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Keynote-Vortrag III (Sicherheit): Against Safety, Against Security: Reinvigorating Urban Life

Dienstag, 02.10.2007: 11:30-12:30 Uhr, Audimax

Don Mitchell (Syracuse)

This talk will critically examine the growing focus in urban discourse and practice on "safety" and "security" – both in terms of terrorism and in terms of clearing the streets of those deemed undesirable – and their effects on the structure of urban space and urban life. I will argue that the most creative moments of twentieth century urbanism were those in which prevailing notions of security and safety – of urban order – were upended and a new kind of urban life invented. My examples will be largely from late-twentieth century America, but the lessons for the contemporary "global" city are clear. The point of the argument I will put forward is not that order in urban spaces is in and of itself bad, but that the very nature of what constitutes order, and thus safety and security, needs to be transformed. Without doing so a specifically urban life will become an artifact of a by-gone age.

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