Sepideh Afsari Bajestani

Exploring the relationship between place and place-making and creative-led developments.

An upper-body portrait of PhD candidate Sepideh Afsari Bajestani, standing in an outdoor space with people and buildings visible in the background.

The creative city concept is at the forefront of contemporary urban planning and development agendas with cities pursuing creative developments as a part of urban policy responses.

The concept has encountered controversies regarding the dichotomy between local outcomes, which prioritise resident creative communities, and global market outcomes that privilege entrepreneurialized and neoliberalized creative landscapes.

In practice, global and market aspirations often exert more influence over local conditions which results in gentrification and displacement of local communities and artists. As a result, there is an essential need for exploring how creative developments can support positive community outcomes at the local scale.

Sepideh’s doctoral thesis studies the relationship between place and creative development and conceptually explores creative placemaking - a key concept that deals with improving a community’s quality of life.

For her case study, she first explores the creative dynamics in Wellington and then examines the extent to which creative developments in Wellington are incorporating placemaking concepts by undertaking two case studies in the creative neighbourhoods of Te Aro and Miramar.

Her findings will assist stakeholders, policymakers, urban planners, and designers to better encapsulate the needs of existing communities and places while implementing creative city policies.


Dr Victoria Chanse and Dr Polly Stupples


  • Master of Urban Design, Tarbiat Modares University, Tehran, Iran
  • Bachelor of Urban Planning, Ferdowsi University of Mashhad, Mashhad, Iran


Journal Papers

  • Afsari Bajestani, S. Stupples, P. Kiddle, R. (2022). The relationship between creative developments and place: a position paper, Journal of place management and development. 10.1108/JPMD-05-2022-0041
  • Ghahremani, H. Afsari Bajestani, S. McCarthy, L. Jalalian Hosseini, M. (2021). Transformation of urban spaces within cities in the context of globalization and urban competitiveness, Journal of Urban Planning and development. 10.1061/(ASCE)UP.1943-5444.0000703
  • Jalali, A., Afsari Bajestani, S., Sadeghi, A., (2020). The historical analysis of identity-structural transformations in Iranian Islamic old cities: Case study old city of Kashmar, Iran, Journal of Greate Khorasan.
  • Ranjbar, H. Afsari Bajestani, S. Azarm, Z. Ghalani, Z. Karimaee. M. (2016). Quality Assessment of Pedestrian Zones in Developing Countries based on the Women Point of View Case Study: Tehran, Iran. International Conference ‘Engendering Habitat III', Madrid. Spain.
  • Abbaszadegan, M. Ghahremani, H. Afsari Bajestani, S. (2014), Evaluation of Instability (Social) in Urban Developments: Case study: Ghaleh Abkooh’s renewal plan, Armanshahr Journal, Vol. 1, No. 12.

Conference Papers

  • Chanse, V. Afsari Bajestani, S. Campbell, A. McCormick. J (2021). Toward a Climate Adaptive Street Framework: Investigating Landscape Performance. Future of Urban Public Spaces (FUPS) conference.
  • Ghahremani, H. Afsari Bajestani, S., (2018). Religious tourism in urban spaces or commodification of urban spaces? Case study: Central Area surrounding the Holy Shrine, Mashhad, Iran. Future of Urban Public Spaces (FUPS) 2018, Tehran, Iran. Oral Presentation by Sepideh Afsari Bajestani.
  • Ghahremani, H. Hashemi, S.N.  Afsari Bajestani, S.,(2018). Historical Fabrics: A Disregarded Potential Towards Sustainable Development (A Critical Approach To Urban Renewal Plans In Istanbul And Mashhad), International Congress on Avant-Garde Contemporary Architecture and Urbanism in Islamic Architecture.
  • Ranjbar, H. Afsari Bajestani, S. (2017), An Evaluation on Contemporary Experiences of Urban Spaces Regeneration in Historic Cities of Iran from Cultural Point of View, 3rd International Conference on Preservation, Maintenance and Rehabilitation of Historic Buildings and Structures, Rehab 2017, Braga, Portugal.