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Urban Reports

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Today’s cities are both juggling for position in a global context and simultaneously attending to local economical, ecological and social needs. They vie with each other to attract investment by global players in the fields of economy and science hoping of course to win jobs and greater opportunities for education. Given an increasingly networked Europe, the decisive factors for locating a business, a residence or even for the choice of the next holiday destination are no longer geographical proximity but rather local qualities.

In urban development the complex and multiple effects of globalisation on the economy and society, the transformation from an industrial society to a services and knowledge society, pronounced demographical and societal changes, such as social segregation and increased individualisation, clash with specific local characteristics, challenges and questions. Urban planning no longer takes place in territories, which are clearly defined in spatial and administrative terms. New cross-border interdependencies and complex activities emerge thus effectuating the progressive perforation of national and historically established borders.

The symposium Urban Reports centres on how cities are being affected by these global trends and inquires into the consequences, challenges and chances resulting for local urban development. How do cities deal with the tensions and the apparently blatant contradictions arising from local interests and global powers? What aims and scenarios are being depicted for urban space? What type of measures, strategies and partnerships (including the unusual) are being chosen for realisation? To what extent are local identities being preserved, reinforced, and utilised by urban development in this global setting?

Representatives from six European cities – Amsterdam, Bilbao, Dublin, Copenhagen, Zagreb and Zurich – report on their own fascinating visions for urban development and their innovative ways for realising them. By means of prototype “Lead Projects” they illustrate their individual concepts for transforming their cities in the 21st century. The urban projects chosen provide examples of the different aims of each of the six cities and the strategies chosen for realisation. Concrete examples from action fields like infrastructure, abandoned industrial areas, revitalisation of city centres, linking-up with the region or specific major projects help demonstrate the different thematic priorities and the striking heterogeneity in the evaluation of global and local issues.

Experts will discuss the various concepts applied in the six cities to ­effect high-quality, future-oriented transformation of urban space and scrutinise the efficiency of concrete strategies and projects for urban development in a local and global context. The speakers are well-known ­experts from different disciplines: urban planning, urban design, architecture, landscape architecture, economics and spatial planning.

-- RegisterGreen - 19 Oct 2006

Revision r1.4 - 20 Oct 2006 - 08:38 - RegisterGreen Professur Kees Christiaanse, Institut für Staedtebau, Netzwerk Stadt und Landschaft

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