Editorial: The European City as a Place of Coexistence
The European urban institutions have always negotiated a balance between collective control and individual initiative. However, over the last seven decades this balance has been challenged. In the aftermath of World War II, the utopia of the functional city was hijacked to serve the welfare policies of the states sponsored by the Marshall Plan. Both in urban extension as in urban renewal, technocratic planning approaches were encouraged to back up a political program of de-urbanization inspired by the nemesis of the European city, the American suburbia. Eventually, in the 1980s, the paradigm of the state as provider shifted to the paradigm of the state as enabler. The European city became nothing but a commodity where the state performs as facilitator for the consolidation of the hegemony of the markets. Against this background, the articles published in this issue of Joelho offer critical contributions to understand the production and reproduction of approaches to the (re-) definition of the identity of the European city. With insightful approaches springing from different intellectual perspectives, they expand the debate on one of the fundamental achievements of Western civilization: the European city as a place of coexistence.
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