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City as Image?

Summer School

Urban Studies

Berlin is often defined as being creative, young and diverse – be...

Berlin is often defined as being creative, young and diverse – be it because of subcultures, creative industries or diverse minorities. At the same time Berlin is reshaping and reconstructing particular historical spaces. In the historical centre – for example - one recognizes a Renaissance of the past Prussian era, in other parts the constitution of Jewish spaces in Berlin. Furthermore Berlin is forcing the development of new spaces, especially the regeneration of two inner-city airfields. Thereby manifold agents and institutions with different views and intentions come together to claim, contest, discuss and negotiate about the city’s present and future. All of them use and create images. Sometimes these images seem to be even more powerful than the city itself. Are cities what they claim to be in their images?

During the Summer School 2011 of the Georg-Simmel-Center for Metropolitan Studies we want to explore how the interrelations between city and image can be understood. The studying will include aspects of theory and practise, as well as the mental and material dimensions of this question.
From different academic perspectives we will introduce theoretical positions of the debate. Furthermore we will experience realities in the context of urban planning and architecture, cultural institutions as museums, city related tourism and business and the representation of minorities within the urban fabric.

With the participation of academics, planer and urban actors the course will integrate different concepts referring to the relation between the city and its images. Readings, site visits as well as interviews with urban actors will support lectures and debates.