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The Cities, Culture, and Society (CCS) Conference

jointly organized by Japan Center, Institute for Cultural and Social Anthropology, and Institute for European Ethnology, and Seminar of Economic History of Ludwig Maximilians University Munich, and Urban Research Plaza of Osaka City University

Conference venue

IBZ (International Center for Science and the Humanities)

Amalienstrasse 38, 80799 Munich

Please register before 15 February 2010 at


The conference Creating Cities: Culture, Space and Sustainability investigates the forces that shape the conditions of urban development and the creation of cities in comparative and interdisciplinary perspective. In recent years, the notion of the „creative city“ has become a guiding framework for thinking about the present and future state of cities and their capability of coping with the impact and challenges of globalization. Cities are regarded as engines of regional, national and global economic growth because they are the key centres for cultural production and consumption and target areas for mobility and migration.

They are also contested sites because of increasing cultural and social diversity. Simultaneously, cities use cultural diversity and even counter-cultures to display appealing images and representations of creativity and innovation. Many citizens aspire to live and work in the cosmopolitan global environments that only metropolitan centres seem to be able to provide, but cities also provide vital space for the challenged, homeless, and other socially disadvantaged groups. The resolution of social disparities is consequently becoming an urgent policy task.

Environmental and social sustainability, urban revitalization and amenity are major keywords of our time. The writings of Richard Florida and Charles Landry have laid the basis for a new urban agenda that focuses on innovation, cultural revitalization and the built environment, attaching great importance to the contribution of the arts and the cultural sector to the economy. To be creative, cities thus must offer a vibrant environment, cultural amenities and career choices for both men and women sufficient to attract groups with talent to build creative industries. In prominent examples of creative cities such as Berlin the marketing policy mainly focuses on the creative industry sector including tourism. But in fact, a multitude of prerequisites and preconditions is necessary for the creation of cities at all, thus laying the basis for any kind of urban development.

In this context, this conference focuses on the interactions among culture, sustainability, and space. We would like to emphasise inquiry into the dynamics of cultural creativity, industries and production, the risks and benefits of both cultural diversity and social inclusion or exclusion, the sustainability of efforts to plan and redesign the urban built environment to promote creativity, and the identity politics of representations of the city and creativity in the popular imagination as well as spaces of heritage and tourism. We recognise that there are many different groups and focal points related to creating cities, so one major purpose of this conference is to create a framework in which both practitioners and researchers of different disciplines can interact and share ideas about how urban environments are being transformed.

Introductory Session: Creating Cities & Creative Cities

As global market forces penetrate hitherto closed rural areas wherever market liberalization occurs, urbanization, too, is progressing rapidly. Even though regional differences obviously do exist the global ratio of urban population has now crossed the 50-percent line. While mega cities may be one of the most conspicuous phenomena of the present urbanization the term urban must be understood in a much broader sense. The fact that the majority of urban dwellers still lives in smaller and medium-sized settlements is frequently overlooked. Only through a combined effort of local supplier development, national institutional support, and foreign investment can there be any real benefits from for example creative cluster development and economies of scale and scope. Two prominent regions of Southeast Asia, namely the Greater Mekong Region and Singapore, will serve as examples as this session will investigate the relationship between the process of creating cities and the making of creative cities.

Session 1: Creative Diversity, Socioscapes, and Cultural Politics

This session critically reviews current notions and implications of cultural diversity in cities by bringing together broadly three strands: representation, socioscapes and cultural politics. Urban representations of harmonious multiculturalism and plurality are often part of a political vision advocating tolerance and portraying a city as attractive and cosmopolitan. Creative celebrations of cultural identities and diversity which find expression in performances, re-invented rituals and other colourful representations like public parades or ethnic festivals help to profile the urban imaginary and reputation. However, these cultural politics used for city marketing are always intertwined with and impact on city dwellers’ lifeworlds shaping particular urban ethno- and socioscapes.

These politics of presenting harmonious pictures of diversity as cultural capital of the city often cover up deprivation, gender and racial discrimination, discourses on cultural pollution and other forms of social exclusion. And, what is more, the cultural politics may not always result in social integration and gender equality but rather may produce conflicts and segregation. We wish to shed light on these processes by examining the interplay between creating particular urban images and the urban condition of particular socioscapes, ranging from transnational precarian and less empowered groups to elite diasporas be they proudly included in these offical urban identity politics or be they used to hide sociocultural problems in several urban districts.

Comparative and reflective anthropological research contributes to the understanding and analysing of these essential urban challenges. Papers addressing these aspects in contemporary societies are welcome.

Session 2: City Marketing

Cities are increasingly undertaking marketing activities to support their local economy. The most prominent fields targeted by city marketing are tourism and new business investments. To be effective, marketing activities need to raise awareness and to create a convincing image of „uniqueness“. At the same time, they must take into account that the local economy is supported by a variety of stakeholder groups with differing identities, interests and demands. Thus, the image envisioned by and created through the process of marketing communication must be multi-faceted without being contradictory. Marketing communication also needs to be responsive to changes in the socio-economic environment without sacrificing coherence and consistency. By way of example, the presentations in this section will look at how city marketing may cope with the challenges described above in terms of communication content, tools or media, and with regard to underlying organisational structures and processes.

Session 3: Mobility and Built Environment

Mobility is a crucial aspect of globalization and the development of more efficient mobility systems on a grand scale is a significant locus for planning activity in global cities. As governments plan and redesign the urban built environment to promote creativity, develop sustainability, facilitate commuting, and reduce energy use and emissions they face difficult investment decisions and work to accommodate competing plan priorities. Leading enterprises are producing new kinds of vehicles and smart transport systems, and co-ordinating mobility systems over extended regions. This session will compare and contrast corporate and planning approaches to mobility issues in several global cities. It seeks to identify the ways these cities are organizing alternative strategies and technologies, the nature and scale of the problems they face, and the constraints on their capacity to find creative solutions.

Session 4: Networks

Global cities rely upon networks with other cities, and the institutions, infrastructure, character, extent and effects of such inter-city networking are the subject for this session. Measures of the intensity and extent of global cities’ trans-national flows and asset stocks are well established, and as the global cities and globalization idea have gained momentum, enterprises, NGOs, governments and individuals have been working creatively to generate new network linkages, and to assess the risks and benefits of heightened inter-city connectivity. When transnational corporations reorganize their operations there are impacts on inter-city communications and personnel mobility, as well as on the urban labour market and built environment. City governments have developed relationships with other cities to share best practice and to bolster their own status in policy arenas. National governments have been reorganizing their own trans-national networks and the sites they use for national representation in foreign countries. Personal network activity has also been changing as opportunities for travel and communication develop. This session investigates networking between cities to identify the possibilities and constraints on such network development.

Program (as of January 14, 2010)

Thursday, February 25, 2010
16:00–17:00 Registration
17:00–17:30 Welcome and Introduction
  • Evelyn SCHULZ (Japan Center, LMU Munich)
  • Kôji UEDA (Japan Foundation, Cologne)
  • Masayuki SASAKI (Urban Research Plaza, Osaka City University)
Introductory Session: Creating Cities & Creative Cities Chairs: Evelyn SCHULZ and Masayuki SASAKI
17:30–18:30 Global Production Networks and Creative Cities: Singapore as an Innovative Knowledge Cluster Henry YEUNG (National University Singapore)
18:30–18:45 Discussion
18:45–19:15 Rural-Urban-Global Linkages and the Creation of Small and Medium-Sized Cities Under Conditions of Dynamic Change: The Greater Mekong Region H. Detlef KAMMEIER (Bangkok)
19:15–19:45 Discussion
20:00–22:00 Reception
Friday, February 26, 2010
Session 1: Creative diversity, socioscapes, and cultural politics Chair: Eveline DÜRR (Institute for Cultural and Social Anthropology, LMU Munich)
9:00–9:45 Have the Local Authorities Created the Creative City? Cultural Policy of Local Authorities in Japan and Germany since the 1970s Mari KOBAYASHI (Graduate School of Humanities and Sociology, Tokyo University)
9:45–10:30 Creative Citizens Meet Creative City Policies: The Case of Rotterdam (NL) Lidewij TUMMERS (TU Delft, The Netherlands)
10:30–11:00 COFFEE BREAK
11:00–11:45 Connecting Istanbul and Berlin: Cities, Culture, and Projects of Diversity Levent SOYSAL (Kadir Has University, Istanbul)
11:45–12:30 Projects of Creativity and Inclusion: The Challenges of Cultural Development in Mexico City Ana ROSAS MANTECÓN (Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana, México)
12:30-14:00 LUNCH BREAK
Session 2: Networks Chair: Franz WALDENBERGER (Japan Center, LMU Munich)
14:00–14:45 Networking and Cultural Diversity of Creative Cities Masayuki SASAKI (Urban Research Plaza, Osaka City University)
14:45–15:30 Mediating a Global Network in Crisis: The New York Times Maps the Moral Geography of Global Finance Gordon WINDER (Seminar of Economic History, LMU Munich)
15:30–16:00 COFFEE BREAK
16:00–16:45 The Condominium Tower: A Vertical Networked Suburb? Ute LEHRER (York University, Toronto)
16:45–17:30 Picking a Path Through Networks of Urban Theories and Theories of Urban Networks Paul WALEY (School of Geography, University of Leeds, UK)
19:00–21:00 Reception at the Japanese Consulate General, Munich (invited guest only)
Saturday, February 27, 2010
Session 3: Mobility and Built Environment Chair: Gordon WINDER (Seminar of Economic History, LMU Munich)
9:00–9:45 Neoliberal Mobility and its Discontents Glen NORCLIFFE (York University, Toronto)
9:45–10:30 Seen from a Distance: Shibuya, Tokyo, as a Bubble Downtown Manabu NODA (Meiji University, Tokyo)
10:30–11:00 COFFEE BREAK
11:00–11:45 Paradigm Shift: From Growth to Quality Sonja BEECK (Bauhaus Dessau, Germany)
11:45–12:30 Mobility in the In-Between City: Getting Stuck Between the Local and the Global Roger KEIL (York University, Toronto)
12:30-14:00 LUNCH BREAK
Session 4: City Marketing Chair: Irene GÖTZ (Institute for European Ethnology, LMU Munich)
14:00–14:45 City Marketing and Perfomance Evaluation for Creative Cities Hiroshi OKANO (Urban Research Plaza, Osaka City University)
14:45–15:30 Geographical Knowledges and Neoliberal Contradictions: Compulsory Land Purchase in a Contemporary Urban Context Brett CHRISTOPHERS (Department of Social and Economic Geography, University of Uppsala)
15:30–16:00 COFFEE BREAK
16:00–16:45 Branding Auckland: Creating Creativity and Suspending Disbelief Nicolas LEWIS (Wine Industry Research Institute, The University of Auckland)
16:45–17:30 The Creative City Fever Klaus R. KUNZMANN (Potsdam, Germany)
17:45–18:30 Closing Discussion: Global Perspectives on Creating Cities
19:00 Dinner

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