Call for Papers: "Crisis of Today’s City as a Community?" 2017-03-07

 guest editors: Małgorzata Dymnicka, Paweł Starosta

The title refers to the collection of values that have been associated with the concept of a city as a democratic project, a certain specific type of community based on an idea stretching back to antiquity, when cities were exceptionally creative and constituted a source of inspiration for the development of civilization. In today’s age of urbanization, globalization and conflicts over physical space, the question about a new type of city community based on a deconstructed form of community life has gained special importance. The cities of today are a multi-paradigmatic systems of interdependencies of time and place as well as emerging systems which are evolving non-linearly at various speeds, based on various forms of governance and strategies. They are comprised of a network of influences, connections and points of contact interacting in a physical space. For centuries cities have been spaces wherein economic, social and environmental interests and factors interacted and overlapped. This gives rise to another question. In which direction(s) will cities aim and continue to develop? Cities are not only more democratically and effectively managed than nation-states, but also cooperate together to solve problems which extend beyond their borders; such as environmental protection, ecological threats, degradation of architectural environment, social fragmentation, symbolic expropriation of public spaces, immigration, and other issues which national governments unsuccessfully grapple with. Viewed in this light, the next question arises. What role do today’s modern cities play, taking into account the assumption that cities better reflect the contemporary problems of the world than nation-states? Cities constitute the life environment of more than one-half of the inhabitants of today’s world. New technologies enable instantaneous collective communication in both real and virtual time. This gives rise to yet another question. What is the role of these new “prosthesis” of communication as instruments for governing cities. Finally, for centuries cities have been places devoted to the exchange of ideas and cultural policies. The economic principles governing the world impose a certain type of order which may be seen as “space for people”. This process leads to stylization based on “authenticity”, “tradition”, as well as an “imagined community” for new users who are searching for a new identity and new forms of identifying space ad hoc. It leads to another question. What are the new poles of semantic and spatial identities?----- Submission deadline: June, 1st, 2017.