Christian Schmid - 'Towards a new vocabulary of urbanisation'
27 April 2017, 6:30 pm–8:00 pm
Room G03, 26 Bedford Way, UCL, London WC1H 0DS
Professor Christian Schmid (ETH Zürich) delivers an Urban Lab Lecture on his comparative research project of urbanisation processes to better understand the patterns and pathways of planetary urbanisation.
In the last decades, urbanisation has become a planetary phenomenon. Urban areas expand and interweave, and novel forms of urbanisation emerge. In this process, new urban configurations are constantly evolving. Therefore, an adequate understanding of planetary urbanisation must derive its empirical and theoretical inspirations from the multitude of urban experiences across the various divides that shape our contemporary world. Urbanisation has to be considered an open process, determined as much by existing structures as well as by constant innovation and inventiveness.
However, in evaluating existing instruments for the analysis of urbanisation, we are confronted with many difficulties and shortcomings. New concepts and terms are urgently required that would help us, both analytically and cartographically, to decipher the differentiated and rapidly mutating landscapes of urbanisation that are today being produced across the planet. This talk presents results of a comparative study of urbanisation processes in eight metropolitan territories across the world (Tokyo, Singapore, Hong Kong / Shenzhen / Dongguan, Kolkata, Istanbul, Lagos, Paris, Mexico City, and Los Angeles). According to the broad sample of cities brought together in this research, a specific methodological design is applied mainly based on qualitative methods and a specifically developed method of mapping. The main goal of this project is to develop new conceptual categories for better understanding the patterns and pathways of planetary urbanisation. The talk will present some of the comparative categories that we developed through this process: popular urbanization, plotting urbanism, bypass urbanization and the incorporation of urban differences.
Lecture is free and open
to members of the public on a first-come, first-seated basis.
The lecture is organised in collaboration with the UCL Institute of Advanced Studies for their Planetary Futures research theme.
Christian Schmid is Professor of Sociology at the Department of
Architecture at ETH Zürich. He has
authored, co-authored, and co-edited numerous publications on theories of the
urban and of space, on Henri Lefebvre, on territorial urban development, and on
the comparative analysis of urbanisation. Together with architects Roger
Diener, Jacques Herzog, Marcel Meili and Pierre de Meuron he co-authored the
book Switzerland: an urban portrait, a pioneering analysis of extended
urbanisation. He currently works together with Neil Brenner on the theorisation
and investigation of emergent formations of planetary urbanisation, and he
leads a project on the comparison of urbanisation processes in eight large
metropolitan territories, which is based at the ETH Future Cities Laboratory
Singapore. He is also a Visiting Senior Research Associate at the UCL Urban Laboratory.
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