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Opening Conference July 16th - July 17th 2015

July 16th - July 17th 2015
Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich/Germany

On July 16th and 17th the opening conference of the DFG-funded research group “Urban Ethics” will be held at LMU Munich. In the next three years the research group and its associate projects will investigate urban ethics, that is, conflicts about the “good “and “proper” conduct of life in the city. It will do so in case studies located in Germany, Japan, New Zealand, Romania, Russia, Singapore and Turkey. The temporal focus lies on the present and 20th century history; the main fields of interest are controversies about urban life and environmental protection, political representation, cultural heritage, the housing question, deceleration/the Slow City movement and economically driven urban renewal. The research group approaches phenomena in these fields as matters of concern that, for the people involved, take on the form of an ethical question: the question how one should live a good and proper life in the city - and also how an emphatically urban life can be lived.

At the opening conference, international experts will speak about their case studies and key problem areas, protagonists, forms and effects of such debates. At the same time, the conference will focus on conceptual and methodological questions that arise in research on urban ethics. What kinds of methods allow us to describe and understand urban ethics in discourses about the city, everyday practices, but also in the built environment and in urban atmospheres? Another crucial question for debate is whether (and, if so, in what sense) a tendency towards an ethicization of various debates about the city can be observed. How do such developments relate to social and political struggles? For instance, how are political movements for environmental justice in the USA and China connected to ideals of a good and proper urban life? What ideals of urbanity are being propagated by Moscow’s protest movements? Which ethical questions are central to recent discussions about urban planning and heritage protection in Turkey? Bringing together different strands of research, the opening conference intends to show what a focus on urban ethics can contribute to interdisciplinary urban research as well as for debates about the future of cities.

The conference will be held in English.

Please register until July 5th by sending an eMail to: urbane-ethiken@lmu.de