The Cultures of Cities

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It can also be studied as artistic and everyday representations that emerge from situated encounters between people, artefacts, and the material, social and discursive structures of the city. Culture has been theorized as the processes and forces that generate or constrain the emergence of cultural expressions in such encounters.

This puts the focus on everyday doings in networks of people and objects, a view of culture that gives prominence to the possibilities for change and creativity, rather than conceptualizing culture in terms of innate structures and barriers that are difficult to disrupt. Dynamic and vibrant Urban Cultures are as essential to a healthy and sustainable society as social equity, environmental responsibility, and economic vitality.

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It is of great importance that culture — both as a concept and as a phenomenon — is regarded as having value in itself, in addition to its potential habitat and market values. Moreover, there is a significant distinction between the social and the cultural; while the social often focuses on problems, the cultural may instead focus on possibilities. For example, in the field of urban studies, the cultural may be conceptua-lized in terms of an open city that facilitates spontaneity — an Enabling City.

The Enabling City, Collaborative Consumption, and Social Innovation are all topics of intense interest among practitioners and policy-makers. They all stem from the above-mentioned focus on network-building, change, and creativity, and can be considered practical applications rooted in the same cultural spirit of the times.

Queer Cities, Queer Cultures

Urban Cultures can thus be highlighted as an indispensable prerequisite for fostering the sustainable city — as an infrastructure for urban change — and can be divided into three integrated "niches" to be filled by the Center: culture as a force for change in everyday life, enabling city planning, and Collaborative consumption and social innovations.

In this report we further explore these ideas but give the enabling city a major role. Instead of being one "niche" it is here viewed as the context required for the other two to occur at its full potential.


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The Enabling City is hence the platform for Urban Cultures. Culture is here seen as a force for change in everyday life. The focus is on creativity from below and the importance of network-building and of trusting relationships among people; often referred to as social capital.


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  6. It requires studies of the how, the when, and the why of human activity in everyday encounters in the city, with a special interest in innovative practices with the potential to change city life in a sustainable direction. The Enabling City is very much related to a different kind of city planning; to an Enabling City Planning. This involves planning for openness, spontaneity, and creativity; Planning for the unplanned.

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    It entails understanding the ecology of the city, highlighting its soft structures, and studying its enabling cultural infrastructures. Collaborative Consumption and Social Innovation are in this report, described as examples of Urban Cultures that may occur within the Enabling City.

    Here the emphasis is on new ways of sharing, lending, and swapping.

    The Convergence of Cultures: Shaping Great Cities

    The related concept of Social Innovation refers to the emergence of ideas and strategies that meet social needs. Breadcrumb Home. Our Research. Urban Cultures as a field of Urban Cultures as a field of knowledge and learning Gillberg, D.

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    Abstract During the last ten years, urban culture studies have evolved as an interdisciplinary research field within urban research. It should come as no surprise that London, Paris, and New York filled out the top five hotspots for expat culture, as all are famous for their art, fashion and more.

    Global cities sharing a belief in the importance of culture

    However, some people are less focused on soaking up culture than they are at improving their overall quality of life. While Sydney may have the sun, Vancouver, with its easy access to the mountains and the ocean, is similarly a great spot for those who want to get active.

    For those who want to stay in Europe, Madrid may be the place to go. In general, expats there say they are healthier and happier than before they moved there. Alex Butler. The best cities in the world for culture and lifestyle, according to expats. A new job in an exciting city is often enough to convince a traveller to relocate for a period, but the culture and lifestyle that cities offer can be a real deciding factor into whether that new city becomes a well-loved home.