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2014 Conference


NUL2014 Proceedings

HERE the Proceedings of the Second International Conference

Re-thinking Urban Ideology in Post-ideological Times


Second International Conference

Re-thinking Urban Ideology in Post-ideological Times

Why do we need to talk about urban ideology now? What is urban ideology?
Following Slavoj Zizek’s words, if we assume the necessary existence of an ideology at the base of relationships “between visible and non-visible, between imaginable and non-imaginable”, the answer is because our world is facing an increasing uncertain future.
When it is easier to imagine a catastrophic end of the world, rather than real alternatives that seem just and fair, when the hegemonic forces of capitalism compel us to produce generic urban spaces throughout the globe, while, paradoxically, local forces raise their voices to claim recognition, we need to discuss planning and designing theory and practice more than ever, and we need to discuss politics and ideology urgently.
Since 2008, more than 50% of the world population lives in cities. The fact is that most of us live in an urban world, with new challenges and conflicts leading evolving processes to an unpredictable spatial scenery.

The Second International Conference on New Urban Languages is asking the academic world to debate the nature of these processes and the new role for planners and designers from a multidisciplinary point of view.

This debate will be structured in four non-disconnected Sessions:

I.                Ideological answers to the crisis
II.              Ideology and urban form in the 21st century
III.            Ideology in a networked urban world
IV.            Future urban narratives

Organized by Javier Ruiz Sanchez and Mattia Bertin
Escuela Tecnica de Arquitectura – Universidad Politécnica de Madrid 

Scientific committee

  • Inés Aquilué Junyent, Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya
  • Matteo Bolocan Goldstein, Politecnico di Milano
  • Frank Eckardt, Bauhaus-Universität Weimar
  • Luca Gaeta, Politecnico di Milano
  • Andrea Giordano, Università di Padova
  • Juan Miguel Hernández León, Universidad Politécnica de Madrid
  • María Asunción Leboreiro Amaro, Universidad Politécnica de Madrid
  • Sofia Morgado, Universidade Técnica de Lisboa
  • Paola Pucci, Politecnico di Milano
  • Roberto Rocco, Delft University of Technology
  • Rossella Salerno, Politecnico di Milano
  • Javier Ruiz Sanchez, Unversidad Politécnica de Madrid
  • Daniele Villa, Politecnico di Milano
  • Mattia Bertin, Politecnico di Milano


I. Ideological answers to the crisis

The world is in crisis: climate is changing, economy is unable to rise again, many areas of our planet are affected by wars, many local systems are unable to maintain their standard of living. This has happened before in human history, but not with this intensity. In these lasts years many cities tried to answer this situation with new ideological models: green economy, resilience, smart cities, urban competitions for global investment. Have these answers helped the cities in which they were applied? Have these failed? Why? In which ways?

 II. Ideology and urban form in the 21st century

We know that design always carries within itself a representation of the designer’s identity and beliefs, and many authors advance the idea that there is a big relationship between the Weltanschauung of a population and the form of its cities. In which ways can we see this phenomenon in the classical cities of Christianity, the Islamic World, old China and other recognizable dominant ideologies? In which way has this evolved or changes in the 20th and 21st centuries?

 III. Ideology in a networked urban world

Today, there is a pervasive faith on social networks and ICT. Everyone can see the potentials of new technologies in the governance and the plan of space, and the ways in which this phenomenon is changing our relation with the urban space. Are there any critical aspects in this phenomenon for urban living? Is it possible to formulate a critique of this new global ideology, based on case studies?

 IV. Future urban narratives

Narratives are great tools to describe the present and orient the future. In recent past, some great narratives overcame theological narrations in the West, reorienting life in the region towards rationality and the rule of secular law, with important consequences to all aspects of urban life and government. Are there any emerging new narratives, which are now taking global relevance? Which futures are planted in the seeds sawn by these new narratives? In which ways these new narratives could re-orient the future of our cities?


Keynote speakers

Franco Farinelli

Franco Farinelli

Franco Farinelli is an Italian geographer who was born in Ortona in 1948. Professor of Human Geography at the University of Bologna, he is also head of the Department of Philosophy and Communication Studies and president of the Associazione dei Geografi Italiani (Italian Geographers Association). He has taught in universities in Geneva, Los Angeles (UCLA), Berkeley (UCB), the Sorbonne (Paris) and also at the Nordic Institute for Urban and Regional Planning in Stockholm. His studies have renewed the history of Geography and Cartography and placed it at the core of western culture. In his wide-ranging transversal approach, Professor Farinelli has revealed the complex, ambivalent relationships between geographic representations of the world and its economy, politics, society and, naturally, territory.
He has published several books, including Geografia. Un’introduzione ai modelli del mondo (2003), L’invenzione della Terra (2007) and La crisi della ragione cartografica (2009)

Gabriele Pasqui


 Gabriele Pasqui (1965), is Director of the Department of Architecture and Urban Studies-DAStU, Politecnico di Milano. Full Professor of Urban Policies, past President of the Master Course in Urban Planning and Policy Design. His key scientific interests include interpretations of contemporary cities dynamics, urban conflicts, urban populations, local development policies, strategic planning, urban governance and policies.During the last years member of research groups about “Spatial strategies for Torino strategic plan” (coordinator: Gabriele Pasqui), “Master Plan for the Military Areas in Piacenza” (coordinators: Gabriele Pasqui and Francesco Infussi); “North West Milan: a geographical study” (coordinators: Gabriele Pasqui and Matteo Bolocan); “Local development projects in Lombardy” (coordinator: Gabriele Pasqui), “Metropolitan innovation, governance and social capital in four italian metropolitan areas in the ‘90s” (coordinator: Bruno Dente) and Milan region strategic plan (coordinator: Alessandro Balducci).Among his recent publications: L’Italia al futuro. Città e paesaggi, economie e società, Franco Angeli, Milano 2011 (with A. Lanzani) and Strategic Planning for Contemporary Urban Regions, Ashgate, London 2011 (with A. Balducci and V. Fedeli).

Juval Portugali


 Professor of Geography at the Department of Geography and the Human Environment Tel Aviv University. Head of the ESLab – Environmental Simulation Laboratory). Head of the Environment and Society Graduate Program. Ph.D at the Department of Geography, The London School of Economics and Political Sciences. Is specialized in: Urbanism; Theories of complexity and self-organization; Cognitive mapping and cognitive geography; Socio-spatial change; Spatial and regional archaeology. Currently is doing his researches about the city as a complex self-organizing system; and the inter-representation networks: an approach to cognition and urban dynamics.

Conference Program

Here you can find the  Final Conference Program,

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