Cities have principally been regarded as the typical space of creativity. It is claimed that they offer the most appropriate setting for the pursuit of art, culture, scientific activity and technological innovation. Theories and ideas are usually not generated in rural areas, but in lively, heterogeneous cities. The fact that cities are traditionally defined as the typical place of innovation and creativity depends on specific features that are ascribed to the city in general, namely their characteristics as a social space, a space of interactions, of networks, societies and plurality. Thereby, urban communication and personal interaction are emphasized as an essential condition for urban creativity. While the subject of creativity, which is attributed to urban life, usually brings artistic and cultural milieus into mind, the idea of cities and creativity is also closely connected to scientific and technological innovation.
The topic of the city as a space of creative milieus originally refers to the traditional European city. However, in the 20th century various attempts can be observed to build such urban spheres artificially in order to encourage the development of creative milieus. Such attempts include both, political and urban planning measures related to existing cities as well as the planning and construction of totally new cities.
At the beginning of the 21st century a new decisive point can be observed: the role and importance of cities is called into question. With regard to the increasing diffusion of information and communication technologies, to the often quoted “globalisation” as well as to the increasing appearance of “edge cities” and suburbanisation, there has even been talk of the "electronic requiem of cities”. These funeral orations, however, are only part of a comprehensive debate about the role, meaning and functions of cities as creative milieus in the 21st century. Other scholars simultaneously claim a new importance of the city as a creative milieu.
Papers should deal with one of these aspects:
A theoretical and methodological analysis of the topic of the city as a creative milieu.
An empirical description and analysis of the topic of the city as a creative milieu. Papers are invited that deal with European cities from the 17th century until today.
Papers are encouraged to deal with both, “science cities” characterized by scientific and technological creativity as well as “art cities”, famous for their cultural and artistic milieus. Such approach may contribute to linking and possibly overcoming the existence of “two cultures”. As yet, it appears to be an open question, to what extent such distinct cultures are actually a characteristic of cities or rather a characteristic of research perspectives. Usually, scholars working on “science cities”, are not in close contact with researchers, who focus on creative milieus of artists and humanities.
Finally, scholars from various disciplines are invited to participate in the panel. Historians, sociologists as well as urban planners are concerned with the topic of cities as a space of creativity.
If your are interested in participating please e-mail an abstract of your paper (up to 500 words) via email.
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