Lecture: Has the global city lost its soul?

15 March 2013

What defines a big city? Urban sociologist Professor Sharon Zukin gives an open lecture, 26 March.

What actually distinguishes a big city? Has the global city lost its soul? The 26 March urban sociologist Professor Sharon Zukin will give an open lecture during her visit to the Institute for Housing and Urban Research at Uppsala University.

Sharon Zukin is professor at Brooklyn College, The City University of New York. Her research since 30 years primarily deals with the city’s transformation, through gentrification (when the middle class takes over working class and immigrant areas), immigration, abandoned industries, urban culture and consumption. In later years the question of how urban places for consumption are created has been a central research topic for Zukin.

In her latest book, Naked City (Daidalos 2011), she describes the transformation of residential areas in New York, where paradoxically “origins” plays a central role for the value of an area, all while cafés and clothes chains expand. The new gets its value in relation to what is considered to be old. Harlem’s and East Village’s historic authenticity can be consumed at the same time as housing and shops are streamlined.

Zukin does not shy away from openly criticising the ruthless exploitation which has led to the modern American city loosing its soul.

The lecture title: Beyond Authenticity: Local Shopping Streets in Global Cities.

Time and place: 26 March, 15.00, in the University Main Building, lecture hall X.

The Institute for Housing and Urban Research (IBF) is a multidisciplinary institute at Uppsala University focused on housing politics, housing preferences and pricing on the property market, moving patterns, segregation, gentrification, society and city planning, democracy issues and health issues. IBF recently moved from Gävle to Uppsala.