Submission deadline:

September 30, 2022

Reconstructed cities, cities under reconstruction

20-21 January, 2023
Brest
France

Institute of Geoarchitecture of the University of Western Brittany
Faculty of Architecture of the Technical University of Dresden
Faculty of Architecture of the Brno University of Technology
Maison de l’Allemagne (House of Germany) in Brest

Within the framework of the project RES URBANAE, funded by the Creative Europe Programme (2022-2024):
Taking as a starting point the cities of Brest and Dresden, whose histories reveal common trajectories – they were both rebuilt in a coordinated manner after their destruction during the Second World War – the project aims to offer a new perspective that updates the knowledge and historiography of urban history, particularly that of reconstruction.

Since the 1980s, reflections on reconstruction have also included the problems linked to massive reconversions, which, for mono-industrial cities in particular, resulted in a de-skilling that was as important, both materially and symbolically, as the destruction caused by war. In cities such as Dresden or Brest, which prided themselves on having regained or reconstituted their identity during the decades of reconstruction, the structural changes triggered a new wave of upheaval and debate from the 1990s onwards. The rehabilitation and heritage processes followed quite similar trajectories.

The RES URBANAE project therefore proposes to question the processes of urban creation that are at work, as well as the resilience of the cities that are emerging. It is interested both in the urban transformations that have been carried out and in the proposals that have remained on paper, insofar as they express, if not utopias, at least new possibilities for planning and development. 

The international symposium:
The symposium will bring together speakers from a variety of backgrounds, be it geographical, professional (doctoral students, academics, artists, professionals, etc.) or disciplinary (architecture, urban planning, landscape, art history, literature, plastic arts, etc.), around the notion of reconstruction. This will be understood in a broad sense, favouring a transnational and transhistorical reading of the processes of reconstruction that have been or are at work in European and non-European territories. 

The temporal framework of the post-Second World War period could be widened by addressing the postwar reconstruction processes in Spain (1936-1938) or Yugoslavia (1991-1995). Similarly, while studies of post-war reconstruction will be expected, those undertaken following destruction caused by other phenomena (such as the fire in Thessaloniki in 1917, the earthquakes in Lisbon in 1755 and Skopje in 1963, the explosion in Beirut in 2004, etc.) will be considered. As the war in Ukraine continues, the projects already envisaged for its reconstruction could be given special attention. For each case, the historical dimension will be essential, but the prospective dimension will also be addressed, particularly through the issues of urban renewal and territorial resilience.

See the detailed call here

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