THE HUMAN SCALE. BRINGING CITIES TO LIFE
We kick off on Friday 10 October with a lecture by Patrick Le Galès, professor at Sciences Po in Paris and expert on the detransformation of cities, European regions and large cities worldwide. Friday 7 November, we welcome Susanne Heeg (Goethe-Universität Frankfurt am Main) who is analysing the effects of the liberalization of financial and property markets on cities. And on Friday 28 November we invite Brian Doucet (Utrecht University) who examines the lessons, visions and ideas coming out of America’s “Motor City” Detroit. We will also screen the documentary “The Human Scale”, a critical view on the way we build and use our cities by Andreas M. Dalsgaard and Jan Gehl Architects. And the 1980 documentary “The Social Life of Small Urban Spaces” by William H. Whyte, that has gained a cult status in the field of urban studies.
Friday 10/10/2014, 17:30, Beursschouwburg
STADSSALONSURBAINS #1: “GLOBALISED MINDS, ROOTS IN THE CITY. URBAN UPPER-MIDDLE CLASSES IN EUROPE” – PATRICK LE GALÈS (SCIENCES PO, PARIS)
Political scientist and sociologist Patrick Le Galès recently finished a research project on transnationalism and urban practices with two colleagues in Milan and Madrid, containing 500 interviews about the way professionals and managers combine a slow increasing transnationalism with solid roots in cities. The book will be published in december. At our very first STADSSALONSURBAINS, Patrick Le Galès will give you a preview of the research findings.
By comparing four European cities (Paris, Lyon, Milan and Madrid) Le Galès explores the role of urban upper-middle classes in the transformations experienced by contemporary European societies. He reveals how segments of Europe’s urban population are adopting exit or partial exit strategies in respect to the nation state.
Friday 24/10/2014, 17:30, Beursschouwburg
STADSSALONSURBAINS #2 : “THE SOCIAL LIFE OF SMALL URBAN SPACES”
A DOCUMENTARY BY WILLIAM H. WHYTE
WITH AN INTRODUCTION BY POL GHEKIERE (LANDSCAPE ARCHITECT)
Presented by 4cities, Erasmus Mundus Master in Urban Studies
This 1980 documentary became a highly influential film in architecture and planning circles. In the film urban planner William H. Whyte analyses the success and failures of urban spaces in New York. Observing the natural order of spaces and the way people move through them, Whyte provides an intuitive critique of urban spaces and ways these spaces can be improved.
The documentary will be introduced with a short lecture by Pol Ghekiere, landscape architect and former lecturer at the Erasmushogeschool Brussel.
Friday 7/11/2014, 17:30, Beursschouwburg
STADSSALONSURBAINS #3 : “THE POWER OF FIGURES: CALCULATIVE PRACTICES IN THE REAL ESTATE INDUSTRY” – SUSANNE HEEG (GOETHE-UNIVERSITÄT, FRANKFURT)
Urban geographer Susanne Heeg examines the role and importance of calculative practices in the process of establishing a global property market. These practices have contributed to the transformation of the property market into a calculable relation, which makes it possible to perceive and assess the real estate market and its objects internationally. Comparability – which includes the transformation of social, political and economic conditions into numbers – has created the context in which investment decisions take place because they suggest transparency and calculability. These practices are created and shared in a network of global real estate professionals and go along with strategies of territorializing and delineating markets.
Friday 28/11/2014, 17:30, Beursschouwburg
STADSSALONSURBAINS #4 : “CAN’T FORGET THE MOTOR CITY: DETROIT IN TEN BUILDINGS” – BRIAN DOUCET (UTRECHT UNIVERSITY)
+ Documentary “WE ARE NOT GHOSTS” a film by MARK DWORKIN & MELISSA YOUNG
(2012, Moving Images, 53 min.)
Fifty years ago Detroit was booming, with two million hard working people living the American Dream. Then the auto industry fell on hard times and so did Detroit. Most people moved away, whole neighbourhoods turned into wastelands. Detroit is the most intensely scrutinised city in America today: bankruptcy, abandonment, arson and the small-scale creative revival of Downtown. But there is so much more to understanding what has happened to Detroit and what it means for the rest of the urban world. The aim of the lecture by Brian Doucet is to go beyond the normal discourses on the city to challenge what we think we know about Detroit. Brian will make you experience the Motor City by way of a virtual driving tour, stopping at ten buildings in the city and its suburbs to further explore the lessons from Detroit, visions coming out of the city and why what happens in Detroit matters for other places as well.
The lecture on Detroit will be followed by the projection of a film entitled “We Are Not Ghosts”. This documentary presents the tales of Detroiters who are reinventing the old Motor City as a vibrant new self-sustaining and human-scaled city for a post industrial world. And with urban farms, peace zones, and spoken word poets they are starting to make it real.
Friday 12/12/2014, 17:30, Beursschouwburg
STADSSALONSURBAINS #5 : “THE HUMAN SCALE. BRINGING CITIES TO LIFE”
A DOCUMENTARY ON JAN GEHL BY ANDREAS M. DALSGAARD
WITH AN INTRODUCTION BY JENS AERTS (COSMOPOLIS, BUUR)
Presented by 4cities, Erasmus Mundus Master in Urban Studies
50% of the world’s population lives in urban areas. By 2050 this will increase to 80%. Life in a mega city is both enchanting and problematic. Today we face peak oil, climate change, loneliness and severe health issues due to our way of life. But why?
The Danish architect and professor Jan Gehl has studied human behavior in cities through 40 years. He has documented how modern cities repel human interaction, and argues that we can build cities in a way, which takes human needs for inclusion and intimacy into account. The Human Scale meets thinkers, architects and urban planners across the globe. It questions our assumptions about modernity, exploring what happens when we put people into the center of our planning.
The documentary will be introduced with a talk by Jens Aerts, guest professor in Urban Design at the Cosmopolis Centre for Urban Research (VUB) and partner in BUUR, Bureau for Urbanism.
The STADSSALONSURBAINS are an initiative of the Brussels Academy and the Brussels Studies Institute in collaboration with Beursschouwburg and Brussels based research centres. This Autumn, the lecturers Patrick Le Galès, Susanne Heeg and Brian Doucet are invited by Cosmopolis Centre for Urban Research (VUB). The documentaries ”The Human Scale” and “The Social Life of Small Urban Spaces” are presented by 4cities, Erasmus Mundus Master in Urban Studies.
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