Parochial imaginations
The ‘European city’ as a territorialised entity
in European cities
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The European city is often presented as role model in contemporary urban policies, literature and architecture. In this chapter, I explore ways in which the very idea of a 'European city' caters to parochial imaginations of the urban, resonating with racist and white supremacist narratives. Conceptually, I draw on territorio as a political term, as discussed in Latin America-based literature and activism. Employing empirical examples from Germany and Italy, I apply a socio-territorial lens to the urban. Aspects of the ‘European city's’ territorialised character and its appeal to identitarian actors become apparent in replicas of 'historical' facades in Berlin, Frankfurt and Dresden, as much as in emblematic writings by key urban scholars. In Venice, Rome and other Italian cities, there are similar parochial resonances in urban decorum policies, a particular type of urban regulation rooted in Othering. By tracing some of the outlines of colonial continuities in the production of urban space and urban knowledge through a socio-territorial lens, this chapter puts the 'European city' in relation.

European cities

Modernity, race and colonialism

Editors: Noa K. Ha and Giovanni Picker


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