous volume “The Interpretation of Ordinary Landscapes” that “it is at once a panorama, a composition, a palimpsest, a microcosm; […] in every prospect there can be more and more that meets the eye” (Meinig, 1979, p. 6).

7 The meaning of a landscape as palimpsest was thus changed due to the cultural turn . The palimpsest “provides the possibility for erasure and overwriting and the co-existence of several different scripts, implying not just different historical eras, but several historical and contemporary actors as well” (Schein, 1997, p. 662). What Richard Schein meant here was the very multiplicity of human interpretations and representations of a place. The palimpsest model turns out to be not about the temporal changes alone, but also about the differences in the landscape as it is “read” by social groups and individuals, differentiated by identity, occupation, lifestyles, experience, imaginative power, and emotional factors (Mitin, 2010).

8 This turns any cultural landscape – no matter at what time period it originated – into “a sum of erasures, accretions, anomalies and redundancies over time” (Crang, 1998, p. 22). In terms of the “linguistic turn” (Lees, 2002) we are likely to call a landscape a text that can be read (Cosgrove, Jackson, 1987; Duncan, 1990; Lavrenova, 2010; Rowntree, 1986). As Lewis puts it, “reading landscapes is not as easy as reading books” as “ordinary landscape seems messy and disorganized, like a book with pages missing, torn and smudged; a book whose copy has been edited and re-edited by people with illegible handwriting” (Lewis, 1979, p. 12). The landscape is seen as a specific kind of text, in which “different layers or fragments of texts can get into conflict, questioning and contesting each other. Unavoidably inviting controversial interpretation, the reading of such a palimpsest is more like a process of multivocal, and often ambiguous, communication than an act of linear understanding. In modern and postmodern theory of text and communication, this process has been called ‘intertextuality’” (Brockmeier, 2001, p. 222).

9 The model of palimpsest turns the “landscape as text” into an intertext , that is a structure of mutual references of multiple meanings (Kristeva, 1969; Barthes, 1973). Thus I define palimpsest as “a conceptual model of a place as a multilayered structure that emphasizes the coexistence of multiple visions and impacts of different cultures on the landscape” (Mitin, 2010, p. 2111).

Urban cultural landscape: symbolic construction vs. lived practices

10 The model of a multivocal place as a palimpsest has become a result of cultural turn in geography, as I have mentioned above. The development of cultural geography from the classical theories of the beginning of the XX th century (Sauer, 1925) to the second half of the XX th century was contradictory, yet important. The cultural turn has become a main trend of that change (Gritzner, 1966; Norton, 1981; 1984; Mikesell, 1978; Zelinsky, 1973).

11 The representatives of the new cultural geography criticized the Sauerian Berkeley school for focusing “their studies on the material artifacts, exhibiting a curious and thoroughly antiquarian ‘object fetishism’ over such items as houses, barns, fences and gasoline stations” (Price, Lewis, 1993, p. 3). Instead, they regard the cultural landscape through its human interpretation, symbolization & signification (Brace, 2003; Robertson, Richards, 2003; Rowntree, Conkey, 1980). They stated that “the total cultural landscape is information stored in symbolic form” that “in part functions as a narrative” (Rowntree, Conkey, 1980, p. 461), and “the symbolic qualities of landscape, those which produce and sustain social meaning, have become a focus of research” as this “allows us to disclose the meanings that human groups attach to areas and places and to relate those meanings to other aspects and conditions of human existence” (Cosgrove, Jackson, 1987, p. 96).

12 This idea of place as being constructed has been developed in various directions inside humanistic geography (Tuan, 1974, 1976; Hall, 1978; Entrikin, 1985; Hasson, 1984). “Space is transformed into place as it acquires definition and meaning”, Yi-Fu Tuan (1977 [2002], p. 136) states. “The central concept is ‘meaning’, and indeed ‘place’ may be redefined as coming into existence through men according meaning to locations” (Jeans, 1979, pp. 207-208). Dennis Jeans found the exact words for that constructing perspective: “To make a place is to surround a locality with human meanings” (Jeans, 1979, p. 209).

13 My model of a palimpsest originates from the vision of a place as a “fuzzy set” of diverse interpretations, not only historically different elements, as legitimized by new cultural / humanistic geography. To touch upon the relations between various layers of one and the same place, the semiotic model of mythogeography is used (Mitin, 2007).

14 “Mythogeography’s main peculiarity is in the special vision of the ‘ filling ’ of every place with constructed realities , created with the help of mythological models of communication and the theory of the semiosis of modern myths” (Mitin, 2007, p. 215). The model combines several theoretical frameworks described below.

15 First, we need to look on each layer of that “place as palimpsest” alone. Yi-Fu Tuan regarded those layers as place narratives (Tuan, 1991), however I argue they are rather contexts , as each layer of the palimpsest is centered by a few unique dominant peculiarities of a place (Mitin, 2004). This idea is borrowed from the theory of regional geography .

16 Geographers have been traditionally saying about the process of construction of the texts describing this or that place through the theory of regional geography . Those layers are in fact special kinds of those texts. Different modes of geographical descriptions have been described throughout the XX th century (Darby, 1962; Davis, 1915; Finch, 1934; Hart, 1982; Lewis, 1985; Paterson, 1974). Being opposed by the positivist view of storing the entire data on any place in a form of encyclopedic classification, the idea of a good description as a geographer’s art of constructing a place is as follows.

“Good regional geography should begin with, and probably should be organized around, the dominant theme of each region, which of course will vary from region to region. No standard list of criteria or checklist of features-to-be observed can be universally applicable to the study of all regions […]. Features that are overwhelmingly important in one region may be completely missing in another, and the regional geographer should give pride of place in each region to its most important or significant features” (Hart, 1982, p. 23).

17 The history of Soviet human geography has been to a larger extent focused on the regions (though primarily economic ones) and regionalization. As a result, the theory of regional geography (“stranovedeniye”) has been productively discussed and developed (Baransky, 1950, 1980; Yefremov, 1981; Mashbits, 1998; Mironenko, 1992; Mitin, 2004). Combining the Anglo-American debates on the “highest form of geographer’s art” with those Russian concepts, I argue that “genuine complex geographical descriptions should be based on picking the dominant features of place and adopting the secondary features to the dominant with the usage of internal and external textual interconnections” (Mitin, 2007, p. 219).

18 For example, there is no use in making a full long description of St. Petersburg in Russia if our message is to stress its dominant feature in the sphere of tourism as a “cultural capital of Russia”. World famous State Hermitage, Peterhof and other museums, the historical intent of Peter the Great as the city founder to build a new capital “sticking” Russia to Europe, and the largely discussed special intellectual and authentic local identity would be those secondary features revealing and explaining the dominant one.

19 While that legitimizes certain rules of constructing each layer of place as palimpsest as a context, I need other theoretical frameworks to describe how the combination of various layers is created. The layers seem autonomous, and their hierarchy is easily changeable under the internal and external circumstances. However, the psychological essence of perception & imagination processes makes us always consider one of those layers the main – the dominant – one, though we may change our mind immediately. The palimpsest is a unite totality of those autonomous layers, that regards a place as multidimensional.

20 To understand how that totality is created through representations the semiotic model of semiosis is used to describe the interconnections between the autonomous layers of the palimpsest. A theory of modern mythologies as developed by Roland Barthes (1972 [1991]) turned out to be the best framework with each layer regarded as a certain spatial myth. Similarly to the place within humanistic geography, “mythical speech is made of a material which has already been worked on so as to make it suitable for communication” (Barthes, 1972 [1991], p. 108).

“In myth, we find again the tri-dimensional pattern […]: the signifier, the signified and the sign. But myth is a peculiar system, in that it is constructed from a semiological chain which existed before it: it is a second-order semiological system. That which is a sign (namely the associative total of a concept and an image) in the first system, becomes a mere signifier in the second. We must here recall that the materials of mythical speech (the language itself, photography, painting, posters, rituals, objects, etc.), however different at the start, are reduced to a pure signifying function as soon as they are caught by myth. Myth sees in them only the same raw material; their unity is that they all come down to the status of a mere language” (Barthes, 1972 [1991], p. 113).

Figure 2. Myth as a semiological system.

Figure 2. Myth as a semiological system.

Barthes, 1972 [1991], p. 113

21 The vision of urban imageries through myths’ semiosis explains how multiple representations are constructed through history, and the new ones replace the previous ones. For example the myth of St. Petersburg as the “ bandits’ capital of Russia ” emerging in the 1990s was to a much extent based on its strong opposition to the previously stated idea of country’s cultural capital.

22 The process of semiosis (Figure 2) is usable for the endless number of re-interpretations of spatial meanings , as the essence of any certain place (or any previously constructed place image) is reduced to a form of a myth that constructs a new meaning out of one and the same place (Mitin, 2004).

23 Combining (a) the idea of the cultural landscape as being constructed through symbolic values, (b) the theory of regional geographical descriptions, and (c) the semiotic model of modern mythologies altogether form a model of place as palimpsest as being created and re-created. However, it is to a much extent settled within a representational paradigm of geography.

24 Meanwhile cultural geographers’ focus on the representations has been changed to a concern about certain rematerializing of the discipline, or a call towards combining material and immaterial realms as typical for contemporary urban geography (Lees, 2002).

25 The cultural turn within non-representational geography is seen through the lens of what Henry Lefebvre names a double illusion (Lefebvre, 1991, p. 27). In Lefebvrian terms, cultural geography in the XX th century has executed a shift from the material / perceived space towards the conceptual space of representations, but the forthcoming critical paradigm is concerned about the third realm, that is the “representational spaces: the space directly lived through its associate images and symbols, and hence the space of ‘inhabitants’ and ‘users’” (Lefebvre, 1991, p. 39).

26 Critical geography uses that Lefebvrian triad to focus on the thirdspace (as Edward Soja names it), as “spaces of representation are seen by Lefebvre both as distinct from the other two spaces and as encompassing them, following his strategic use of social space in his preliminary thirding” (Soja, 1996, p. 67). Moving beyond that double illusion of real (Firstspace) and imagined (Secondspace), Soja stresses, that his thirdspace “contain all other real and imagined spaces simultaneously” (Soja, 1996, p. 69), it is a real-and-imagined space we live in .

27 While geographers call for rematerializing the discipline and the focus on what is “real” in that thirdspace, Lefebvre moves forward describing what kind of space it is. “Every society […] produces a space, its own space” (Lefebvre, 1991, p. 31), and the society we live in is named as completely urbanized, or simply “the urban society” (Lefebvre, 2003). While the previous mode of a city linked to the industrial society is seen as rationally planned and characterized by imposed homogeneity, the urban society and its space make a certain opposition to it.

“During this new period differences are known and recognized, mastered, conceived and signified. […] It is constituted by a renewed space-time, a topology that is distinct from agrarian (cyclic and juxtaposing local particularities) and industrial (tending towards homogeneity, toward a rational and planned unity of constraints) space-time. Urban space-time, as soon as we stop defining it in terms of industrial rationality – its project of homogenization – appears as a differential, each place and each moment existing only within a whole, through the contrasts and oppositions that connect it to, and distinguish it from, other places and moments […]. The urban space is complete contradiction” (Lefebvre, 1991, pp. 37-39).

28 The urban space is stressed to be complex, heterogeneous, multifaceted, interrelated. This vision of the new space constitution revives the idea of a palimpsest , as the latest embraces that very endless multiplicity co-existing in one and the same place. What is needed, is to shift the focus from those layers being constructed to the places being lived and experienced.

Mobile quest games in Moscow distant residential areas

29 In order to implement the model of “place as palimpsest” in practice in the sphere of urban cultural policy and to create that mix of representational and lived modes of a cultural landscape I elaborated a project of mobile quest games. It is aimed at the cultural development of distant residential areas of Moscow (Russia) city which lack both unique local imageries and place-specific practices. The process of creation of the images which stick to those placeless distant areas (as a part of project management) is regarded through the lens of symbolic construction of urban cultural landscapes. The process of local dwellers using the quest games and getting acquainted with the suggested unique features of their own home areas is regarded as lived consumption of places and changing the lived practices.

30 The project including the launch of 22 mobile quest games during 2015-2017 was implemented by “Moscow Agency for Area Development through Culture” (“MosART”) as the operator. The Agency was founded by the Department of Culture of the Moscow city Government as a cultural events’ management and methods’ development centre for promoting socio-cultural activity outside the centre of the city, in particular, outside the Third Ring Road. “MosART” has been an official name of the Agency till 2016, when it was renamed into “Cultural Centre ‘Ivanovsky’” without changes in its main functions.

31 Mobile quest games were suggested as an alternative to traditional excursions , as the areas outside of the city centre have been traditionally out of tourist interest and were not regarded as important leisure sights by local residents. There are a few sights outside the Third Ring Road, which are considered to be tourist objects, like Tsaritsyno or Kolomenskoye museums and parks. Those popular places were intentionally excluded from the project.

32 Traditional excursions are hardly possible in the areas with poor tourist infrastructure, the attractions in physically poor condition, located far one from another, and/or representing industrial / engineering heritage, or traditional residential blocks from the XX th century, that are rarely considered valuable as tourist destinations in contemporary Russia. Those objects and areas were intentionally chosen for the project.

33 Muscovites are considered the main target audience of the project according to the Department of Culture’s policy agenda.

34 New cultural / humanistic geography, the ideas of symbolic construction of tourist sights and the model of “place as palimpsest” were considered to be the theoretical background of the project. It was thought to be a means of creating new attractive sights in distant residential areas and constructing the new local images which could become important parts of local imageries, areas’ branding and promoting local identities.

35 All mobile quest games are promoted at the Agency’s website ( https://ivcenter.ru/​project/​vse-kvesti/​ ) and through Moscow city official cultural and tourist websites and social media. As soon as a user chooses one of the quest games from the website, s/he is forwarded to a web page of “Street Adventure” company, a project partner responsible for technical support. In a few minutes after being registered at that web page the user receives the individual link to start the quest game online. Users follow the directions from that link, receive the questions and insert their answers online using their tablets or smartphones, and thus follow the route of the quest game. Apart from providing questions and checking the answers, the online interface provides the attractive information about the places visited, that might be useful to answer the questions, but is more likely to serve to create the certain images of the places and the area as a whole.

36 An example of that kind of a small text about “Fabrika 1 Maya” settlement, located in the Novomoskovsky district of Moscow in some 30 km from the Kremlin, that became a part of the city in 2012 only, is below.

A cloth factory opposite has an interesting history. It was first mentioned in 1853 as a possession of D.A. Okulova. She married Nikolay Pavlovich Shipov, a colonel and a real state councilor famous for the agricultural innovations he implemented in his Ostashevo estate near Mozhaysk, Moscow region. Okulova was also acquainted to Pyotr Vyazemsky, a poet and an owner of the neighboring Ostafyevo estate that we have just visited. The factory was sold to engineer Ivan Ivanovich Baskakov in 1879, however there is an evidence that Baskakov reconstructed the estate and built a new factory. He also built a dam across the Desna river, though the one you’ll see as you walk a hundred meters upstream has been seriously rebuilt later on. Baskakov also constructed the manufacturer’s estate and the red-brick barracks for the workers. Some of them are still used as residential houses. Those were probably built before 1912, though we can’t know that for sure. However, there is a building further on with a construction year you can know for sure. Find it and insert that year as an answer! Tip 1: Walk between the houses on the Desna river bank. Tip 2: Find a house No. 3. Answer: 1927.

37 The tips from the example are used if the user fails to find the right answer or loses the way.

38 Some 22 mobile quest games were launched for three years, and 34 000+ people played at least one of them. The exact user statistical data is below (Table 1).

Table 1. User statistics for mobile quest games by “MosART”, by December 31, 2017.

39 The analysis shows, that in spite of the effort to promote the most distant and unknown areas of the city, the most closely connected to the Third Ring Road and the most well-known areas were the most popular. Vorobyovy hills seem the best evidence here: though the route passes through the historic picturesque park, the viewpoint on top of Vorobyovy hills is a known tourist sight, and its name attracts the users to this mobile quest game (No. 8 in Table 1). However, I argue that by means of the project even the least attended areas could be transformed from real “ non-places ” into certain meaningful places , though not widely known and recognized.

Lived practices of the quest game users

40 The idea of the project of mobile quest games was in fact to create a new layer of place as palimpsest. The possible influence of those new representations towards lived practices of people is critically important in the light of critical non-representational urban geography. An experiment was held in order to study those effects of mobile quest games towards everyday lived practices of its users. I needed to check if there was any influence of playing the quest game on (a) the imagery of the area, and (b) the estimations of its comfort for everyday living. 60 students of the Academy of Public Administration of Moscow region were asked to pass 2 quest games in the Northeastern district of Moscow, not far from their campus and dormitories, and share their statements and images of Sviblovo area before and after the experiment. Sentence completion and drawing tests were used as an initial point of the research to learn about the current imageries of Sviblovo area. The survey was held for the participants of one of 2 routes (N=32) to check if the imagery was changed. Observation and in-depth interviews (N=12) were used to witness the essence of the new local images and the new lived practices possibly emerging after the completion of the game.

41 The initial image of the area (Figure 3) included the underground (metro) station and the Academy campus for the majority of informants. Those living in the dormitories also mentioned the shopping malls and the restaurants in the vicinity (an example is in the left part of the Figure 3). A small “Zodiac park” established in 2007 was mentioned a few times, as well as the Kapustinsky pond. Nothing more than some points of the students’ everyday routine was pictured.

Figure 3. A typical drawing of Sviblovo area.

Figure 3. A typical drawing of Sviblovo area.

Female, from Moscow region, living in the dormitory

42 Some of the students used Wikipedia data in the sentence completion test to mention the exact amount of inhabitants of the area, the Yauza river and the fact that the famous Soviet comedy “Operation Y and Shurik’s Other Adventures” was filmed there. Sviblovo was generally characterized in the sentence completion tests as a distant dull area of residential blocks with no specific sights to visit .

43 The final image was influenced by the mobile quest game. 66% of quest users agreed that their image of the area was changed after the game according to the survey conducted, and 75% of the latter said it has become more positive .

44 The interviews could help me to understand the substantial changes. The users mentioned the old estate, the houses filmed in the Soviet comedy movie, some street-art objects, which were a surprise for them in their neighborhood:

“We didn’t feel anything special at first. It was all ours, so familiar. But it was astonishing to see that street-art object, as I’ve never noticed it before” (Female, from Central Asia, living in the dormitory).
“I would say, I have opened Sviblovo from so different sides after all, though a heavy rain started. It was [previously] just a place where I study, and that’s all of it” (Female, from Moscow, living in another district of Moscow).

45 However, the idea of Sviblovo as a historic neighborhood that could be “read” through literary sources and famous movies was not transferred to the quest users.

46 The picturesque Yauza river bank was one of the most discussed places together with a neighboring old estate. There was even an idea for new everyday practices mentioned in one of the interviews:

“It would be not bad to go for a walk on those grounds near the [Yauza] river, may be in summertime with my boyfriend. It creates a special atmosphere, [it is] helpful to forget about the routine” (Female, from another region, living in the dormitory).

47 However this was the only mention of any possible changes in the lived uses of a place. The transformation of the local imagery, which I would regard as the influence of a new representation constructed, was hardly influential enough to give birth to the new practices which remained unchanged.

48 I have discussed a model of place as palimpsest as a possible framework to study and to transform urban cultural landscapes in the Post-Socialist cities with Moscow distant residential areas as an example.

49 New cultural / humanistic geography, semiotics and theory of regional geography taken together make a unique framework for the original “ palimpsestic” vision of any place and the tool of constructing new layers of that palimpsest.

50 Place as palimpsest is a useful tool in the sphere of cultural management to legitimate the “space production” and the construction of attractive tourist sights. Deep insights into Moscow city distant residential areas’ imageries make the experience of the mobile quest games valuable for the locals, rediscovering their neighborhoods, traditionally regarded as standardized “non-places”, as becoming rich in symbolic capital.

51 The palimpsestic idea of multiplicity of layers is especially useful in the Post-Socialist cities , as they are produced and reproduced through opposing, exaggerated, outdated or imposed imageries, and the meaning of Post-Socialism itself is multi-layered (Gentile, 2018). Mimi Urbanc and her colleagues studying the Post-Socialist landscape transformation focus on a certain value change creating that multiplicity:

“Some landscape elements have remained the same through all the changing socio-economic formations. Some others have been forgotten or destroyed by the emerging formations. Some have been replaced by other objects. Yet others have retained their physical structure but the meanings have changed. […] What is valuable will be retained, what is not valuable will disappear. But value systems keep changing, too. Some elements were considered valuable during the national states period then ignored during the Soviet era and became valuable again after independence” (Urbanc et al., 2004, p. 119).

52 However, my conclusion is rather contradictory due to the results of the empirical research. Trying to unite the majorly “ constructing” perspective of new cultural geography and “ living” perspective of critical geography is still a challenging task for urban cultural agenda. The connections of place images and local practices are not that close , as one could expect.

53 Nevertheless, I argue, that the palimpsest metaphor originated from the new cultural geography may be revived through the critical approach as a model embracing the multivocal multiplicity of agents, everyday strategies, lived practices and (re)constructed images of Post-Socialist cities, characterized by representational & non-representational effects intertwined.

54 I would definitely continue studying that effects in Moscow distant residential areas using a model of palimpsest, however, a more complex approach combining cultural geographical research and cultural management with broader horizons of place management seem necessary and prospective.


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Ivan Mitin , «  Constructing urban cultural landscapes & living in the palimpsests: a case of Moscow city (Russia) distant residential areas  » ,  Belgeo [En ligne], 4 | 2018, mis en ligne le 05 novembre 2018 , consulté le 25 mai 2023 . URL  : http://journals.openedition.org/belgeo/28126 ; DOI  : https://doi.org/10.4000/belgeo.28126

National Research University Higher School of Economics (Moscow), [email protected]

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