32nd Newsletter of the Georg Simmel Center for Metropolitan Studies (Berlin)

The Future of the European City: Hardly any other term in urban development sounds quite as positive as the “European city“ and hardly any other notion in current urban planning discussions is used to such an inflationary degree. As the lowest common denominator this concept shows up wherever socially balanced, sustainable models for potential urban development projects are discussed. The future of the European city was the subject of the GSZ graduate school (Promotionskolleg), whose work after the final conference in Vienna has resulted in the publication of a volume on this matter („Die Zukunft der europäischen Stadt: Stadtpolitik, Stadtplanung und Stadtgesellschaft im Wandel“, eds. Frey & Koch).

The book clarifies potential and contradictions in the notion of the European city, whereby this concept is not, as a rule, seen as model for development in mainland Europe but rather as general orientation for urban development projects largely in Asia, North and South America. The predominant focus on the structural definition of the European city and frequent neglect of social and economic aspects when „exporting“ such models to China or the USA for upper and mid market projects often result in reaching the opposite of European urbanity, which defines itself to a certain degree by encounters with the unexpected and the unplanned. For further information please go to http://www.vs-verlag.de/Buch/978-3-531-17156-2/Die-Zukunft-der-Europaeischen-Stadt.html [Text: Florian Koch, Erfurt, and Oliver Frey, Wien]

Editors: Florian Koch works at the Institute for Urban Research, Planning and Communication of Erfurt University of Applied Sciences (http://www.fh-erfurt.de/fhe/isp/); Oliver Frey works in Research Cluster Urbanistics at the Faculty of Architecture and Spatial Planning, Technical University Vienna (http://isra.tuwien.ac./Personell/Oliver.Frey/Home.htm). Both are previous members of the Graduate School “The Future of the European City – Modes and Consequences of New Urban Governance” at the Georg Simmel Centre for Metropolitan Studies (http://www.gsz.hu-berlin.de/php/index.php), led by Hartmut Häußermann and financed by the Heinrich-Böll-Foundation.

Further Literature: Bagnasco, A.; Le Galès, P. (Hrsg. 2000): Cities in Contemporary Europe. Cambridge, University Press. Kazepov, Y. (Hrsg. 2005): Cities of Europe. Changing Contexts, local arrangements and the challenge to Urban cohesion. Oxford, Blackwell Publishing. Le Galès, P. (2002): European Cities. Social conflicts and Governance. Oxford, University Press.