Specialist Session

S1 „Invisible Boundaries“: Urbanism and Identity in Central European Towns and Cities on „Unofficial“ Internal Borders 1918–1989

Main chair: Ondřej Kolář, Ph.D. Silesian museum
E-mail: kolar@szm.cz

1st Co-chair: Lukáš Vomlela, Ph.D., Silesian University in Opava
E-mail: lukas.vomlela@fvp.slu.cz

Short abstract

The session focuses on demographic, economic, social and cultural effects of "unofficial" internal borders (such as language or ethnographic borders or no longer existing former administrative boundaries) on everyday life and identity of towns and cities in Central Europe during the era between the end of Great War and end of the Cold War.

Keywords: Internal Borders, Language Borders, Central Europe, Regional Identities, City Planning


Social and urbanistic history of towns and cities on language, ethnographic and vanished borders

Session content

The session focuses on specific Central European regions affected by „invisible“ unofficial borders. The aim is to describe and analyse the lasting impacts of vanisged former administrative borders, as well as cultural, language and ethnic borders in the history of the 20th Century.Three scholars from Silesian University in Opava, Silesian Museum in Opava and Institute for Ethnology of the Czech Academy of Sciences in Prague are taking part in the session, which is also opened for other researchers. Already proposed topics are primarily related to issues of identity and collective memory of unique territories of Silesia. One of hem is former Hlučín district, which maintans its specific local traditions and „dissenting“ historical narrative, opposing the „mainstream“ interpretation of national history and identity. Other contributions focus on „abandoned“ territories alongside former Moravian-Silesian border and so-called „inner Sudetenland“, which suffer significant demographic and economic loss after 1945 and which deal with discontinuity of local traditions and identity. The session will also discuss distinctive case of Jeseník district and its lasting cultural affiliation to Silesia after its incorporation into Moravian administrative structures. Speakers will also focus on comparation of broader aspects of Silesian identity in Czechia and Poland. Except „Silesian“ topics the session attempts to analyse and compare history of more distinctive regions of Central Europe. The organisers are able to accept two or three more paper proposals.

S2 Pandemics, Society and Ecology in historical urban space

Main chair: Ján Golian, Dr., Faculty of Arts, Catholic University in Ružomberok, Slovakia
E-mail: jan.golian@ucm.sk

1st Co-chair: Jörg Vögele, Professor, Department of History, Philosophy and Ethics of Medicine, University of Düsseldorf, Germany
E-mail: joerg.voegele@uni-duesseldorf.de

2nd Co-chair: Grażyna Liczbińska, Dr., Faculty of Biology, Adam Mickiewicz University, Poznań, Poland
E-mail: grazyna@amu.edu.pl

Short abstract

There is a casual relationship between environmental conditions in cities and mortality, especially due to infectious deseases. The proposed session seeks to create a platform for sharing and comparing results of interdisciplinary research on historical urban areas in the context of ecological conditions, sanitary level and epidemiological danger.

Keywords: ecology, populations, environment, sanitary, epidemiology


Epidemiology, historical demography, human biology

Session content

The 19th century was a period of rapid growth of urban agglomerations. It was the time of industrial revolution and the growing world market enabling surprisingly fast development of many branches of industry, technology, trade, and science. Overpopulated and increasingly industrialized urban spaces posed a threat to human health and life. In this context, the effects of epidemics were most pronounced in fast-growing cities. High population density, insufficient hygienic conditions, inadequate health care, were characteristics that indirectly contributed to the rapid spread of childhood epidemics. Meanwhile diseases affected also adults and elderly people.

Cities were frequently suffering not only from infrastructural deficiencies but also from inhibited access to medical care, or dramatically poor living conditions – with mainly working-class population concentrated in extremely overcrowded districts. Poor urban ecology, medical care and – in general – standard of living made cities to be vulnerable to epidemics of infectious diseases. How did epidemics spread in the urban environment, what was their specificity, what risk groups lived in cities and how did this environment differ from the countryside? How city inhabitants faced the spread of the epidemic and what measures did it take to prevent infection? How did these measures develop in the 19th century? How did countries and regions of Europe differ from each other in terms of fights with epidemics? What public health measures were taken against environmental problems and how they affected the spread of the epidemic? How did urban population react to anti-epidemiological measures, health care reforms and modernization of hygiene standards? What was the impact of environmental factors as climate, construction of water pipes, sewers, and similar reforms of the public environment to eradicate infectious diseases on the spread of disease? Did epidemics affect family life course? The session seeks to create a platform for sharing results of interdisciplinary research provided by historians, historical demographers, biologists, medical doctors, on society in historical urban space affected by epidemics and pandemics in relation to ecological, social, and economic conditions.

S3 Urban planning and visions of modernity at boundaries of the Late Russian Empire

Main chair: Kamil Śmiechowski, dr, University of Łódź
E-mail: kamil.smiechowski@uni.lodz.pl

1st Co-chair: Makary Górzyński, dr, Akademia Kaliska (Calisia University)
E-mail: m.gorzynski@akademiakaliska.edu.pl

Short abstract

The session is intended to analyze the practises of urban planning and visions of urban modernity in the frontiers of the Late Russian Empire. How did people who lived in this big area coped with practises of planning in the Tsarist autocratism? Did they accepted their status or just wanted to develop their own visions of urban modernity?

Keywords: Urban planning, modernity, Late Russian Empire, self-government, nationalism


Town regulation and expansion planning of borderlands of the Tsarist empire: imperial vs. national.

Session content

The Westen frontier of the Late Russian Empire was the huge area from Helsinki, Tallin and Riga on the North, through Warsaw, Lodz and Kalisz in the West, to Ismail, Odessa, Tiflis and Baku on the South. Such a great territory had different traditions and styles of urban development, however in the Late Nineteenth Century it was under the rule of the Tsarist Empire, the autocratic state which was torn between the attemps to modernize itself and the traditions of the political reactionism and averion to the West and modernity. Some sholars argued, that the Russian Empire experienced some form of an urban revolution, which was the result of the rising aspirations of urban elites. In the "emerging cities" like Dorpat, Vilnius, Kyiv or Minsk, the modernity was negotiated not only with traditional, rural order, but also with the centralism manifested by the Russian government. Under such circumstances the practises of urban planning that emerged in the Late nineteenth century were a mixture of the Russian centralism, regional traditions and foreign (especially Western) influences as patterns of modernity and urban experiment. Local communities, who had to cope with the autocratic rules, were trying to develop their own visions of urban modernity, which were intended to made their cities "modern" in comparison to both Russian and foreign points of refference. We planned this session a specialist one, with no more than five papers included. We want to include papers focused on, but not only, the following questions: a) how did the Tsarist style of urban planning influenced the development of cities at the Western and Southern boundaries of the Late Russian Empire?, b) what were the most important points of reference for local elites of the Western and Southern boundaries of the Late Russian Empire?, c) to a what extent did visions of modernity created on the area from Helsinki to Baku stood up with the Tsarist centralism, d) how did the local traditions influenced the way in which the people who lived in the boundaries of the Late Russian Empire projected the urban modernity?, e) what was the role of minorities (Swedish, German, Jewish etc.) in creating the shape of urban modernity in the East Central Europe? We want to invite all scholars, writers, journalists and urban acivists focused on history of Finland, Baltic States, Poland, Belarus, Ukraine, Moldavia, Georgia, Armenia as well as and Jewish history, Imperial history, architecture history, historical sociology, urban planning history, cultural studies, economic history and other fields of studies.

S6 Urban Complaining and Petitioning – perspectives and methods of investigation

Main chair: Ulrik Langen, professor, PhD, University of Copenhagen
E-mail: langen@hum.ku.dk

1st Co-chair: Peter Wessel Hansen, archivist, PhD, Copenhagen City Archives
E-mail: ER9X@kk.dk

Short abstract

This session invites participants to discuss different modes of complaining and petitioning as major communicative components in urban life, 1600–1900.

Keywords: complaining, petition studies, communication, urban agency, ego-documents, 1600–1900


complaining, petition studies, communication, urban agency, ego-documents, 1600–1900

Session content

This session invites participants to discuss different modes of complaining and petitioning as major communicative components in urban life, 1600–1900. While institutions of petitioning were ideally based on the notion of the authorities as guarantor of justice or distributor of favours, complaints to urban municipalities were often composed with an implicit understanding that the complainant was speaking to his or her peers. Regardless of the differences, petitioning or complaining could be a political instrument used by – among others – the formally powerless to influence their life conditions, i.e., a form of communicative agency of considerable importance.

Petitions and complaints constitute a distinctive genre of historical evidence characterized by strong elements of life writing features (or ego-document characteristics) providing information about the lives of the historical agent as an integral part of the narrative presented. Moreover, urban complaints and petitions contain several recurring themes and issues linked to urban experiences and living conditions of city dwellers from all walks of life and social strata. In particular, complaining and petitioning were essential instruments in the everyday negotiation of the city’s political, commercial, social, and spatial order.

The session invites scholars from every field of research and geographical scope to participate in this interdisciplinary session on cultures of urban complaining and petitioning. We particularly aim at theoretical, methodological, and practical questions such as: What are the qualities and limits of this kind of historical evidence regarding urban experience? How do we distinguish between complaints and petitions (or other types of ego-documents)?

S7 Dynamics of Gender Relations in Pre-modern Urban Economy – Central Europe in a Comparative Perspective

Main chair: Mgr. et Mgr. Michaela Antonín Malaníková, Ph.D., Palacký University Olomouc
E-mail: michaela.antoninmalanikova@upol.cz

1st Co-chair: Mgr. Kateřina Knopová, University of Ostrava

Short abstract

This special session focuses on female wage labour and the dynamics of gender relations in the economy of pre-modern towns in Central Europe, especially with regard to the situation in guild organisations, which formed the basic organisational framework of the urban economy.

Keywords: Gender, Pre-Modern, Urban Economy, Central Europe, Women, Wage Labour, Guilds, Trade, Masculinities


Gender analysis of pre-modern urban economy; Fe(male) Involvement in the Craft Guilds

Session content

Dynamics of Gender Relations in Pre-modern Urban Economy – Central Europe in a Comparative Perspective: Research on female involvement in medieval and early modern urban economy, which has been systematically developed for medieval and early modern Western European cities since the 1980s, concludes that women's gainful activity in guilds was systematically undermined and restricted towards the end of the Middle Ages. The reason for this was partly due to the morals of the time and the views of women formulated by both ecclesiastical and secular authorities, as well as the fact that craftswomen represented undesirable competition for craftsmen. As guilds became increasingly closed organisations with the advent of the modern period, where the position of master ceased to be the final stage of artisanal existence but became for many an unattainable benchmark and privilege, there was increasing pressure to restrict the presence of women. Men's history/history of masculinity has also contributed significantly to the understanding of the complex hierarchical network of male relationships in guild organizations.

Due to the restriction of women's activities in the guilds, we find medieval women in gainful employment for most of the late Middle Ages mainly as merchants, retailers or market vendors – professions that could be easily combined with housework, childcare, and that were also a very desirable secondary source of family income for married women.

Gender history has been researching the urban economy for decades, but with a few exceptions, almost exclusively in relation to Western Europe. The main aim of this session is to stimulate discussion of questions related to the issues mentioned above in Central European cities and to investigate whether similar mechanisms to those found in previous research apply here.

In accordance with this aim, participants should focus on issues related to the involvement of women in the urban economy in pre-modern Central Europe compared to their male counterparts especially with regard to the following topics/questions:

  1. In what economic sectors do we find women, and what do we know about their status and social situation?
  2. Is it possible to distinguish specifically female industries of production and trade?
  3. Do we have evidence (e.g. in guild statutes) of female involvement in craft guilds? Is it possible to observe or document the situations and mechanisms that limited the involvement of women in the guilds? Did the family situation of women (virgins, wives, widows) matter in this regard?
  4. What do we know about the relationships between apprentices, journeymen and masters within the guild structures? Do we have evidence that these groups defined themselves in relation to each other and in what way? Can we interpret the possible tensions as clashes between the dominant and subordinate forms of masculinity?

S8 Uncomfortable architectural heritage. Destruction or preservation of memory?

Main chair: Katerina Chatzikonstantinou, University of Thessaly
E-mail: a.chatzikonstantinou@gmail.com

1st Co-chair: David Martin Lopez, University of Granada
E-mail: davidmartinlopez@gmail.com

Short abstract

The preservation of difficult architectural heritage can be part of the logical process of recovering historical memory, while in other cases, the elimination of the symbolic power of this architecture in urban space is a thaumaturgical way of solving wounds and creating a more democratic environment. The session wishes to examine the ways that political identity is informed by place in urban conditions of ambiguous character.

Keywords: Uncomfortable architectural heritage, architectural monuments, (re)signification of built heritage, preservation policies


Architectural preservation, political dimension of architecture, uncomfortable architectural heritage, memory, democratic approach

Session content

Throughout history, depending on the socio-cultural and political contexts of a certain place, architectural spaces have been generated that can be uncomfortable heritage today. Sometimes, their preservation is part of the logical process of recovering historical memory, while in other cases, the elimination of the symbolic power of this architecture in urban space is a thaumaturgical way of solving wounds and creating a more democratic environment. In this discussion questions are raised on the political identity we seek for our cities and the manner in which that is informed by place in urban conditions of ambiguous character. The continuity in the history, ultimately a continuity in collective memory and, hence, in forgetting, seems to demand this identity, challenging the role of architecture within it. How does a nation choose to deal with this architectural heritage? How do these spaces negotiate the contemporary identities of a city? Who decides on the (re)signification of tainted built heritage? This session aims to address these issues from a holistic and multidisciplinary perspective and discuss the future of these spaces, when they become subject of restoration or resignification.

In particular, we would encourage works that explore the following topics, mainly focusing on cases from the 18th century to even the 21st century:

  • Heritage spaces associated with dictatorships and other totalitarian regimes.
  • Architectures of hatred and repression, such as prisons and torture spaces.
  • Architectural monuments of colonialism or war.
  • Preservation policies of contested architectural heritage.
  • Museological, educational and artistic practices that discuss uncomfortable architectural heritage in an innovative way.
  • Relationships between architectural heritage, identity and material culture.

Papers that offer comparative perspectives, especially across nations, are especially desired.

S10 Urban Experience of the First World War in Central Europe

Main chair: doc. Mgr. Jiří Hutečka, Ph.D., University of Hradec Kralove
E-mail: jiri.hutecka@uhk.cz

1st Co-chair: doc. PhDr. Michael Viktořík, Ph.D., Palacky University Olomouc
E-mail: michael.viktorik@upol.cz

Short abstract

The planned session aims to put forward a representative selection of current trends in researching urban experience of World War I in the context of Central Europe. Papers dealing with the changing dynamics of power in urban context, supply issues, as well as with their representations in socio-cultural and spatial context, are welcome.

Keywords: First World War; total war; home front; new military history; social history


civil-military relations; rationing; state surveillance; survival strategies; popular protest

Session content

The proposed session hopes to present a representative overview of key issues that characterized the way urban communities across Central Europe experienced the First World War. From the first moments of mobilization in 1914, through the ever increasing pressures of wartime needs on human, economic as well as moral resources, towards the final moment of relief, or crisis, brought on by peace and/or emerging political upheaval, cities across the region were profoundly chonged even when not directly touched by military operations. The fabric of the community has changed across the board, war economy brought state regulation of supply and demand, and often the very geography of urban space underwent significant changes. Militaries became an ever-present part of urban life in either bringing more people in or siphoning them out, while the city magistrates were facing increasingly overreaching power of the state, or even states, embroiled in total war, being almost reduced to executors of war needs, while at the same time facing ever more desperate and often radicalized citizenry of all classes and genders who gradually expressed themselves through various forms of protest. The key point of the session is to bring together historians interested in the topics that connect to these developments and to discuss potential methodologies as well as research challenges, with the ultimate aim of establishing the current situation in this specific field via a series of representative papers.

S11 Old Wine in New Bottles? The Resilience of Socialist Approaches in Land Planning Instruments

Main chair: Evangeline Linkous, Associate Professor, University of South Florida
E-mail: elinkous@usf.edu

1st Co-chair: Sonia Hirt, Dean and Hughes Professor in Landscape Architecture and Planning
E-mail: sonia.hirt@uga.edu

2nd Co-chair: Bernadette Baird-Zars, Assistant Professor, Rutgers University
E-mail: b.bz@rutgers.edu

Short abstract

This session examines the cautious revival for urban land planning and implementation taking place in post-socialist states and adjacent regions. The session focuses on two core areas. First, we explore the legacies of socialist and central-state planning, examining the tendency evident amongst plans emerging from these contexts to replicate old approaches in spite of new structural conditions. Second, the session will highlight the various boundaries that create either norms or tensions relative to planning, including geopolitical alliances, structural conditions such as levels of marketization, and the real or threatened presence of war and conflict. The presenters draw on work from Varna, Bulgaria: Tbilisi, Georgia; and Aleppo, Syria to  examine the reemergence of planning and its implications for issues such as political engagement and democratic decision-making, urban quality of life, and geo-political stability.

Keywords: Urban Planning, Plan Implementation, Post-Socialist Cities, European Union, Institutions


Urban Planning, Plan Implementation, Post-Socialist Cities, European Union, Institutions

Session content

Within Central and Eastern European post-socialist states, a “cautious revival” of urban planning has taken place in recent years.1 Among new European Union (EU) member states and aspirants, increased planning activity reflects conformance with EU accession guidance and efforts to access critical EU funding opportunities. Additionally, the renewed interest in planning is driven by citizen organization, social activism, and demands for urban policy reforms.

This session examines this revival of planning in spaces with socialist planning legacies through two tracks of inquiry. First, the session explores the legacies of socialist and central-state planning, examining the tendency evident amongst plans emerging from these contexts to replicate old approaches in spite of new structural conditions. For example, contemporary urban planning in many post-Socialist states fails to cooperate with market processes, lacks meaningful citizen engagement, and relies primarily on technocratic, centralized authority to achieve plan visions. The session will draw attention to modes and practices related to both plan policymaking and plan implementation. Session presenters will draw on research from diverse contexts (Eastern Europe, the Caucasus, and Middle East) to highlight the ways geo-political alignments, transnational influences, urban governance regimes, judicial practices, and fiscal frameworks mediate planning practice. The discussion will aim to clarify what is new or changed in the emergent revival of planning, distinguishing between approaches that have ‘survived’ and remain perceived as useful, instruments that have undergone institutional adaptation, and processes that can best be described as recalcitrant holdovers that limit innovation and change in planning.

Second, the session will highlight the various boundaries that create either norms or tensions relative to planning. These may be geopolitical, such as the particular approaches to planning that may be found in EU member states or aspirants. Boundaries may also be structural, reflecting levels of transition and marketization, which in turn shapes the role of planning in balancing public and private interests. Conflict also creates a variety of boundary issues that impact planning, including issues of displaced persons, jurisdictional geographies, shifts in socio-demographic dynamics, and economic uncertainty.

The specialists in this session contribute insights from their work on regions representing a spectrum of political and development contexts. Sonia Hirt, an expert on Central and Eastern European planning and land use regulation, will draw on recent research from Varna, Bulgaria that identifies the persistence of centralized, homogenous approaches to planning. Evangeline Linkous contributes finding from research on the development of Tbilisi, Georgia’s 2018 Master Plan that point to the importance of co-evolving local governance institutions in driving plan implementation. Bernadette Baird-Zars draws on a network of local planners, municipal documents and social media postings from Aleppo, Syria to highlight the specific land use processes in action that continued to be enforced during the height of the conflict and again under the re-established regime. Collectively, these works engage in questions about the level of meaningful political engagement engendered in and by the planning process and the ways planning does or does not respond to or change structural conditions.

1 Slaev, Aleksandar, and Sonia Hirt. "Planning, Pluralism, Markets: Experiences from Post-Socialist Varna." Planning Theory & Practice 23, no. 3 (2022): 461-475.

S13 Nationalizing Cities? Industrial Cities in Multi-Ethnic Central and Eastern European Regions and Their Impact on the Emergence of National Conflicts

Main chair: Hein-Kircher, Heidi PD Dr. Herder-Institute for Historical Research on East Central Europe, Marburg, Germany
E-mail: heidi.hein-kircher@herder-institut.de

1st Co-chair: Jaroslav Ira, Ph.D., Charles University, Faculty of Arts (Prague, Czech Republic)
E-mail: jaroslav.ira@ff.cuni.cz

2nd Co-chair: Hans-Jürgen Bömelburg, Prof. Dr., University of Gießen, Germany
E-mail: Hans-Juergen.Boemelburg@geschichte.uni-giessen.de

Short abstract

The panel disusses the entanglements between nationalization, language policies and the emergence of inner-city conflicts during industrialization in Central and Eastern European industrial cities situated in border regions in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Because of the lack of urban traditions, they became particular arenas, in which a nationalized modernity was negotiated in a distinct way.

Keywords: industrial cities, multi-lingualism, mult-ethnicity, security, national conflicts


Multi-Ethnic Industrial Cities in Central and Eastern Europe as arenas of  national conflicts

Session content

Since political and socio-economic borders ran grosso modo congruent with national ones in Central and Eastern European borderland cities, one particular national group could achieve and consolidate dominance in a city – but each city had another ethnic composition. In contrast to ‚traditional‘ cities with established urban institutions and long-established social and political elites, industrial cities in the multi-ethnic borderlands of European Empires (like Daugavpils, Łódź, Donetsk (Jusovka) and Tampere in Russian Empire and like Zlín, Drohobycz and Salgótarján in Habsburg Empire) often grew up from rural hinterlands and consisted of multi-ethnic migrant groups without major urban traditions. Unlike the Western European industrial cities, the people moving in came more or less from the immediate surroundings or from the same province. They consisted of in most cases of Jewish and of former peasant and socially subaltern groups which belonged to non-dominant ethnic groups. The industrial cities formed multi-ethnic immigrant societies without major urban traditions in which new urban political and social elites emerged.

Although industrial cities like Plžen, Dnepro (Jekatarinoslav) and Łódź gained economic importance, they never got acceptance as mayor political players within the provinces, because of the seemingly „dangerous“ working class populations. Therefore, they were specific spaces for negotiating national and social issues. One particular aspect was the language issue, which was important for identity formation.

The session is devoted to pecularities of industrial cities in Eastern Europe. It wants to focus the interactions between nationalization and language policy programs and measures and the emergence of inner- city conflicts during the phase of dynamic industrialization and urbanization in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. It sees local language policy and practice as a hinge for the relationship between the various ethno-confessional groups. The session wants to focus on the connection between nationalization and the language question and the formation of a respective industrial city society. The papers are expected to discuss to what extent industrial cities formed distinct arenas for the emergence and the settlement of conflicts. Therefore, the session‘s presentations will address as questions:

  • What issues were negotiated there in contrast to those in more traditional cities?
  • Does nationality play a prominent role, or do the social question and problems of public health rather dominate the discourses?
  • What role does the respective language play in the processes?
  • Can specific patterns of argumentation, somewhat securitizing themes, be found for industrial cities?
  • Do topics such as environmental protection and/or health protection play a distinct role in these discourses?
  • What role do women play in this?
  • Can gender-specific sub-themes be identified?

Papers are especially desired that deal with multi-ethnic and multiconfessional industrial cities developing in East(-Central)-European border and cross-border regions, which are still under-researched in comparison to those in Western and Central Europe.

S14 Edges at the center. The reinvention of cities at their boundaries

Main chair: Léa Hermenault, PhD, University of Antwerp
E-mail: lea.hermenault@gmail.com

1st Co-chair: Julie Gravier, PhD, EHESS
E-mail: juliecatherinegravier@gmail.com

Short abstract

This session aims to explore the role played by cities boundaries in the evolution of polarities within urban space. It will research how boundaries became central to cities after specific activities were established there, and what were the consequences for the evolution of the organization of the city itself over the long term.

Keywords: Boundaries, Centres, Long term, Changes and continuities, Power, Space, Urban Fabric, Networks


Evolution & impact of polarization of urban space over the long term and role played by boundaries

Session content

In western Europe, new centers began to emerge in periphery of cities in the years 1960’s, quite often around new commercial facilities. As their influence on the surrounding area gradually increased, they started to compete with historic city cores. Since it introduced new type of urban daily routines for inhabitants who consequently had to move over long distances to reach one center or another, this phenomenon is often described by geographers as the beginning of a new era in urban history.

Yet the emergence of new polarities on the fringes of already existing cities is a phenomenon well-known to urban historians, who have described it recurrently from Antiquity to the nineteenth century. We can for instance mention the apparition of small towns around saints’ tombs during the Early Middle Ages at the boundaries of ancient cities, or the expansion of neighborhoods around newly built royal residences outside medieval or early-modern cities. However, the development of new centres at cities’ limits have mostly been studied from the perspective of political or institutional history. The emergence of new centers on the fringes of the city is indeed often analyzed for its political signification: the attractiveness of newly settled places at cities’ boundaries is understood as a sign of the power of those who decided that new buildings, infrastructures or specific activities should be established there.

We would like to develop a new perspective on that topic by exploring other factors and effects (notably spatial and material) of polarization processes that are triggered when a new center emerges. This session aims to focus on infra-urban polarity changes with a specific attention to the role played by places located at the edges of cities, in order to research how boundaries became central to cities after specific activities were established there, and what were the consequences for the evolution of the organization of the city itself (streets networks, spatial distribution of activities within the urban space, built environment, etc.) over the long term.

Papers from all chronological and regional contexts will be welcomed, in order to explore a large range of cities reconfigurations.

S15 Architecture, Villages, and their Entangled Histories: Rural-urban Encounters in the Islamic World

Main chair: Mohammad Gharipour, Prof., University of Maryland
E-mail: mohammad@gatech.edu

1st Co-chair: Kivanç Kilinç, Assoc. Prof., Izmir Institute of Technology
E-mail: kivanckilinc@iyte.edu.tr

Short abstract

The historiography of architecture and urbanism in the Islamic world has mostly focused on cities and urban communities. This panel invites papers, which explore the making of villages and rural forms of governance over space in the Islamic world in interaction with urban centers and communities.

Keywords: architecture, the Islamic world, rural modernization, villages, urban planning


Frontier regions; urban-rural interactions; travelers' accounts; patronage; model villages; climate and topography

Session content

The historiography of architecture and urbanism in the Islamic world has mostly focused on cities and urban communities, leaving many societies settled outside urban areas largely unnoticed or marginalized. Villages are on the radar of scholarship so far as they are a site of heritage conservation or postwar reconstruction, or when presented as a fresh approach to modern vernacular architectural practices, such as in Hassan Fathy’s New Gourna in Egypt. However, there is much to learn from these hitherto neglected sites. Travelers’ accounts as well as chronicles refer to urban centers but also to dynamic lifeways in rural areas across the Islamic world. Due to their distance from political centers, some villages remained less affected by major decisions made by central governments, and their development was primarily the result of local forms of governance and internal dynamics. In other instances, villages that were located on global trade routes played an active role in the spread of goods, artworks, and material culture similar to urban centers. Expanded over time, or developed by city planners, such as in colonial or “model” settlements, villages also reflect some of the most potent applications of architecture to the articulation of cultural identity.

This panel invites papers which examine the making of villages in the Islamic world in interaction with urban centers from the medieval era to the second half of the twentieth century. Our goal is to provide a platform to discuss a much neglected aspect in urban historiography - rural forms of governance over space and how these forms have interacted with imperial or transregional edicts concerning use of resources. Papers may focus on a single village, planning or design of a building complex in a particular village, or any other topic relevant to rural-urban architectural intersections in the Middle East and North Africa. Submitted papers could clarify the impact of cultural, political, economic, and physical context on the development and transformation of villages; the spatial dynamics of local societies and their interrelations with the larger world; intricate methods for governing land and water use, marital patterns, and sociomoral codes and their impact on rural development; the perception of rural life as contrasted with urban life found in travelers’ accounts and chronicles; how architecture responded to traditions and the changes within the economic or social context of villages, and how reformist ideas of urban and rural modernization reshaped existing rural settlements; and the spatial transformation of villages in frontier regions where Islamic societies encountered with non-Muslim settlers and traders. We welcome papers that employ archival materials or deploy new methodological approaches to the (comparative) analysis of villages and urban centers in the historic and contemporary geographies of Islam.

S16 Refugees housing evolution in the European countries

Main chair: Despina Dimelli, Urban and Regional Planning Laboratory (UrbaRegplan Lab) School of Architecture, Technical University of Crete
E-mail: ddimelli@ tuc.gr

1st Co-chair: Nefeli Alexopoulou (MSc), National Technical University of Athens E-mail: nef.alexopoulou@gmail.com

Short abstract

The session intends to bring to light the role of refugees housing areas dealing with the historic framework and the policies of different European countries since the beginning of the 20th century with the analysis of the architectural and urban elements of the settlements that have been developed.

Keywords: Refugees housing, Europe, evolution, integration


Urban and architectural analysis of refugees housing in Europe since the 20th century.

Session content

According to the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the 1966 International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, housing was recognized as part of the right to an adequate standard of living.


Europe the political, social, and economic conditions of the 20th century have led to refugee’s crisis in different periods and in different degree for each country. The refugees’ access to housing have differed greatly between the countries, according to cultural, economic, politic, and historical conditions which shaped strategies and programmes. The session examines the urban areas that have been diachronically developed to house refugees in Europe during the 20th century.

It intends to bring to light the role of refugees housing areas dealing with the following issues.

  • The historic framework and the policies of different European countries since the beginning of the 20th century to cover refugees housing needs.
  • The architectural and urban elements of the settlements that have been developed and their adjustment on the cultural identity of their inhabitants.
  • The development of refugees’ settlements and their degree of integration in the city today.
  • The placemaking procedures developed by their residents to create urban environments adjusted to their cultural identity.
  • The role of these areas in the city today as zones of segregation or integration.
  • The interaction between local communities and refugees, including through developing shared public spaces and activities to support integration.
  • The degree of these areas’ conservation as urban historic elements.

S17 'Liveable cities'. Ranking towns through history

Main chair: Prof. Dr. J.E. (Jaap Evert) Abrahamse, Cultural Heritage Agency of the Netherlands, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam
E-mail: jeabrahamse@gmail.com

1st Co-chair: Dr. R.M.R. (Roos) van Oosten, Leiden University
E-mail: r.m.r.van.oosten@arch.leidenuniv.nl

Short abstract

This session focuses on ranking cities through history. We invite researchers to look at history or chorography and compare between cities, compare them over time, or approach rankings from a theoretical perspective. What arguments are made why a city would be best? How have arguments changed over time? Do they differ from ours, or are new indicators available as the city became a subject of scientific research?

Keywords: Urban history, urban chorography, city rankings


Urban history, urban historiography, comparative urban history, ranking cities

Session content

“Generally speaking, one leads the most agreeable life in the greatest, most populous, richest and most powerful cities, where continuous growth is taking place and is still expected.” The polymath Simon Stevin wrote these words in the late sixteenth century, at the dawn of the Dutch Republic. Stevin was the main theorist in military science, fortifications, urbanism, water management, and a great many other subjects. His posthumous volume Materiae Politicae contains a dedication to the government of Amsterdam, the young Republic’s boomtown. Stevin took the opportunity to wish its burgomasters, sheriffs, and councillors ‘continuous expansion of their city’. Stevin summed up the benefits of big cities: they had a highly diversified economy with government institutions, businesses, and industries, they had universities so no one was forced to send their children abroad to study (at great cost), they had artists and a lively cultural scene, and in a big city you would be in the center of the world, because ‘birds flock together at the bait’, and news and curiosities from all over would amass there. Many early modern chorographies and city histories use comparable indicators of urban life.

When compared to the Global Liveability Ranking of today’s cities, published annually in The Economist, we see that the relevance of many aspects of urban life has hardly changed over the centuries. The index ranks stability, health care, culture and environment, education, and infrastructure. The main difference seems to be that it is not by default the largest cities that offer the best quality of life; ‘midsize utopias’ seem to be the new gold standard in comfortable city living. The role of population as an indicator seems to have shifted during the Industrial Revolution. That was the result of not only the detrimental effects of industrial pollution and poor housing on the quality of life, but also the effect of emancipation: it was no longer only the urban elite that mattered.

In this session, we invite researchers to look at urban history or chorography in any media, either books, prints, pictures, or maps. We can compare between cities, to compare cities over time, or approach historical and modern rankings from a more theoretical perspective. What arguments are made as to why a particular city would be the best? How have those arguments changed over time? Do they differ substantially from those in our time, or are new indicators available as the city became more of a subject of scientific research?

S18 Together alone: A long-term perspective on the rise of solo living in cities and towns

Main chair: Dr. Tim Verlaan, Amsterdam Centre for Urban History, University of Amsterdam
E-mail: t.verlaan@uva.nl

1st Co-chair: Noor Vet, MA, Centre for Urban Studies, University of Amsterdam
E-mail: noor_vet@outlook.com

Short abstract

This specialist session offers a historically nuanced and inclusive approach to the opportunities and constraints of living alone. We are interested in the causes and in particular the social and spatial consequences of the growing numbers of people living alone, which we hope to tie into social theories on individuality and the spatial turn. The session’s ultimate goal is to offer a robust analytical framework for identifying the reciprocal relationship between the rise of one-person households across a wide range of social groups, their living arrangements and uses of urban space, and broader individualization processes. Whereas one-person households have traditionally been studied as marginal compared to family households, this session introduces them as the harbingers of a new social reality.

Keywords: One-person households, solitaries, solo living, individualization, loneliness


Social history, architectural history, space/spatial turn, history of emotions, modern history

Session content

The unprecedented rise of one-person households has radically changed how people live together in cities, their understanding of social relations and themselves, and, by extent, the ways in which buildings and urban spaces are organized and used. The phenomenon has manifested itself globally but earliest and strongest in northwestern European capitals, where today around 50% of the urban population lives alone. While COVID-19, the global housing crisis and the ongoing loneliness pandemic have raised some attention for the phenomenon, according to sociologist Eric Klinenberg it remains ‘one of the least discussed and, consequently, most poorly understood issues of our time’. Adopting a long-term perspective and considering age, class, ethnicity and gender backgrounds, this specialist session offers a historically nuanced and inclusive approach to the opportunities and constraints of living alone. It will do so by inviting urban and architectural historians interested in the phenomenon from a global perspective. We are interested in the causes and in particular the social and spatial consequences of the growing numbers of people living alone, which we hope to tie into social theories on individuality and the spatial turn. The session aims to break down the (research) barriers between social groups amongst whom living alone has become prevalent in the second half of the twentieth century, but also welcomes contributions that adopt an even longer historical perspective. The session’s ultimate goal is to offer a robust analytical framework for identifying the reciprocal relationship between the continued rise of one-person households across a wide range of social groups, their living arrangements and uses of urban space, and broader individualization processes. Whereas one-person households have traditionally been studied as marginal compared to family households, this session introduces them as the harbingers of a new social reality.

S19 Industrial Heritage

Main chair: Miloš Matěj, prof., National Heritage Institute, Ostrava Branch
E-mail: matej.milos@npu.cz

1st Co-chair: Marek Peška, Mgr. Ph.D., Archaia Brno, z. ú.
E-mail: mpeska@archaiabrno.cz

Short abstract

Industrial heritage represents one of the cultural heritage segment with the direct formative influence for town development and urbanism. It‘s knowledge, evaluation and preservation requests interdisciplinary approach connecting a lot of scientific specializations: history, technology, archaeology, heritage preservation etc.

Keywords: cultural heritage, industrial heritage, industrial archaeology, methodology of research, evaluation, Ostrava, Brno


Industrial heritage and its formative influence for the city development, methods of the research, evaluation and preservation.

Session content

Industrial heritage represents one of the cultural heritage segment with the formative influence for town and city development and urbanism as well as region transformation.

It will be industrial heritage topic according to the heritage preservation presented at first, the main role is represented by specific values: historical value, typological (related to the development in the technical specialization), functional unit value, value of technological flow or value of systemic and technological interconnections. The principle of the evaluation is the recognition of these specific values and connection to the specific object, site, system, urban situation or region unit.

The subsequent contributions will focused to the specific research and its evaluation, include innovative aproach to application of archaeological methods and digital as well (laser scanning of the terrain etc.) and the conclusions.

The question of industrial city developmment and housig estate problematics is closely connected with industrial history and it is able to illustrated in Ostrava city.

S20 Living at the edge: the form and function of the suburban villa, 1750–1840

Main chair: Jon Stobart, professor, Manchester Metropolitan University
E-mail: j.stobart@mmu.ac.uk

1st Co-chair: Kristine Dyrmann, Dr, University of Oxford
E-mail: kristine.dyrmann@history.ox.ac.uk

Short abstract

Focusing on the eighteenth- and early nineteenth-century suburban villa, this panel explores both the architectural features and the social practices and functions of these dwellings in three very different parts of Europe: Romania, Denmark and England. The papers encompass the growing variety of villas and owners – from royalty to the bourgeoisie.

Keywords: Villa, suburban, architecture, social practice


Social and spatial practices; ways of living; domestic material culture

Session content

Villas were traditionally intermediate homes of the elite, situated on the boundary of city and countryside and forming an escape from both the pressures of urban life and the responsibilities of the country estate. Focusing on the 18th- and early 19th-century suburban villa, this panel explores the architectural features and the social practices and functions of these dwellings in Romania, Denmark and England. The papers encompass the growing variety of villa owners (from royalty to the gentry to the bourgeoisie); they explore the different uses to which villas were put and the ways in which function was linked to form.

S21 Managing and experiencing water, floods and drought in the modern European city (19th–20th centuries)

Main chair: Dr Matthijs Degraeve Vrije Universiteit Brussel
E-mail: matthijs.degraeve@vub.be

1st Co-chair: Dr Andrew McTominey, Leeds Beckett University
E-mail: A.W.McTominey@leedsbeckett.ac.uk

Short abstract

In the modern city, increased vulnerability for floods and droughts led to new forms of confrontation and changing meanings of the relationship between people, their built and natural environments. We aim to gather different experiences of and responses to water scarcity and excess that took urbanites to the boundaries of their physical integrity.

Keywords: Urban environment, water use, urban disasters, floods and drought, 19th-20th centuries


How did urban dwellers and authorities experience and react to excesses and scarcities of water?

Session content

In the modern city, increasing reliance on hydraulic technologies to manage and control urban water flows paradoxically confronted city dwellers and authorities with increased vulnerability and exposure to extreme weather disasters such as floods and droughts. While these have previously been considered to be a part of the natural world over which humans have little control, floods and droughts were often linked to infrastructural reliance which altered the metabolic functions of the city: greater reliance on water sources created the conditions for more usage, which in turn increased the likelihood of drought, while alterations to rivers and the implementation of sewers made floods more likely.

Building on panels at previous EAUH conferences, which have discussed resilience and the urban environment (2018) and the challenges of extreme weather and seasonality (2022), this panel will focus on how urban authorities, communities, and private individuals dealt with the extremes of water supply. The historiography of urban water management is a rapidly developing field, the scope of which has, since Taylor and Trentmann (2011), been broadened towards water users’ politics of everyday life. Building on this, we want to include a wide range of urban actors and their behaviours, including preventive and reactive measures by water users, hydraulic professionals, experts, businesses and urban authorities in relation to flood management, water wastage, etc. These behaviours may have been manifested and embedded in the materiality of the urban fabric, but also in the ideas and representations of the urban relationship with water, in the reactions, contestations and lived experiences of water-related urban disasters.

Focusing specifically on water, a vital resource for the sustenance of the city, will help to further elucidate on transnational urban experiences of and responses to water scarcity and excess. Adding a wider variety of local cases to the table will significantly expand our understanding of the social and cultural history of urban water, as the relationship between cities and their water use was highly dependent on specific local political and socio-environmental contexts that could vary widely across Europe (Tvedt and Oestigaard 2014, 13; Soens et al. 2019, 19-20).

Since the history of urban water use has a great potential for interdisciplinarity, we welcome contributions that address urban floods and droughts from a wide range of perspectives and disciplines, including but not limited to social, environmental, technological, construction and business history. In particular, we encourage contributions that link past practices to current needs to achieve more sustainable urban water use. Both floods and droughts remain major environmental challenges today, and many lessons can be learned by looking at the past (Harvey-Fishenden 2021).

S22 Tange transnational – Japanese futures for European cities

Main chair: Katja Schmidtpott, Prof. Dr., Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Faculty of East Asian Studies
E-mail: Katja.Schmidtpott@rub.de

1st Co-chair: Beate Löffler, PD Dr., TU Dortmund, Department of Architecture and Civil Engineering
E-mail: beate.loeffler@tu-dortmund.de

Short abstract

Tange Kenzō (1913-2005) was the first non-Western to influence modern urban planning ideas on a global scale. We aim to understand why he became accepted as part of the Western-dominated avant-garde of architects, and how his ideas and projects have shaped European discourses on urban futures.

Keywords: Tange Kenzō, urban planning, urban design, Europe, Japan


urban planning, urban design, transnational urban history

Session content

Modern ideas about urban futures easily transcend national boundaries. However, until the 1950s, urban theory and architectural design concepts invariably originated in Europe or in the US, and the resulting global flow of ideas was mainly unidirectional „from the West to the rest“. Around 1960, the flow finally began to change direction when Tange Kenzō (1913-2005) became the first non-Western architect whose ideas were received globally. This resulted in a variety of influences, ranging from inspirations for certain single buildings or megastructures designed or built by European architects to the actual realisation of cities or parts of cities in Europe by Tange‘s office (e.g., Skopje, Bologna).

The panel aims at examining Tange‘s influence on European architecture and urban planning in a comprehensive way. We aim to understand why he became accepted as part of the Western-dominated global avant-garde of architects, and how his ideas and projects have shaped European discourses on urban futures.

We seek to understand how Tange‘s architectural and planning ideas were transferred to Europe in terms of networks, exhibitions, languages and media. What impact did his individual designs such as the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum or larger events such as the World Design Conference 1960 in Tokyo have in terms of Tange‘s publicity in Europe? What were the motives that led European stakeholders from different areas of construction-related decision-making, such as municipalities, interest groups and professional associations, to invite Tange to participate in competitions or to commission him directly? In a world divided by the Cold War, how important – if at all - was his Non-Western background, especially for the discussion of his works in eastern Europe and for the Skopje project? How did the planning processes in Tange‘s European projects proceed in terms of his involvement in the realization or the accompanying media coverage?

We invite scholars from various disciplines, including but not limited to urban history and urban planning, cultural studies and architectural history, to present case studies of realized or unrealized projects in various European countries. We also invite papers on the discussion of Tange's designs and buildings by European architects and urban planners or on the coverage of Tange in European architecture and planning journals or in the general media.

S23 Awaiting the Attack. Border Towns and Cities in Times of Rising Military Threat in Central and Eastern Europe since the 19th Century

Main chair: Frank Rochow, Dr., Brandenburg University of Technology Cottbus-Senftenberg, Germany
E-mail: Frank.Rochow@b-tu.de

1st Co-chair: Heidi Hein-Kircher, PD Dr., Herder Institute for Historical Research on East Central Europe – Institute of the Leibniz Association, Marburg, Germany
E-mail: heidi.hein-kircherc@herder-institut.de

2nd Co-chair: Aleksander Łupienko, PhD, Tadeusz Manteuffel Institute of History of the Polish Academy of Sciences, Poland
E-mail: ollup@wp.pl

Short abstract

By focussing on the complex interplay between their local actors and populations and the central state, the special role of border cities within modern states is highlighted. The session aims at bringing together analyses of different cities and spheres to develop a holistic view of the repercussions of military threat on urban communities.

Keywords: urban politics, securitization, multi-ethnic cities, military history, urban heritage, border


urban mobilisation in border cities in times of rising military threat

Session content

Border cities are seismographs of international relations. In times of peace and cooperation their economies can flourish and people from both sides of the border can interact. Consequently, they are also the first that witness repercussions of rising international tensions. Focussing on situations of (perceived) military threat from the neighboring country, this session will shed light on the various implications that modes of international politics have on urban societies and local communities since the 19th century in Central and Eastern Europe. On the one hand, towns and cities themselves will be object of investigation. How does the situation of rising hostilities affect local politics? How do modes of inclusion and exclusion change? What actors dominate the scene and within which discourses are they located? These questions are in particular interesting in multi-ethnic urban settings. It will involve the issue of how the function of border towns and cities as logistical backbone for military activities influences local politics and the economic life of these places. Once military troops are stationed, are they perceived as protectors of the city or rather as danger? How does the growing visibility of the military affect the security and gender roles in the city? And can the urban elite maintain its right to  self-governance in this moment of massive intrusion by central state power executors? How do local actors position themselves vis-á-vis central state activities? Another field of investigation will concentrate on how specific parts of the urban population deal with the perspective of their city eventually becoming a military battleground. What measures do they take to prepare and to protect themselves and their property? When do they decide to leave the city and how does this affect the urban life? A special focus will be laid on stakeholders of urban heritage and their role in the preparation and protection of the tangible as well as intangible heritage of the city.

On the other hand, we are interested in the role border towns and cities play within the state-wide discourse produced during the preparations for an awaited attack. What argumentative function is ascribed to them to mobilise the population for the foreseen military campaign? What role do militaries ascribe to border cities for the general combat morale as well as for strategic planning? And what measures does the central state undertake to prepare the hinterland for sustaining the city and to evacuate its population in case this will be necessary? By combining both perspectives, this session will provide insights into the complex interplay between the central state and urban communities in general as well as border towns and cities in particular. It will highlight the analytical potential of extraordinary situations to understand the complexity of urban settings in respect to political discourses and their existing, though not always openly visible, conflict lines.

S24 City across the borders – borders across the city

Main chair: Aleš Zářický, prof. PhDr., Ph.D., University of Ostrava

1st Co-chair: Jarosław Kłaczkow, prof. dr hab., Uniwersytet Mikołaja Kopernika / Nicolaus Copernicus University (Toruń, Poland) E-mail: jak@umk.pl

2nd Co-chair: Hana Šústková, Mgr., Ph.D., Ostrava City Archive (Ostrava, Czech Republic
E-mail: hsustkova@ostrava.cz

Short abstract

The city is viewed as a heterogeneous organism. It perceives the city as a space in which negotiations take place among the various interests of vertically and horizontally separated groups, which are outwardly manifested in the transformations of the spatial arrangement of the settlement.

Keywords: city, borders, society, culture, ethnicity, nationalism, religion, separation, segregation


economic, social and cultural history

Session content

The aim of the section is to describe the transformations of the city during the 19th and 20th centuries in Central Europe. The emphasis is primarily on capturing this dynamic. Cities are not homogeneous mechanisms, but are primarily formed by the interests of vertically and horizontally separated groups. Although they influence each other, they can be quite impenetrable or antagonistic. Thus, the perception and conception of the city is influenced by social, religious,cultural, economic, ethnic or national affiliations and combinations thereof. The formation of these subcultures within the city may occur spontaneously, genetically, i.e. as part of the evolutionary change of the locality under study, or they may be the result of transformative revolutionary changes (wars, migration, economic development, etc.). Also, the city may be forcibly transformed by political decisions that do not respect historical developments. In particular, we welcome papers that focus on:

  • the causes of these dynamics and their consequences (a city divided by war, a city divided by industrialization, religious segregation, etc., etc.);
  • the theoretical concept of the divided city;
  • the urban organism as a response to historical events and its transformation;
  • self-identification and self-reflection of a selected urban group;
  • the ideology of the urban group and its manifestations in the space of the city;
  • instruments remodelling the inner boundaries of cities;
  • the problems associated with the reunification of divided cities.lines.

S25 Building Codes, Morphology, And The Appearance Of Cities

Main chair: Josef Holeček, Ing. arch., Fakulta architektury ČVUT v Praze
E-mail: josef.holecek@fa.cvut.cz

1st Co-chair: Prof. Dr. Harald R. Stühlinger, FHNW Muttenz, Switzerland
E-mail: harald.stuehlinger@fhnw.ch

Short abstract

In most of Europe, modern building codes began to emerge in the 19th century. They vary in different environments according to political and economic developments, and their wording often directly influences the future shape of cities. The aim of this session is to confront different regulations and to reflect on what their heritage means for today.

Keywords: building codes, 19. and 20. century, urban planning, street network, composition of the facades, perception, urban landscape


Description and comprehension of the influence of building codes on the urban development of European cities

Session content

Contemporary building regulations have an unprecedented impact on the built environment. The regulations determine the position of the building on a plot in relation to the street line and other buildings, the required layer of thermal insulation in conventional construction usually determines the composition of the façade, the requirements for energy self-sufficiency of the building determine the number of solar panels to be installed on the roof. The final project is thus determined by different regulations that the builder must consider whilst designing.

A similar story has been playing out across Europe since at least the nineteenth century, and in some places even earlier. However, the simpler the legislation was at that time, the more clearly it affected the form of the cities: the composition of their street network, the dislocation of specific functions, but also the morphology of the development, the size of the building or the very form of the facade (a factor that is not insignificant, especially in the nineteenth century, when a wave of historicism is on its way through Europe).

The reality of the specifics of individual building codes and how they, along with other regulations, have affected different cities is usually confronted in specific cases of settlements where these developments are traced chronologically. In most European countries, this topic is independently examined, but these experiences are not confronted with each other. The intention of the session is to  enable the meeting of different synchronic situations and approaches that existed across Europe, particularly in the 19th and early 20th centuries. The contributions should also follow the actors of the process. The legal arrangements influenced both the founders themselves (nobility, industrialists, and especially local governments) in the demarcation of new territorial units, and smaller investors, for whom the arrangements clearly defined the extent of their investment. Reflecting on these requirements was then the task of urban surveyors who designed street networks and architects who submitted designs for grand competitions, but also built simple and plain tenement houses. However, many other people are also part of the process: officials, contractors, and independent workers. Even their position is often clearly specified in contemporary law, and it may be relevant to recall them in certain situations.

Building codes are usually constructed with the clear and obvious goal of enabling the development of a modern, habitable, and sanitary city. However, their wording indirectly influences many other factors, such as the appearance of buildings themselves. The general aim of the session is to use historical facts to highlight the influence of legislation on the built environment, and through this excursion to show how many unexpected factors are limited by building legislation today, and whether these are intractable problems or architecturally solvable obstacles.

S26 Visual Representations as a Path to Participatory Urban History?

Main chair: Kathrin Meißner, M.A., Center for Metropolitan Studies, Technische Universität Berlin
E-mail: kathrin.meissner108@posteo.de

1st Co-chair: Sebastian Haumann, Prof. Dr., Department of Economic, Social and Environmental History, Paris Lodron, Universität Salzburg
E-mail: sebastian.haumann@plus.ac.at

Short abstract

Visualizations are widely understood to facilitate communication between academic historians and an interested public. They seem to hold great potential to open up urban historiography towards the ideals of “Citizens Science”. With this session we want to initiate a critical discussion on visualizations as a mean to engage actors beyond academia.

Keywords: Citizen Science, visualisation, participation, visual methods, urban representation, communication


Citizen Science, Participatory Urban History, Visual History, visual representation

Session content

Visualizations have become an integral part of urban historiography because they are seen as a means to reach out to a broader public. This includes the reproduction of historical photographs or plans but also mapping techniques and increasingly interactive digital representations aimed at engaging diverse actors beyond academia. However, the potential of visualizations to serve as a catalyst for communicating urban history across different audiences has not yet been discussed systematically. On the one hand, the use of visual representations has become more sophisticated as historians developed a refined methodology and new technologies opened up new horizons for analyzing, sharing and presenting visual materials. On the other hand, visual representations are central to the popular understanding of the urban past as they depict fragments of ‘lost’ urban realities and vest them in new meanings. But are maps, photographs or images therefore really suited to bring together academic scrutiny and popular interest? With this session we critically address the potential of visualizations as a communicative instrument that brings together analytical methods of professional historiography and the public interest in images as representations. We want to discuss how the analysis of visual sources as well as methods of visualization can be used in research practices oriented towards the ideals of “Citizen Science”. How can professional and lay researchers collaborate e.g., on the interpretation of old photographs or in the production of digital maps? What is to be gained by involving different actors in these research practices? How can visualizations help to diversify the social basis of urban historiography? Because visualizations are both an object of academic scrutiny and a means to engage a broader public, they might open up new ways into participatory research. But are they more accessible to lay historians and the interested public or does their use create new obstacles? How important are scientific competences and the sophisticated methodologies to analyze visual sources and their multilayered representations? What kind of historic realities will be reproduced, and can new approaches contribute to overcome fragmentation in urban historiography? How do research practices need to be adapted to fully make use of visualizations as a communicative instrument?

We invite papers that examine the potential as well as the challenges of using visual media to engage diverse actors in urban historiography. We are interested to learn not only about the success stories of inclusion but also about the persistency of exclusion that might come with the use of visual material. We welcome contributions that discuss these issues from a theoretical perspective as well as from the experience of concrete research projects. The broader aim is to place the reflection on the use of visualizations in urban historiography within the emerging debates on “Citizen Science“ or architecturally solvable obstacles.

S27 Self-organized Emergency Housing in Postwar Europe

Main chair: Juhana Heikonen, DSc. (Arch.), postdoc, University of Helsinki
E-mail: juhana.heikonen@gmail.com

1st Co-chair: Kristo Vesikansa, editor in chief History, Finnish Architectural Review

Short abstract

In the first decade after the Second World War, European urban areas were in dire need of housing. Large parts of urban areas had been destroyed, and both the authorities and industry made plans to convert the war machine into producing civilian construction. This session focuses on self-organised emergency housing, both temporary and permanent.

Keywords: postwar; housing; self-organized; immigration; pre-fabrication


housing; postwar housing; emergency housing; self-organized housing; immigration; pre-fabrication

Session content

Self-organised Urban Emergency Housing in Post-war Europe

During the first decade after the Second World War, Europe’s urban areas were in dire need of new housing. The displaced population and large-scale destruction of the housing stock resulted in numerous public emergency initiatives. The war machine was transformed to produce new types of housing and building materials. This session focuses on urban self-organised emergency housing, both temporary and permanent solutions. The focus is on self-builders, who had to get by with their own work input and their own tools, possibly with support provided by the state or municipalities through financing instruments, urban planning, standard house plans and construction advice.

This session seeks to recognize and shed light to the varieties of emergency housing. The new residents might have been persons who had lost their homes because of the massive war damage in urban areas or forced immigration from the countryside. These housing solutions could range from, for example, temporary British aluminum AIROH houses built in urban areas to more permanent solutions such as post-war housing solutions in Greece. Prefabrication was often a shared goal, toward new which new innovations were developed. There however were also local urban projects that made use of traditional construction methods and organized co-op’s that received little or no government help, except for master planning. These solutions varied between different parts of Europe due to historical specificities in ownership structures and legislation, and at the boundaries between suburban and densly built urban. For example, in Finnish urban areas war veterans and war widows were active on this field, founding their own housing companies to up to 200 units per house. In this case, they received interest subsidy from the state, and fast master planning and land acquisition from the municipalities.

We welcome papers on post-war self-organised housing solutions in urban areas, whether they are initiatives of individual persons or ad-hoc groups approved by the state, or groups that received modest help from the authorities through urban planning, standard house plans or financial support. But otherwise, the builders had to organise the construction mostly based on their own work input and their own tools.

We also welcome other closely related perspectives, for example papers focusing on the post-war changes in legislation in Europe that were aiming to ease and lower the threshold for self-organized housing construction, or urban planning, and practices of postwar acquisitions and repairs of partially destroyed housing in urban areas.

S28 3D Reconstructions of Urban History: Possibilities and Challenges

Main chair: Nathan van Kleij, dr, University of Amsterdam
E-mail: n.p.d.w.vankleij@uva.nl

1st Co-chair: Tijm Lanjouw, MA, Leiden University
E-mail: t.j.r.lanjouw@arch.leidenuniv.nl

Short abstract

This session concerns the possibilities and challenges with regard to 3D reconstructions of urban history. We aim to invite scholars from different disciplines – urban historians, archaeologists, architectural historians (working in the field of antiquity to modern history) – that have worked or consider working with 3D reconstructions of interiors, buildings, neighborhoods etc. Topics and questions we like to bring forward are (1) how 3D reconstructions strengthen historical analysis; (2) how to deal with absence or inconsistency of data and source material; and (3) the extent of uncertainties in reconstructing the urban past in 3D and how to justify and present them.

Keywords: 3D Reconstructions of Urban History: Possibilities and Challenges


3D Reconstructions; Buildings; Cityscapes; Urban Space; Data and Sources

Session content

Especially in the fields of archaeology and art/achitectural history 3D modelling as a technique for visual documentation, analysis and representation has developed rapidly. In recent years, the use of 3D reconstructions amongst urban historians has taken flight as well, taking the oppurtunity to further analyse the urban past by the visualization of interiors, buildings, streets, neighbourhoods and cities – ancient to modern – that no longer exist. The papers in this session will present both the possiblities and challenges of such 3D reconstructions of urban history.

3D reconstruction is used in academic research for different purposes: it can be the main outcome of a study, for example as visual representation of what is historically documented or as an illustration of an idea or hypothesis based on other source material. This results in both 2D illustrations (renders) and increasingly in 3D models that can be interacted with. It can also fuction as part of the research process itself: 3D reconstruction and the modelling helps to better understand the urban past, to experience spatial relations and gives insight in how urban space and buildings funtioned. In addition, interaction with 3D reconstructions, for example by adding or changing light, could provide new insights with regard to historical sites as well as the historical actor‘s experiences of urban environments. This session will give floor to contributions that focus on 3D reconstructions as research environments and outcomes, centring around the question how 3D reconstruction is part of the reseach of urban historians. The question can be approached from a practical standpoint, for instance: how do such environments provide other or new insights and analysis, or a theoretical standpoint. Do 3D reconstruction or virtual environments based on it, support new or different theoretical perspectives?

At the same time, many of such reconstruction projects come with challenges concerning source material and degrees of (un)certainty. How to deal with cases for which limited archeological remains or historical images, historical descriptions, or comparable contemporary spaces and objects are available? How can we approach urban environments for which specific source material is inconsistent or even absent? And as a follow-up question: how can projects account for and integrate a degree of uncertainty? Contributors in this session may reflect on such issues as well, in order to discuss, explore and strenghten furter potential use of 3D reconstruction of urban history.

S29 Border cities in the Öresung-region

Main chair: Henning Bro. Senior researcher, PhD, City archive of Frederiksberg, Denmark
E-mail: Hebr02@frederiksberg.dk

1st Co-chair: Hanne Sanders. Professor, PhD, The Department of History, Lund University, Sweden
E-mail: hanne.sanders@hist.lu.se

Short abstract

At the session, an introduction to the development of the cities along the Öresund in southernmost Scandinavia is given. It begins with a brief presentation of this urban development and a status of the research positions. This is followed by three presentations that shed light on aspects of the interaction between the Öesund cities from the Middle Ages up to the post-war period. The presentations lead to a discussion about differences and similarities in the development and interaction between the cities across the state border in the Öresund, and other European border city regions, and whether these have acquired the character of more integrated city regions.

Keywords: Scandinavia, Sweden, Denmark, Zealand (Denmark), Northeast Zealand (Denmark), Scania (Sweden), Öresund, The Öresund region, Copenhagen, Denmark), Malmö (Sweden), Helsingborg, (Sweden), Elsinore (Denmark), Landskrona (Sweden), Trelleborg (Sweden), Lund (Sweden), Baltic states, Western Europe


The Middle Ages, the 16th-17th century, the 19th century, the 20th century, market towns, The Danish capital metropolis (The Copenhagen region), urbanization, industrial capitalism, interaction, urban belt, city regions, border cities, border city regions, border.

Session content

As the only place in Scandinavia, already in the Middle Ages, five market towns arose along the Øresund at a relatively short distance: Copenhagen, Elsinore, Helsingborg, Landskrona and Malmö. The cities linked the western and eastern Danish landscapes (Zealand and Scania) together and were at the same time a central point for international trade between the Baltic countries and Western Europe. A position that from the 17th century was weakened or changed by the direct sailing between these parts of Europe and by the fact that the border between Denmark and Sweden was laid in Öresund in 1658.

Although the market towns at Öresund continued to be decisive for the interaction between Zealand and Scania, this southernmost Swedish province did not share in the denser settlement, greater prosperity and occupational differentiation that came to characterize Northeast Zealand until the middle of the 19th century. A consequence of Copenhagen consolidating the economic and political-administrative position of the Danish capital and Scandinavia's largest city from the 17th century.

Regional differences between the landscapes on either side of the Öresund, which were evened out to an ever greater degree with the urbanization of industrial capitalism from the middle of the 19th century. So that in the 20th century two urban regions developed on opposite sides of the Öresund: In Danish Zealand a capital metropolis with Copenhagen as the center and in Swedish Scania an urban belt between Trelleborg in the south and Helsingborg in the north and with the center in Malmö.

At the round table meeting, an introduction to the development of the cities in the Öresund region and a status of the research positions are given. This is followed by three presentations that shed light on: The market town of Elsinore in the urban system around Öresund from the Middle Ages to the 20th century, labor migrations in the Öresund-region from the end of the 18th century to 1900 and Swedish electricity export to the Danish capital metropolis and Danish leisure settlement in southern Sweden since the mid-20th century. The presentations lead to a discussion about differences and similarities in the development and interaction between the cities across the state border in the Öresund region and other European border city regions and whether these have acquired the character of more integrated city regions.

S30 (De)constructing Cold War Urban Space Along the Border: the case of Yugoslavia, Italy, and beyond

Main chair: prof. Borut Klabjan, Science and Research Centre of Koper
E-mail: Borut.Klabjan@zrs-kp.si

1st Co-chair: researcher Federico Tenca Montini, Regional Institute for the History of the Resistance and the Contemporary Age, Trieste
E-mail: federicotenca@gmail.com

Short abstract

This session will discuss urban policies as a constituent factor of the Cold War representations. The case of the Italian-Yugoslav border poses the basis for further discussion to  strengthen/deconstruct the discourse on ideologically-charged urban policies as a field of confrontation which may or may not be an exclusive feature of the Cold war.

Keywords: Borderland cities, Cold war cities, Contested cities, Modernism, Media and the city.


A discussion between experts on the importance of cold-war dynamics in urban developments

Session content

The case of the Italian-Yugoslav border area, which is the topic of interest of the ERC project Open Borders, will pose the basis for further discussion to strengthen/deconstruct the discourse on ideologically-charged urban policies as a field of confrontation between States which may or may not be an exclusive feature of the Cold war, provided such confrontation was more visible between countries which belonged to different ideological blocks or other poles of political and ideological confrontation such as developed/ developing countries. The Yugoslav hence offers a perfect point to start a discussion on the topic, as Belgrade was both the capital of a socialist country and the capital of the country which de facto led the nonaligned movement.

Speaking first about contested city of Trieste on the border between Italy and Yugoslavia, its urban fabric underwent post-war reconstruction that left little space for anything outside the imaginary of “Italianess”. On the other side of the border, Venetian towns were reconfigured along the new requirements of the socialist modernization and the new town of Nova Gorica was built as the spatial semblance of socialism opposite to the capitalist order on the other side of the border. Numerous monuments erected on both side of the border conveyed a clear message to whom this area belongs.

Although ideological markers remained clearly visible, urban space along the Italian-Yugoslav border changed its function of national and ideological demarcation into the place of exchanges. Rather than assuming its original role as a “lighthouse” of socialism/capitalism, these towns established themselves as an entering point either in Western or Eastern direction, a meeting space of people, goods and ideas. If the Berlin ceased to be such place in 1961, towns along the Yugoslav-Italian border welcomed increasing number of visitors from the other side of the border.

Talking about Italian and Slovenian (Yugoslav) political and media discourses revolving around urban space, our round table will deal with the issue how the changing political circumstances influenced the discourse about the urban space: what was espoused as divisive in the immediate post-war years and how the later transformation was represented before the general public from both sides of the border. In this regard, the typical issue was how to accommodate and justify Nova Gorica’s gambling facilities. Moreover, media discourse analysis offers insight of both how the Yugoslav press and TV portraited urban developments on the two sides of the border, how the Italian media did it, and the role of the media controlled by the Slovene minority in Trieste.

The discussion will be open to scholars who are familiar with urban studies in borderland other than the contact zone between the Communist and Capitalist worlds, which will help develop an approach to borderland urban studies better aware of stereotypes which often affect even the most established scholars.

Updated: 22. 09. 2023