Call for articles – demographic change & urban challenges: trends & countertrends. WEIMARPOLIS, Journal of urban Theory and Practice (ISSN 1869-1692), invites submissions for its next edition.
Coexistence and simultaneousness of urban growth and urban shrinking have become a widely discussed theme in the urban discourse. The level of demography has often been seen as paramount in approaching and understanding spatial changes. Whereas at a global scale in Europe many cities are facing no less than a fundamental change of a century old paradigm “from growth to shrinking” in other parts of the world the “urban revolution” is still fully on its way. However, at a regional level seemingly comparable trends and countertrends of growth and shrinking are in process and confront governments with new issues to work on. The change in demography and the connected spatial challenges do raise questions which ought to be taken up in particular by “urban disciplines”.
Demographic change goes hand in hand with an increasing polarisation of spaces; be it in cities, between cities and their regions, and in-between urban regions. It requires new planning and development approaches in numerous contexts, ranging from the management of hyper growth to the restructuring of declining regions.
From an urban design perspective, concepts are required that cope with “useless spaces” by defining new – and notably temporary – functions, while with regard to the world’s urbanising growth areas new forms of acceptable mass housing and of integrating ecological sound set-tlement patterns need to be developed to provide for sustainable design of urban living.
From a cultural history point of view change of population is anything but a new phenomenon that inflicts on cities. In succession of wars, technical transformations, social and political inno-vations, urban structure has experienced dramatic alterations; for example, in European medie-val times when the work on the market place has been of “added value” in comparison to work on agrarian soil. Historic studies on the theme presented here may be of interest as they may put current events into a wider horizon, be it by comparing the 19th-century urban revolution in Europe to what is presently taking place on other continents, or by looking at today’s demo-graphic change in European cities from an historic angle.
Demographic change encompasses also a socio-cultural dimension, e.g. by transforming rural into urban societies, by revolutionising traditional households and living standards, or by the emergence of “aging societies”. Those issues are of an increasing importance to the urban dis-course.
WEIMARPOLIS is interested in contributions which bring together the level of urban space and the level demography. Articles can deal either with theoretical aspects or case stud-ies of various urban scales or innovative observations from particular cities.
Expression of interest: 15 May 2010 (submit a brief rationale up to 200 words maximum)
Deadline for articles: 30 June 2010 (submit full article)
Articles may be submitted written in the English or German language. For further information about WEIMARPOLIS, its referee procedure (double blind) and further guidelines, please, have a look at www.weimarpolis.net.
Dr. Matthias Hardinghaus
AFEU e.V., Association of Alumni and Friends of European Urban Studies
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