segunda-feira, 20 de junho de 2011

International Seminar: Urban Governance in the South

"International Seminar, Urban Governance in the South of Europe
08-07-2011, 09:30 - Sedas Nunes Auditorium
organização: João Seixas (ICS-UL) and Abel Albet i Mas (UAB)

The International Seminar Urban Governance in the South of Europe will be held July the 8th 2011 at Sedas Nunes Auditorium, Institute of Social Sciences of the University of Lisbon.

The international seminar stands as the public presentation of the researches and correspondent papers held for the thematic number of the 2010 special issue Nº 197 of "Análise Social" review.

Coordination of the Seminar: João Seixas (ICS-UL) and Abel Albet i Mas (UAB)

Partners of the seminar: ICS, Universidade de Lisboa, Universidad Autónoma de Barcelona, Câmara Municipal de Lisboa

Objectives of the Seminar
Dilemmas and opportunities for the cities of Southern Europe

The European cities are presently in an important moment of crossroads. The changes occurred in their rhythms, densities and landscapes, as well as in their wide cognitive and cultural dimensions, are leading them into new type of pressures, dilemmas and challenges, in what can be configured as a considerable new paradigmatic situation. Pressures and dilemmas that go deep into its social and political urban contexts - marked, at the same time, by parallel changes in basic elements such as the structural crisis of the welfare state and the absolute flexibility of the economic values added chains - demanding to the cities and their urban societies, more than ever, the need to rethink their structures and their cultures of urban policy and urban governance.

Given the magnitudes of the changes underway, and just like their congeners in the most varied parts of the world, the cities of Southern Europe are repositioning themselves, both to their own societies and to the outside world, changing governmental, institutional and procedural structures for, supposedly, the best development of public policies and collective objectives. In multiple dimensions: from the perspectives for new structures of territorial autonomy, to the processes of decentralization and proximity administration; from the search for new concepts and tools for urban planning, to new operational strategic frameworks; from very different forms of critical questioning upon the new types of urban regimes information, to both instrumental and processual improvements in the social engagement and civic participation arenas.

These are tendencies, in turn, considerably dependent by the potentialities, limitations and inner forces and dilemmas underlying the socio-cultural, political and administrative structures existent in each country or urban region where the different cities stand. Are they well adapted to new realities and new challenges, or there exist significant imbalances causing quite limited and fragmented visions and political-administrative activity? Simultaneously, are their own urban societies quite aware of the pace of changes taking place, or their cultural perceptions and socio-political structures remain considerably at the side of contemporary risks and challenges? Notwithstanding, it seems that it will more and more depend on the urban society and stakeholding networks of each city, the main responsibility for its own future.

It is upon these considerably cloudy but also quite demanding contexts, widening from theory to quite active dimensions, with and even beyond ideological, historical and geographical positioning, that it comes highly relevant the analysis and discussion on the urban governance options and paths being structured in the southern European cities. A discussion that might include, naturally, the questioning of whether there might exist some forms of more specific socio-political contexts, relating with the own realities of the Mediterranean cities, or whether, instead, it is followed at some distance the prospects and dynamics experienced elsewhere."

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