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Tuesday, October 23, 2007

"What is the City?" Conference at UMSL This Week

Did you know that UMSL is hosting a conference entitled "What is the City?" this Thursday, October 25 and Friday, October 26? The conference examines "urban perspectives in film, fiction, and photography" and is free with advance registration.

Here's the full description:

The Center for the Humanities invites you to join speakers from around the country and St. Louis in examining urban life in contemporary and historical films, fiction, television, and photography. We will discuss examples from London, Chicago, Sarasota, Paris, Los Angeles, Florence, St. Louis, and small towns. The conference presenters are historians, geographers, photographers, film critics, community activists, literary experts, and writers. Engaging in discussion across many disciplines, they will consider ways artistic images and writings shape how we see our cities and those of others.

The schedule and registration form are here.

6 comments:

Doug Duckworth said...

Yeah, I'll be there on Friday. Hot urbanist ladies are most welcome.

Anonymous said...

I hope to be there too. Doug me and you are going to have a chat about your unusual and often ridiculous comments at every damn discussion board in St. Louis.

If urbanist ladies come then I may have to alter my plans.

Anonymous said...

Doug is very well meaning. He just hasn't learned about the "triumph of tradition" in STL, as Lana Stein calls it.

The funny part is, he says he'll leave if things don't change to suit him. Hey Doug, like I tell my teenager...it ain't about you.

Truman said...

Hi Friends

I think the criteria of this contest may be of interest to you:

http://www.erikthevermilion.com/worlds.best.htm

Do you know of a city that may qualify as “World’s Best?

Doug Duckworth said...

I read the "triumph" of tradition.

We are told by politicians like Ronald Reagan that we should leave to show our dissatisfaction with, or preference for another, local government. I disagree with this idea, but lets posit that it is the norm. After all, many have done this.

The decision makers want suburbanites to vote with their feet and come back to the City, thus they implement suburban development. They believe that by emulating the suburban built environment then suburbanites will chose the City. Ironically, urbanists will vote with their feet and move to another City if St. Louis is suburbanized. Why? St. Louis would cease to actually be a City thus it would loose the benefits of concentration.

The 1947 City Plan called for Soulard's demolition and replacement with suburban tract housing. This same mentality is still present, albeit slightly modified, among many decision makers evident in McRee Town and Blairmont. This is what I mean when I said I would leave. Many would rather leave than fight an illogical and entrenched mentality. Why advocate when the outcome desired will probably never occur, while other cities already have what you want?

The City is destroying its comparative advantage. As a result it will lose residents it could have captured, or retained, if it took the correct route.

Chris said...

Good points Doug. I also should mention that the city's attempts at suburbanism always seem to fail. Wonder why that is? Perhaps it's because St. Louis is a city and not a suburb. St. Louis will never be able to do suburbanism as well as the suburbs so it should stop trying and stick to what it's good at: urban environments.