The purpose of this seminar is to construct an intellectual framework of reflection on the process of transformation of urban public spaces that is taking place in Western cities. In what way is the current transformation of the capitalist economies into financial economies reflected in an urban context? What consequences has this process had for the idea of public spaces and citizenship in Western cities since the 19th century? To what extent do the interests of property development and tourism determine urban policies? What is the role of art and culture in this process? These are some of the questions to which the seminar will seek to respond. Also forming part of the debate here is the analysis of the speculative upgrading and gentrification of city-centre areas and the instrumental role of the cultural institutions in this process, as well as the "museumizing" or "Disneyizing" of cities and current definitions of what is public and what is private.


Life after art
Vito Acconci, artist

Experiences of Barcelona
Oriol Bohigas, architect
News (up-dated) of an ancient time
Ramon Grau, historian, and co-ordinator of the History of Barcelona Seminar at the ICUB
The game of orgman
Keller Easterling, associate professor of Architecture,
University of Yale

Albert Recio, tutor of Economics, Universitat de
Barcelona, member of the magazine Mientrastanto

New globalism, new urbanism.
Neil Smith, tutor of Geography, Rutgers University, New Jersey

M» José González Ordovás, professor of Philosophy of Law, Universidad de Zaragoza

Monopoly incomes and commercialization of culture
David Harvey, tutor of Geography and Environmental Engineering, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore

Jordi Borja, urbanist
The response from the local to the readjustment of centrality
Pedro Ibarra, Professor of Political Science, Universidad del País Vasco

Barcelona. Seen from the Besós
Patrick Faigenbaum, artist; Joan Roca, historian and teacher at the Besós secondary school, contributor to the Municipal History of Barcelona Seminar at the ICUB