Course date

30 July - 10 August, 2001
Application deadline
15 February, 2001
Course Director(s): 

Thomas Knorr-Siedow

IRS, Erkner, Germany

Ivan Tosics

Metropolitan Research Institute, Budapest, Hungary
Course Faculty: 

Barbara Allen

CSTB, Paris, France

Pal Baross

ING Real Estate Development Hungary, Budapest

Judit Bodnar

Department of History/Department of Sociology and Anthropology, Central European University, Budapest, Hungary

Gabor Csanadi

Institute of Sociology and Social Research Methodology, Eotvos Lorand University, Budapest, Hungary

Jozsef Hegedus

Metropolitan Research Institute, Budapest, Hungary

Ulf Matthiesen

IRS, Erkner, Germany

Ludek Sykora

Social Geography and Regional Development, Charles University, Prague, Czech Republic

Marco Venturi

University of Venice, Italy
Guest Speaker(s): 

Gabor Demszky

Office of the Mayor of Budapest, Hungary

With the development of supra-national institutions and the global economy, the cities are facing new challenges and have increasing opportunities for action. The change is rapid and presently the directions seem uncertain. Some speak of the dissolution of the city due to the effects of new technologies, globalisation and individual choice. Some fear a polarised ‘dual city’ of social conflict with a decreasing socio-cultural and economic productivity. Others see an emergence of a ‘new urbanism’ as a socio-spatial concept and still others proclaim a new quality in the intertwined urban regions under the heading of ‘network-city’. The contrasting perspectives seem to lie between de-localisation (the loss of the meaning of space and face-to-face relations, the increasing importance of information and technology as a consequence of globality) and an increasing importance of locality (enabling milieus, civil society). In order to provide the local ‘foundation’ for the lives of their populations, cities will in future have to ‘pro-actively’ find a balance, which enables them to cope on a global level and embeds locally.

The debates and the innovative approaches of western European cities are seen from a special angle in the central and eastern European and central Asian cities. There were two dramatic shifts affecting politics, economy and society: nationalization-centralization-totalitarianization versus, four decades later, privatization-decentralization-democratization which are presently deeply influencing debates and action. It is no wonder that there is no clear vision about an urban future and paths and methodologies of development.

Course level and target audience
The course is intended to be an interdisciplinary and interactive learning event for younger academics from universities or research institutions as well as for practitioners with an academic background interested and active urban debates and practice from government to grass-root level. Whereas the ‘European City’ is in the focus, participants from central Asia and the Middle East are also invited. As planning and development theory and governance are in the focus, a wide range of professional knowledge and practice would be an appropriate basis for participation: sociologists, planners, administrators, architects as well as transfer oriented media producers and community developers. Priority will be given to participants who are able to demonstrate their own ‘home’-experience in analysis, research or practice. Academics faculty engaged in teaching urban professionals are also welcome. Building on the knowledge and skills of the participants, the course will be analytically demanding and advanced in terms of its comprehensiveness.