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Cordelia Polinna: "Urban Renaissance London: A New Urban Design Paradigm for the City Center"

In recent years the city of London has seen dramatic changes in the urban redevelopment strategies that have been implemented. Fuelled by massive changes in the city’s economic structures and by radical changes in its regional political system, new approaches to urban planning and design have been developed by a wide range of stakeholders. As result of this paradigm shift in urban design, London presents itself with a revitalized, newly governed and redefined centre. London has been turned into a service sector metropolis, a world city and a creative city, a capital of tourism and events and could be called a postfordist city par excellence. Comparable processes took place or are aimed at in other North American and European cities. In London, however, they are to be observed crystal clear and in a specifically adapted manner. Apart from that, completely new, very innovative concepts are put into practice. These new concepts of urban design present a large potential for urban design and regeneration in other cities.

The example of London shows - despite many problems - very clearly, what a new understanding of town planning and urban design can look like in the future. The presentation will critically examine examples of urban design and regeneration strategies which can be regarded as the key to the transformation of the city such as culture- and heritage- led regeneration or the pedestrianization of public spaces and which show, what urban design in a postfordist city can look like.

About the Author

Dr. Cordelia Polinna studied Town and Regional Planning at the Technische Universität Berlin and at the Edinburgh College of Art. After she graduated in 2001, she worked as a researcher with the DFG-funded project “Postmodern urban design since the 1980ies: Remake of the ‘European City’ in Berlin and London”. In 2007 she acquired the doctoral degree with a dissertation called “Towards a London Renaissance: A shift in the urban design paradigm in London: projects and plans for the regeneration of the city centre”. Since 2005 she is a part-time lecturer at the Chair for Architectural and Planning Sociology, Professor Harald Bodenschatz, TU Berlin. Since 2008 she is a DFG Post Doc Fellow at the Transatlantic Graduate Research Program Berlin – New York „History and Culture of Metropolis in the 20th Century”. Her research interests include urban design, urban regeneration strategies, creative class and creative city, ethnic enclaves and tourism and gentrification.

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