Cityscapes

Cityscapes front cover

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Abstract

With over thirty contributions, the volume Cityscapes: World Cities and Their Cultural Industries places emphasis on the role of history, collective memory, and artistic representations of the semio-cultural production of urban spaces. Including issues such as the relationship between urban scenery and people’s sense of belonging, urban change and civic memory, environmental change, social justice, sustainable communities, conflict resolution, mobility, and equity, among others, the volume offers counter-narratives to the utopian/dystopian polarization, and analyzes urbanism as a way of life, contemplating cities as lived environments. Each contribution also places particular emphasis on a perceptual aspect, visual scenes, sounds, smells, and textures in the cities discussed, including many photographs and sustaining a discourse grounded on semiotics, comparative literature, and cultural studies. The analysis of the various types of urban representations presented in this collection discloses the negotiation of local and global realities, social structures, economic exchanges, and semio-aesthetic aspects. Thus, the papers draw from examples in various artistic media, re-working temporal relations between the past and the present in order to offer a semiotic image of cities where multiple and overlapping histories produce alternative habits of practice. The analysis includes various levels—the local, the regional, the national, the transnational, and the cosmopolitan. Contributors also tackle the issue of minority groups and subcultures, migrants, and their participation in the continuous redefinition urban spaces.