This special issue brings together the work of the EU COST Writing Urban Places network. Using narrative approaches to analysis and design, the network highlights the specificity of local urban cultures in contemporary European cities. Drawing on research from a range of disciplines (architecture, urban studies, literary theory, sociology, media studies), the issue explores spatial approaches that promote responsible, site-specific and socially inclusive design strategies for European cities. The first section offers reflections on the theoretical, methodological and practical outcomes of the Writing Urban Places project. The second part focuses on a wide selection of European cities that were studied during the EU COST Action, including Limerick, Almada, Osijek, Tallinn, Tampere, Porto, Canakalle, Skopje and Delft. The book offers important insights and inspiration for students, scholars and spatial practitioners interested in narratives, urban cultures, architecture and the European city.