Katja Reichard / Checkpoint Charly                    Folke Köbberling/Katja Reichard /Europäische Stadt

invitationcard: Learning from*  

European City
A self confident society, public space and market have been a yardstick of the European urban civitas since antiquity. As a stronghold of civil emancipation, cultural variety and economic innovation it mirrored the superiorly-regarded history of European civilisation. If the normative model "European society" had counted as a global export model for a long time, it finally seemed to have served its purpose as a backwards-looking utopia and cover for 19th Century society. However in the past few years it suddenly returned in a flood of publications, congresses and political objectives, which see the European city as an appropriate template for city development in the 21st Century. Current discourses on the "European City"however, have many blind spots. The alternatives discussed remain caught between medieval market forces and current "event city". They seem to exhaust themselves between urban entertainment mall and Siena myth, between urban sprawl and block development, between the social nightmare of "Ameicanisation" and social housing construction of communal large companies. The specific segregations and restriction patterns which characterise the European city in its various historical forms is however ignored.