EHU invites to a symposium “Populism and the City”

On December 15 in the Vilnius Academy of Arts the Laboratory of Critical Urbanism of the European Humanities University (EHU) holds a symposium “Populism and the City”. During the event Lithuanian and international experts will discuss tendencies of non-expert participation in urban development.

“Populism and the City” embraces the tendency of cities being projected, designed, surveilled and represented by a growing number of actors and increasingly beyond a routinely professionalist approach. And further, it aims to discuss modes of participation, responsibility, collectivism and identity-making thus emerging. The given tendency is recognized in the creation, popularization and even institutionalization of modes of knowledge about the city, which provide awareness of previously hidden or specialized aspects of urban planning that go beyond a technocratic vision. It is also recognized in the spread of movements that frame rights and citizenship in urban terms and encourage a more active reclaiming of city resources. Besides, it is recognized in an emerging and strengthening tendency of a democratization and de-technocratization of the urban design process, with growing community participation in architectural and design practice. This participatory turn is taking place not only in design activities, but also across disciplinary boundaries in the social sciences, in projects focused on both urban and rural communities, and on institutions, infrastructures and individuals. One can agree or disagree on whether this turn is new and unprecedented, or whether it was a feature of many political projects in the history of the modern state. Furthermore, the empirical cases discussed at the Symposium might suggest that this tendency can be emancipatory and empowering, as well as repressive and manipulative. And that it can have different driving forces and implications in the history of the Scandinavian welfare state, in post-Soviet reconstructions of sovereignty, or in Asian post-colonial or post-conflict modernizations.

The program of the symposium:

10.00 Welcoming and introductory remarks by Siarhei Liubimau (European Humanities University, Vilnius)

10.20 Participation, Technocracy and Populism in Urban Design Today

Emilia Palonen (University of Helsinki) – Becoming the People in Maunula

Liutauras Nekrošius and Indrė Ruseckaitė (Vilnius Gediminas Technical University) – The Participatory Aspect in Architectural Education

Giedrė Godienė (Vilnius University) – Participatory Approach and Practices in Urban Design and Planning in Lithuania: Biržai Public Space Vision Co-creation

11.50 Coffee

12.10 Moral (Dis)Orders in Digitally Mediated Urbanisation

Marjaana Jauhola (University of Helsinki) – The New Woman: Female Political Populism and Careful Management of Women’s Good Reputation

Ian M. Cook (Central European University, Budapest) – Immoral Times: Vigilantism in a South Indian City

Pekka Tuominen (University of Helsinki) – Moral Qualities of Neighborhoods: Sense of Belonging and Urban Transformation

13.40 Lunch break

15.30 Varieties of Populism between Placemaking and Global Competition

Ūla Tornau (Contemporary Art Centre, Vilnius) – A Contested Memorial Project as a Playground of Political Populism: a Recent Workshop for the Memorial on Lukiskes‘ Square in Vilnius

Dalia Čiupailaitė (Vilnius University) – A Reconceptualization of Public Libraries: From Knowledge To Social Infrastructure

Benjamin Cope (European Humanities University, Vilnius) – Euro 2012 in Warsaw: Statehood and Global Mega-Events

The symposium will take place at the Vilnius Academy of Arts (Maironio Str. 3), Felixas Daukantas Auditorium 112.