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Harald Bodenschatz: "Contours of a ‘Third Center’ in the European Metropolis"

It wasn’t very long ago that many were convinced in the age of the information society, the Internet and the globalized world, the city center would become obsolete.  Today we know that this conclusion was wrong.  Since the fall of the Iron Curtain, the center of the European metropolis has experienced an impressive comeback on both sides of the former East-West divide.   Private investments push into the center.  Expensive apartments in attractive, central locations are fast sellers.  Municipal politics develop strategies for recentralization.  Perceptions of and struggles over architecture and urban planning are concentrated in the city centers.  Metropolitan regions represent themselves through their city centers and these representations belong to the allures of international city tourism, serving as highly attractive ambassadors in the competition between cities.  But what are the particular features of urban planning in the resurrected city centers?  My thesis is that the comeback of the centers provides us with a new type of European metropolitan center.  From a historical perspective, it represents a third type and differs markedly from the first two types. 

About the Author

Harald Bodenschatz is Professor for "Sociology of Architecture and Urban Planning" at the TU Berlin.

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