Field of Research: Urban Culture

When it comes to culture and urban development, in the wake of structural change, creatives and artists often endeavour to kickstart a city’s economy. A second area that is closely related to the cultural debate is the effort to interlace culture with the themes of migration, ethnic diversity, and integration. Where these approaches clearly define a narrow concept of urban culture, staff at the Interdisciplinary Centre for Urban Culture and Public Space aims at a broad understanding of urban culture as a centred view of urban development.

This involves a) the nuances of the realities of daily life and the daily activities of the people in the city who are critically important to an informed understanding of building and design; (b) the requisite reflection on the personal normative value systems that are conditioned professionally and biographically and embedded into urban development by creators of architecture and planning; c) methodologically, a cultural studies perspective that systematically provides multi-method approaches to praxeologically-oriented research of urban culture and imparts skillful urban design with a selection and diversity of methods.

Transdisciplinarity, that is, the exchange between theory and practice, is not supplemental to the toolkit, but rather its fundamental prerequisite. A contemporary strategy for working with cultural heritage can especially enhance this focus by reinterpreting everyday cultures in the city.

Cultural perspectives in city planning and urban design thus bring with them methodological armor and versatile possibilities for revising and enriching urban design and planning instruments, and consequently building and design cultures on the one hand, and on the other hand, they make it possible for planning and design to engage difference and diversity, with the ‘other’ in the city with regard to various categories of difference, such as religion, milieu/class, status, origin/nationality/ethnicity, gender, and education/background.