Lost and Transformed Cities: A digital perspective, November 17-18, 2016

Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities, Nova University of Lisbon, Lisbon, Portugal

The city is by definition a living entity. It translates itself into a collectiveness of individuals who share and act on a material, social and cultural setting. Its history is one of dreams, achievements and loss. As such, it also bears a history of identity.

To know the history of cities is to understand our own place in the contemporaneity. The past is always seen through the eyes of the present and can only be understood as such.

Time erases memory through development and disaster. Cities can simply disappear because they lost their status in society, suffered severe catastrophes or transformed themselves so radically that their history is no longer materially traceable. They can also exemplary absorb the built and cultural heritage through rehabilitation and re-use. Archaeologists, historians, art historians, geographers, anthropologists and sociologists try to decipher and interpret a diverse but comparable amount of data in order to translate remote realities into a contemporaneous discourse. The more interconnected the research is the more efficient it becomes.

Digital technology is playing a major role in the study of the city and the preservation of its built and cultural heritage. It allows the collecting, processing and testing of an extensive amount of data in a swift and proficient manner. It also enables interdisciplinary research teams to work collaboratively, often in real time. Digital technology applied to the study of cities and their cultural heritage not only widens the scope of the research, but also allows its dissemination in an interactive fashion to an extensive and diverse audience.

Through the intersection of digital technology with historical practice it is possible to convey a perspective of the past as a sensorial-perceptive reality. The resulting knowledge furthers the understanding of the present-day city and the planning of the city of the future. Cities in the digital realm are, therefore, presented in their historical continuum, in their comprehensive and complex reality and are opened to interaction in a contemporary social context.

On the occasion of the 261st anniversary of the 1755 earthquake in Lisbon, we invite scholars and experts in the fields of heritage studies, digital humanities, history, history of art and information technology to share and debate their experience and knowledge on digital heritage. We aim for an integrative perspective of the study of lost or transformed urban realities stressing its multidisciplinary character and the impact of the digital in this equation.

We especially welcome papers that address (but are not necessarily limited to) the following topics:

  • The historic city from 2D to virtual and augmented reality;
  • Cities as virtual museums;
  • Cities, tourism and digital heritage;
  • Digital Heritage: methodological and epistemological challenges;
  • The contemporary city and digital citizenship.

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