Portrait of the City: framing the significance of historic urban landscapes (Dec 2010, Dublin)

PORTRAIT OF THE CITY. Framing the significance of historic urban landscapes
Dublin Castle,  December 9th, 10th and 11th 2010
Deadline call for abstracts: May 15th 2010

All information available at www.portrait-of-the-city.com.

We invite scholars and students to this international conference to discuss the ways cities have set out to present themselves to both natives and newcomers. In order to elucidate these topics, we have invited international scholars from different fields as keynote speakers.

Call for abstracts

In December 2010 the School of Architecture, Landscape and Civil Engineering, University College Dublin and the Office of Public Works will host a multi-disciplinary international conference to explore the significance of cities, their constructed heritage, and the manner in which both the city and its heritage are framed for the public, the nation and the tourist. It will construct a portrait of the city as imagined, created, destroyed, manipulated and lived by its citizens.

Cities have always employed artifice in presenting themselves to outsiders. Sometimes the presentation takes place at the bounds of the city itself, dividing suburban from urban space, countryside from centre. Cities also position themselves in relation to other cities, as nodes in a network, specifically adopting an industrial, leisure or mercantile cast to distinguish themselves from their neighbours, superiors or competitors. The degree to which a city rejects or espouses a regional identity, fractures over time. Using infrastructural novelties such as canals and motorways, cities also redefine their spatial lines and limits. How do these boundaries affect the image of the city? How have these boundaries changed throughout history? How do cities imagine themselves and how are they perceived by outsiders?

Somewhat paradoxically, cities are now beginning to frame themselves as ‘urban landscapes’ in an attempt to reposition the urban centre and its perceived attractions. The conference will consider the role of a topographical way of seeing and related ‘landscape’ paradigms in the history of ideas to advance a portrait of the city which tries to frame not only the physical place of the city, but also the cultural, historic, artistic and
intellectual ‘landscape’ that the city redraws over and over again. Dublin has had to re-evaluate her landscape many times. This conference, set in its historic imperial heart, Dublin Castle, will explore the webs of identity, boundary and significance that cities weave around themselves.

Other international conservation concerns will be discussed, connected to the historic urban landscape, including the assessment of intangible heritage, world heritage sites and universal human value, and the effects of globalization on the authenticity of the artefact.

Submission of abstracts for papers and posters

Abstracts for papers or posters of a maximum of 500 words should be submitted to portrait.of.the.city@ucd.ie before May 15th 2010.

All abstracts must contain the title of the proposed paper or poster, the name of the author(s), and contact information (institutional affiliation, mailing address, phone number, and email address).

A two page CV should be attached to the submission.

Timeline for conference organization:
Deadline for paper abstracts and poster proposals 15: May 2010
Announcement of abstract and poster proposals selection: 1 July 2010
Registration deadline: 1 October 2010
Full Papers due:1 October 2010

All information is available at www.portrait-of-the-city.com

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About Fil Salustri
I'm a design methodologist and Professor of Mechanical Engineering at Ryerson University, Toronto, Canada. Adjectives that describe me include: secular humanist, meritocrat, and long-winded. Some people call me a positivist too, as if that were a bad thing. Go figure. My real home page is http://deseng.ryerson.ca/~fil.

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