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The Welfare City after the Year 2000

Friday-Saturday, December 3-4,1999
Richard Mortensensstuen, Studenternes Hus
Organiser: Niels Albertsen

The evolution of welfare society has to a great degree been the evolution of the city. The Danish welfare state is a city-built welfare society. City-based welfare has become more and more »culturalised« since the 1980s. In the growing international, national, and regional competition between cities, urban welfare has increasingly become a question of the supply of cultural benefits: art museums, operas, theatres and aesthetically interesting city environments. It is a question of differentiating oneself so as to take the advantage in inter-urban competition. At the same time, the city is being polarised and pluralised ethnically, socially and as physical surroundings. The question of urban welfare is thus posed under new conditions, with consequences reaching beyond the year 2000.

Much sociological and geographic urban research has lacked insight into the cultural and aesthetic importance of urban environments. This arrangement is planned partly to overcome the distance between the city's social and cultural discourses, partly to discuss humanistic perspectives on the evolution of welfare society and the city after the year 2000.

The conference has been made possible by contributions from SHF and in co-operation with Aarhus School of Architecture.


Friday, December 3, 1999

10:00-10:15 am Niels Albertsen: Welcome and Introduction
10:15-12:00 Scott Lash: Grounding the City in the Global Information Age
12:00-1:00 pm Lunch
1:00-2:15 Svend Erik Larsen: Does Urban Culture (continue to) exist?
2:15-2:45 Coffee Break
2:45-4:00 Deirdre Boden: Cities, Objects and Actors: the Case of Global Branding
4:00-5:00 Panel discussion
Saturday, December 4, 1999
10:00 am -12:00 François Ascher: The Transformation of Urban Welfare in the Metapolis
12:00-1:00 Lunch
1:00-2:15 Bülent Diken: Welfare and Mobility
2:15-2:45 Coffee break
2:45-4:00 René Kural: Welfare, Virtuality and Body Culture in the Informational City
4:.00-5:00 Panel Discussion and Concluding Remarks


François Ascher
Professor at l'Institut Français d'Urbanisme (Université Paris VIII) and scientific consultant for "Plan, Urbanisme, Construction, Architecture". Ascher's research includes economical, political, social, cultural, planning and architectural aspects of contemporary urban problems. He has recently published Métapolis ou l'avenir des villes (1995) and La République contre la ville. Essai sur l'avenir de la France urbaine (1998).

Deirdre Boden
Professor of Communication at the Department of Intercultural Communication and Management, Copenhagen Business School. President of the Research Committee on Sociolinguistics within the International Sociological Association. Boden's sociological research is within ethnomethodology and conversational analysis Her recent research is on global cultural products and the the multi-layered ways in which objects mediate and transform the spaces they co-constitute. Her publications include Talk and Social Structure: Studies in Ethnomethodology and Conversational analysis (co-editor, 1993), The Business of Talk: Organizations in Action (1994) and NowHere: Space, Time and Modernity (co-editor, 1994).

Bülent Diken
Ph.D., Lecturer at the Department of Sociology, Lancaster University. Diken's research synthesises social theory with questions of immigration and urban planning and development. His publications include Fra østtyrkiet til Vestdanmark. Fra landsbyliv til ghettotilværelse i det fascinerende og kedelige Ikast (1995) and Strangers, Ambivalence and Social Theory (1998).

René Kural
Architect, Ph.D. and Senior Researcher on the Welfare City Research Project, Aarhus School of Architecture. Kural's research has been focussed on new architecture and modern big cities. His publications include Informationssamfundets arkitektur (1995), Traces of new cityscapes- Metropolis' on the Verge of the 21st Century (editor, 1997) and Playing fields - Alternative Spaces for Sports, Culture and Recreation (1999).

Svend Erik Larsen
Dr. Phil., Professor at the Department of Comparative Literature, University of Aarhus, and former Director of the Humanities Research Center, Man and Nature (Odense University). Focal points in his research are literature in modern urban culture and semiotics. His publications include City and nature: changing relations in time and space (co-editor, 1994), Naturen er ligeglad: naturopfattelser i kulturel sammenhæng (1996), "Gärten und Parks" (Zeitschrift für Semiotik XIX, 1-2) (editor, 1997) and La rue - espace ouvert (co-editor, 1997).

Scott Lash
Director of the Centre for Cultural Studies and Professor of Sociology at Goldsmiths College, University of London. A central concern of his research, which crosses the boundaries between cultural theory and social theory, is questions of modernity with a special focus on visual cultures, architecture and urban space and life. He has published Militant Worker (1984), Max Weber, Rationality and Modernity (co-editor,1987), The End of Organized Capitalism (co-author,1987), Sociology of Postmodernism (1990), Modernity and Identity (co-editor, 1992), Economies of Signs and Space (co-author, 1994), Reflexive Modernization (co-author 1994), Detraditionalization (co-editor, 1996) and Another Modernity. A Different Rationality (1999).

Niels Albertsen
Associate Professor at the Aarhus School of Architecture and Director of the Welfare City Research Project (1997-2002), which is funded by the Danish Research Councils and the Aarhus School of Architecture.

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Updated 21 November 2000 by smc. Please mail comments to the web editor at Centre for Cultural Research.