cropped-home-corr-143The  New Urban Languages Conference is organised by the Department of Architecture and Urban Studies DAStU of the Politecnico di Milano, the Escuela Técnica Superior de Arquitectura ETSA of the Universidad Politécnica de Madrid and now also by the Group of Spatial Planning and Strategy of the Delft University of Technology.  The theme of the second edition of the conference was  Re-thinking Urban Ideology in Post-ideological Times. It took place in Madrid, between 24th-26th June 2014, with the participation of  a large number of scholars from Spain, Italy, the United States and elsewhere. The Conference had three keynote speakers: 

Franco Farinelli is Professor of Human Geography at the University of Bologna, Gabriele Pasqui, Director of the Department of Architecture and Urban Studies-DAStU and Juval Portugali,  Professor of Geography at the Department of Geography and the Human Environment Tel Aviv University and visiting professor at TU Delft.

Roberto Rocco is member of the scientific committee and of the organising committee. More information about NUL can be found at


This is the call for paper from the 2014 edition:

International Conference


Re-thinking Urban Ideology in Post-ideological Times

24th-26th June 2014


Why do we need to talk about urban ideology now? What is ‘urban ideology’?


Following Slavoj Zizek, if we assume the necessary existence of an ideology as the basis of the relationship “between visible and non-visible, between imaginable and non-imaginable”, the answer to our question is the following:  We need to talk about urban ideology now because our world faces deep uncertainty.


When it is easier to imagine a catastrophic end of the world, rather than real alternatives that seem just and fair, when the hegemonic forces of capitalism compel us to produce generic urban spaces throughout the globe, while, paradoxically, local forces raise their voices to claim recognition, we need to discuss planning and designing theory and practice more than ever, and we need to discuss politics and ideology urgently.


Since 2008, more than 50% of the world population lives in cities. The fact is that most of us live in an urban world, with new challenges and conflicts, which lead to unpredictable spatial sceneries.


The second international conference on New Urban Languages is asking the academic world to debate the nature of these processes and the new role for planners and designers from a multidisciplinary point of view.


This debate will be structured in four non-disconnected sections:


I.               Ideological answers to the crisis

II.              Ideology and urban form in the 21st century

III.            Ideology in a networked urban world

IV.           Future urban narratives




I. Ideological answers to the crisis

The world is in crisis: the climate is changing, the economy seems unable to rise again, many areas of our planet are affected by wars, many local systems are unable to maintain their current standards of living. This has happened before in human history, but not with this intensity. In these last years, many cities have tried to respond to these challenges with new ideological models: green economy, resilience, smart cities, urban competition for global investment.


Have these answers helped the cities in which they were applied? Have these failed? Why? In which ways?


II. Ideology and urban form in the 21st century

We know that design always carries within itself a representation of the designer’s identity [and beliefs], and many authors advance the idea that there is a big relationship between the Weltanschauung [the worldview] of a population and the form of its cities. In which ways can we see this phenomenon in the classical cities of Christianity, the Islamic World, old China and other recognizable dominant ideologies? In which way has this evolved or changes in the 20th and 21st centuries?


III. Ideology in a networked urban world

Today, there is a pervasive faith on social networks and ICT. Everyone can see the potentials of new technologies in the government [governance?] and the plan of space, and the ways in which this phenomenon is changing our relation with the urban space. Are there any critical aspects in this phenomenon for urban living? Is it possible to formulate a critique of this new global ideology, based on case studies?


IV. Future urban narratives

Narratives are great tools to describe the present and orient the future. In recent past, some great narratives overcame theological narrations in the West, reorienting life in the region towards rationality and the rule of secular law, with important consequences to all aspects of urban life and government [governance?]. Are there any emerging new narratives, which are now taking global relevance? Which futures are planted in the seeds sawn by these new narratives? In which ways these new narratives could re-orient the future of our cities?




Inés Aquilué Junyent, Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya

Matteo Bolocan Goldstein, Politecnico di Milano

Frank Eckardt, Bauhaus-Universität Weimar

Andrea Giordano, Università di Padova

Juan Miguel Hernández León, Universidad Politécnica de Madrid

María Asunción Leboreiro Amaro, Universidad Politécnica de Madrid

Sofia Morgado, Universidade Técnica de Lisboa

Paola Pucci, Politecnico di Milano

Roberto Rocco, Delft University of Technology

Rossella Salerno, Politecnico di Milano

Javier Ruiz Sanchez, Unversidad Politécnica de Madrid

Daniele Villa, Politecnico di Milano

Mattia Bertin, Politecnico di Milano

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