Matthias Bernt

1) As tourism more and more looks for “authentic” urban experiences, besides landmarks also whole residential neighborhoods come into focus. Does this contradict, or reinforce the effects of celebrity architecture?

2) How do we account for different pathways in the development of “Zwischenstadt”, inside Europe and the US (e.g. different sprawl dynamics in growing and shrinking cities?

Dorothee Brantz

Since I am an environmental historian I would like to ask: To what extent do green spaces and environmental factors like air quality or climatic conditions add to or distract from the appeal of specific cities? In other words, is the tourist appeal of cities really simply cultural, as most scholarship seems to assume? What new perspectives and conceptual questions might a more environmentally centered perspective contribute to the study of urban tourism? How could we integrate an environmental perspective in research on city-tourism?

Ian Chodikoff

1) How can architects with international appeal be scrutinized to a greater degree, ensuring that the projects they design: produce socially inclusive and sustainable public spaces; result in a responsible contribution to the local economy; provide for opportunities that foster progressive research and development opportunities.

2) The contemporary metropolis comprises a variety of transnational and cosmopolitan communities that are effectively increasing the amount of social variables contributing to a new form of urbanity–in geographies traditionally defined as “suburban.” In what ways can social and economic policy, architectural investigations, and urban design regimes be modified to accommodate, if not accelerate these new suburban possibilities? How is this related to the traditional cosmopolitan notions of “host” and “guest” in our potentially outdated notions of the multicultural city?

Marcus Funck

1) Stararchitecture is a phenomenon of the second half the 20th century and is closely connected to a) transnational cultural transfers as part of general processes of internationalization and globalization, and b) the transformation of architecture as a profession and architect as professionals. I would like to
further investigate the economic, social and cultural foundations of this transformation and ask what actually are the driving forces of the “international” style and how has the self-perception and self-stylization of architects (representing specific life styles, values, and cultural orientations) transformed the profession – and thus its societal status as well as its cultural meaning in the course of the 20th century.

2) I’d like to reflect more on the relationship of the physical form of urban settlements (metropolis, city, suburb, zwischenstadt) with class formations, ideology, life styles and cultural practices. Thus I would like to ask – as general as it can get – what the defining analytical categories of such an exploration might be and how they relate to / influence each other.

Ken Greenberg

How do we distinguish between ‘Starchitecture’ and ‘Architourism’ and great architecture and interesting, lively city places?

Anne Haila

1) How to answer and criticize the results of the surveys published over and over again showing that people, middle class, “creative class” want to live in a single-family house in a suburb?

2) What are the reasons which today lead to developing suburban type of urban structure in the city centre of European cities, which used to have very different structure?

Shelley Hornstein

1) How do we translate a cultural object across the divides of culture and social space of capital? Even though Adorno and Horkheimer’s critique at mid-century of the cultural industry focused on how emergent capital logics were encoded in mass cultural forms, they did not really get at the issues of “translatability” across those divides. Borders, we can argue, are the physical symbols for translation, or where translation takes place. Borders are at the edge of territory but in the very middle, says Balibar, of political space. City borders as increasingly ill-definied, liquid, as Bauman might say. Starchitecture is often figured as the alien, foreign intervention in “our” city space, crossing that sacred border of what we might conceive of as “our” space. Yet what is “ours” and where is local? Caren Kaplan argues that we are questioning where we belong in a time of loosened division between the nation to which we belong and the desire for a nation, or city. These examinations of identity and place demonstrate the modernist bind of place. Given this setting, a setting that is, in fact, not set, what can it mean to argue for an architecture of the local; and is the opposition or local and global — sometimes exacerbated by the presence of “alien” buildings designed by architects parachuted into “our” cities — a logical way to understand place? How is the foreignness of invited architectural projects into our cities translated?

2) “A place on the map is also a place in history”, writes Adrienne Rich. For far too long the suburbs, or any community at moderate travelling distance from the downtown core, had been deemed a place without a history. This notion of vacuousness, of a place that emerges from a tabula rasa, continues to haunt the idea of suburb altogether. Its empty centre is impossible to fill and meaning, therefore, must be imposed. After the 19th century communities, the 20th century Modernist visions of communities sought to begin anew so that this legacy of some sort of immaculate conception continues to inhabit the myth of the suburban project. I am interested in exploring how the suburbs are tied to their own histories so that the disconnect that exists between centre and periphery is enjoined. How can this begin to take shape? What are some of the plans that take up these relationships in order to redress the balance of urban/suburban? Is it possible for the suburban dwelling to become a cool place to call home?

Maria Kaika

Some architects today enjoy a celebrity status that no architect has enjoyed before in modern times. Nevertheless, never before have architects had so little to say and been so far removed from the role of the public intellectual and have had so little power over their own creations and the way they are appropriated.

THE END OF THE ARCHITECT AS A PUBLIC INTELLECTUAL: The celebrity status that some architects enjoy today is an unprecedented phenomenon. Not even the great gurus of high modernism received so much positive media and social attention. Nevertheless, today’s starchitects have very little power over the destiny and function of their own creations. Never before have architects been so far removed from the role of the public intellectual.

Roger Keil

1) How can it be explained that in an age of starchitecture and architourism, the mundane, everyday spaces of the new suburbia are so dull or, as Sieverts would have it, anaesthetic? What explains the gulf?

2) Following Lefebvre, there is always a tension between the town and the
countryside, the centre and the periphery. Is that tension — or one might say dialectic — altered by the new political economy of the in-between city? Are there new possibilities for Broadacre or, to use an old Marxist utopia, the dissolution of the contradictions between city and countryside?

Stefan Kipfer

1) Is the production of peripheral social spaces within postwar suburbs related to a more general restructuring of territorial relations in ‘new’, multipolar urban regions?

2) What forms do these peripheralization processes take in different urban regions? In what sense are they are result of state-led strategies of ‘colonization’?

3) Do these these processes of peripheralization face resistance? What factors may explain the uneven development of such resistance in different cases (such as Paris and Toronto)?

Leslie Korrick

1) Among the many objects which may be situated at the nexus of public space, architecture, tourism, and commodity culture, I am particularly taken with the mass-produced, commercial postcard image that presents the city as a collective project. Apparently ubiquitous and thus relatively little examined by senders, recipients, and/or collectors, this type of postcard image is often more carefully staged than it suggests on first glance—equally reinforcing and reinventing the city’s history and aspirations as well as shaping a visual lexicon through which the city is authorized on the tourist circuit. With this in mind, I pose two intertwined questions: What has been the impact of celebrity architecture, grounded as it is in the cult of personality, on the postcard image of the city? And what kinds of reciprocal relations, if any, have been established between celebrity architecture and the city via this object?

2) In reconsidering traditionally constructed relationships between urban and suburban, or centre and periphery, I am interested in the pursuit of forms and devices that allow for the possibility of transcending such (typically binary and even antagonistic) constructions and the boundaries they imply. In conjunction, I am interested in how these forms and devices might uncover points of intersection between apparently disparate locations and, in turn, help to articulate a real (pragmatic) or metaphorical (poetic) Zwischenstadt. What could these forms and devices be? My current thinking on this question circles around sound and the act of listening in the city, particularly as it relates to the “problems” of individual freedom and social control. However, I imagine that there are other forms and devices that could be explored for any number of social-political purposes in this context.

Elena Lamberti

1) Concerning “City-tourism and its implications”, the question I would like to address concerns the impact that “starchitecture” and “architourism” can have on the way people conceive themselves as a ‘social group’. At a cultural and sociological level, in time, the existence of new City/Cities Landmarks known and shared worldwide affects the very idea of ‘City Space’, in turn changing people’s traditional perception of the ‘Grammar of City Space’. Not only Landmarks can be experienced by people living in/visiting a city; they can also be experienced outside the ‘real city’ as they can become cultural icons embedding a complex set of messages.

To have experienced one or more of those ‘icons’ contributes to the development of a new idea of ‘community’, a new idea of ‘belonging’ which moves from cumulative experiences of city landmarks, reconfigures the old idea of the ‘Grand Tour’, and gives shape to new cultural and social phenomena. People are therefore brought together trans-nationally in new socio-cultural geographies which transcend the actual urban space and turn it into a commonly perceived mythical background. The ideal urban setting then becomes not only the one associated to a particular city (Bologna, Toronto, Denver, Berlin), but an imaginary landscape featuring a series of city landmarks which brings people together through shared ideas of art, innovation, tradition, urban designers and architects.

Norberg-Schulz’s definition of ‘Genius Loci’ (Spirit of the Place); Appadurai’s classification of global fluxes and cities as “mediascapes; technoscapes; ethnoscapes; finanscapes, ideoscapes”; Frederick Jameson’s and Masao Miyoshi’s analysis of ‘transnational corporatism’ and of ‘economicization of culture’ offer a useful set of theoretical tools to approach what above and to investigate a new idea of the “city” based on a renewed combination of space & time perception, architecture, experience and cultural memory.

2) The relationship between cities “Centre” and “Suburbia” played a major role in the recent Italian political elections; as it can be easily imagined, it was linked to the themes of security, citizenship, immigration, equal opportunities. Unfortunately, the debate was often based on a black-and-white logic built around a series of commonplaces which no longer mirror the real urban geography; and yet, it still worked in terms of popularization of basic concepts. Hence, the issue I would like to address in relation to this theme, is the political use (and preservation) of the ‘old’ concepts of “Centre” and “Suburbia” in Europe in comparison with what happens in North America. In Europe, at a time in which immigration constitutes a major issue, the binary opposition of “Centre” and “Suburbia” still offers some (controversial) ground to assess ethical and social issues in a manipulative way which is often unaware of real contingencies. In this sense, the syntax of the urban region is read with a biased attitude which denies or even manipulates reality (i.e. the often neglected development of ‘in-between cities’) to convey a specific political message or to win people to a certain cause.

David Lieberman

THE SHAPE OF A CITY, as we all know, changes more rapidly than the heart of a mortal. However, it often happens that before being discarded, left behind to become prey of it s memories, the city – caught, like other cities, in the vertiginous metamorphosis that characterizes the second half of our century – will have found ways to change a heart still young and impressionable just by subjecting it to its climate and landscape, and by leaving an imprint of its streets, boulevards, and parks on the most private thoughts and daydreams of its owner. It is not necessary to have lived there like an ordinary citizen; I even doubt that it would make much of a difference. The city’s influence will be much stronger and perhaps last longer, if it has remained partially hidden – if, because of some unusual circumstances, we have lived in its midst but never reached a degree of familiarity, much less of intimacy, if we never had the freedom, nor enough leisure time to walk through hits neighborhoods aimlessly, to stroll its streets at will. It is possible that by making only certain concessions and without ever completely surrendering, the city has – just like a woman – tightened the threads spun by our daydreams around herself, and better adapted to the rise and development of our desires to her rhythms and moods.

To live in a city means weaving one’s daily peregrinations into a maze of paths usually linked around several directional axes. If one disregards all movements connected with one’s job and counts only those steps leading from the center to the periphery and back again, it becomes clear that Ariadne’s thread, which ideally unravels behind the true city dweller, takes on the characteristics of a carelessly wound skein of wool. It encloses an entire complex of streets and squares within a finely meshed network of comings and goings; seldom do we wander into outlying areas, venture forth beyond familiar haunts. There is not the slightest similarity between the plan of a city and our mental image of it as we consult the unfolded map, or between the sediment deposited in memory and by our daily wanderings and the sound of its name. the Paris where I lived while a student, and later on during my mature years, is contained in a rectangle bordered in the north by the Seine, and almost entirely by the boulevard Montparnasse along the south. This heart of an area is surrounded by concentric circles where – at least in my perception – all activity progressively decreases until, close to the periphery, they become lifeless, indistinguishable from each other. It is the central chambers of a labyrinth that attract the city dweller like a magnet, a locale he returns to time after time; its perimeter serves mostly as a protective screen, an insulating layer intended to shield the inhabited cocoon, and to prevent any osmosis between the outlying areas and the true city life securely locked within the inner sanctum.

That is not how I lived in Nantes

Julien Gracq 1985

In an era of increased globalization, as economic and cultural practices are confronted by a local practice of politics and identity, there is a cross cultural necessity to urban design and development. What is the nature of the spaces of the contemporary city, spaces of intimacy and spaces of congregation …these spaces need be considered at a multiplicity of scales and in light of understandings of infrastructure, artifact, and event. Not only must we reference the origins of city making in its histories, both physical and cultural, we must comprehend the agora, the forum, the piazza, and the square in a variety of cultural traditions in that each of these cultures has a different sense of personal and collective space and that these sensibilities are made evident in urban form and grain. Each of these precedents must be viewed in conjunction with the optimism of the New World in its first manifestations as it carved out spaces to dwell within the sparsely inhabited forests and plains of an extended landscape. Unlike the first settlers in North America, we must now, in a postcolonial world, return to origins and look to the aboriginal sense of custodianship as an environmentally responsible and sustainable alternative to uninhibited development and the privileges of ownership. The site is no longer natural; it is the constructed landscape of the urban fabric. What defines through construct and through use the urban “square”, space or place, of our present condition and how might it shape our immediate futures. The discussion invites and engages formal planning mechanisms, policy initiatives, the establishment of ecological parameters and physical design propositions. The paradigms are not public and private space, but rather the spaces of the city, the spaces in which we dwell.

Stephen Mak

The use of starchitecture has traditionally been the means by which the powerful manifests status, or their perceived status within a cultural milieu by flexing its aesthetic muscle within the local built environment. Starchitecture more recently has become a means by which institutions are marketing themselves, both to architourists, as paying visitors, and to the philanthropic public as a potential source of funds for the making of stararchitecture.

In its traditional form, starchitecture or architecture was a dialogue between patron and architect, or between their respective egos. In its most recent modern manifestation, starchitecture has become a marketing machine, one designed as destined to be ‘pop’ular, to address the commercial needs of institutions in a more democratic age.

What is the impact on the maker of the starchitecture, who can be relegated to the role of pollster in a game of who makes the “peoples choice” building? How do the commercial interests of those who commission this kind of architecture influence the work? Finally, by conceding the making of public space to a ‘pop’ influence, on a largely visually illiterate public, is dumbed-down architecture the serf of the arts?

Most suburbs that remain intact are a construct of post WWII imagination of modern living made convenient by machines, while man lives in a park-like setting, tended to by bits and pieces of powered metal and plastics offered as democratic servants. The reality of the suburbs are largely banal non-places, or worse, places where communities proffer the shelter and safety from the randomness and perceived danger of an urban condition. In making suburbs, the engineer-planner has often been the gatekeeper of the suburban imagination in their making of road patterns, mathematical formulas for services and nodal zones for activities.

Can intelligent planning intensify the suburbs by offering a new vision of the suburbs either by thinking of them as an immature urban condition, or should they be rethought in terms of the original idyllic post-WWII construct to realize their potential? How can the bureaucratic administrators of current planning policy break the mould of engineer-planner, and either realize the potential of the utopia vision of the suburbs, or recognize the reality of what the suburbs are, and their urban potential?

Linda Olson

The challenges in any true democracy most often center around the need to reconcile competing values in decision making and public policy. Differences in expressions of culture, personal and community identities and space, manifest in the complex city/suburban continuum. Chrislip and Larson argue for a new kind of leadership that provides citizens and civic leaders to join in “addressing complex public issues in collaborative ways” (1994, p. 1). In considering the relationships between the Centre and Suburbia, what associational processes need to be developed to ensure the preservation of diverse stakeholders in decision making effecting the community and individual, the tensions of change vs. continuity and the creation of what some call the “web of responsibility” so critical to regional and global sustainability?

Dean Saitta

Many “urbanologists” have suggested that the accommodation of cultural diversity is crucial to urban health and renewal. Minimally, it is vital for making our cities more inclusive and “democratic.” What principles of urban architectural design and planning–either already established or yet-to-be-imagined–should be observed as a way to better accommodate the increasing cultural diversity of urban regions?

I’m interested here in principles that go beyond what some have described as the “mom-and-apple-pie” principles of mixed use, pedestrian scale, good public transportation, trees, etc

Robert Sanford

1) For the first set of questions it would be interesting to question how cities are addressing “brownfields” or areas where soils are contaminated with reference to tourism. My guess is that many brownfields are in the center of cities or by waterfronts, which are also increasingly attractive sights for re-development. Are these places being remediated? If so, how, or more appropriately how much?

2) For the second set of questions it would be interesting to look at ecological considerations in the city vs. suburban arena across cities. For example, are ‘ecologies’ similar across cities or are their special conditions that have emerged with those cities that are linked to the global economy? Or what has globalization impacted in terms of differences between suburbs and core, if anything in the world’s cities?

Roberta Waldbaum

1) In Timeless Cities: An Architect’s Reflections on Renaissance Italy (2003) David Mayernik asks the following question: “If the makers of our contemporary cities can no longer read the cities of the past, how can they hope to regain the ability to write an urban landscape that equals the best we have built (p. 230)? Mayernik examines how the cities of Rome, Florence, Venice, Siena and Pienza were designed and built by city architects and builders to be models of the mind and of heaven, cities to be read and emulated. Is this just another romanticized stereotype of Italy, or can the study of Italian urban forms and creations of the past serve as living models for city planners today in reimaging cities, such as the “Città di città” project in Bologna that promotes an analysis of neighborhoods through citizen participation?

2) Given that urbanism is a lived phenomenon and cities are essentially “invisible” entities contingent, as Italo Calvino’s Città invisibili suggests, on the eyes that see them, how can an exploration of urban space, with its different environments and cultures, through the eyes of its inhabitants inform our understanding of urban and civic identities, civic renewal and the integration of collective civic values


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