CfP EAUH 2024: On the Limits of Growth and Shrinkage of Cities
Disruptions of Urban Infrastructure in the Second Half of the 20th Century – On the Limits of Growth and Shrinkage of Cities
One of the sections of the European Association for Urban History (EAUH) conference in Ostrava, Czech Republic, from 4 to 7 September 2024, on the theme “Cities at the boundaries”, will focus on the urban infrastructure challenges faced by European cities in the 2nd half of the 20th century. How did their infrastructures reshaped as cities grew and shrank, their age structure changed, and political and economic conditions shifted abruptly and irreversibly?
How flexible were European metropolises on the verge of the 21st century in adapting to challenges like natural and man-made disasters, refugee flows and epidemics, the settlement and departure of industry, commerce or the military, or the change of political boundaries? What happened to their infrastructure when cities grew and shrank, their age structure changed, political and economic conditions shifted abruptly and irreversibly? In short, when disruptions of major proportions occurred?
Contributions are desired on the transformations of infrastructures of living and working, of education, culture and recreation that become visible in the cityscape.
The following questions could guide the contributions:
- Which urban infrastructures were particularly affected by disruptions? How did cities differ in their response to such changes?
- Are there path dependencies and rules that urban adaptation processes followed? What are they? Are they the same everywhere?
- Can we find examples of particularly high resilience of cities in the face of disruption? Or, on the contrary, of inflexibility and dysfunction?
- How can such adaptation processes be visualized, for example on maps or with the methods of digital history?
- How did the adaptation processes affect the quality of life and attractiveness and ultimately the sustainability of cities?
Specifically, we ask for:
- Theoretical contributions on disruptions in urban space
- Case studies of European cities in dealing with disruptions (examples of adaptation or loss of function)
- Cross-sectional contributions on individual aspects of urban infrastructures in the face of disruptive changes
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