Transurbanism - Day 1: report

Report about the beginning of the first day of the Transurbanism symposium.

Andreas Ruby opens the first day of the symposium and introduces the speakers, expounding the idea that what we consider a city is no longer always determined by physical space. Practices have become more important. The city is something that happens, something that occurs instead of a spatial continuity, a conglomerate of material components. The city is more defined by its functions, and these funcions are more and more integrated - also spatially. What we see as a city is determined by the extent in which we are connected to the rest of the world.

Lecture by Edward Soja

Edward Soja is interested in investigating methods of studying spatial disciplines. The last decades, after the failure of modernism, cities have been restructured, with cities like Los Angeles as a testing ground. These changes ask for new ways of studying the city. Which methods can we use? And if the old modes do not apply anymore, what new ones can we use? Soja argues for a broader framework for scholars to work in. In his opinion theory and practice are too often separated. He also would like to contextualise, he argues for a transdisciplinary approach. Since the 1960's and 1970's there has been a broad expansion of spatial thinking, which eventually resulted in an increasing degree of interaction between architecture, urban design and geography. Less traditional spatial disciplines like archaeology, anthropology and accounting became interested in a more spatial approach as well. Nevertheless one smugly thinks one understands space, but one needs a new concept beyond the archaic view on it. According to Soja there is a new urban condition. The past three decades the city has changed more than ever before. We therefore need to know what is going on. This means we have to anticipate on the future city, but we also need to control contemporary developments; if we don't, inequality all around the world will intensify on different levels. After having ascertained that changes have taken place we can no longer continue the old way. Soja would like to call this the Post Metropolitan Transition. Society is changing rapidly, but we do not know yet where we are heading to. There is however some sort of pattern; despite all the changes there is continuity as well. One thing we have to take into account is the fact that the city is of great influence on human behaviour. It is defining what we do, with whom and where, but the contrary is true as well: what people do, influences the development of cities. There is a constant change, wheter it is spatial, social, cultural or psychological. All these factors contribute to the development of the way cities are shaped, and we therefore need to level the boundaries between disciplines. We need new ways of regional thinking, of thinking of scale.

10.30: Opening words V2_

10.35: Opening words Andreas Ruby

11.00: Lecture Edward Soja

12.00: Lecture Scott Lash

13.00: Lunch break

14.00: Lecture Lars Spuybroek

15:00: Lecture Knowbotic Research

16.00: Tea break

16.15: Panel discussion

17.00: End

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