Bilbao and Liverpool: A Tale of Two Cities in Transformation

9:30am - 1:30pm / Thursday 8th March 2018
Type: Seminar / Category: Department
  • Admission: Admission is free. Please register via Eventbrite.
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The aim of this symposium is to compare and contrast the recent urban developments of Liverpool and Bilbao, two cities transformed by architecture and cultural industries.

By bringing a critical sociological perspective on various iconic architectural projects, the comparison will examine:

The role of flagship developments in overturning cycles of decline
The political and economic contexts that condition urban renewal as program and ideology
The level of financial autonomy required as the result of decentralization
The creation of public-private partnerships in creating gentrified zones
The management of cultural infrastructures in promoting new services
The increasing importance of urban leisure economies
The successes and limits of regeneration strategies to revitalize the physical environment and modernize their image in order to “sell cities.”

How local politicians use cultural strategies to achieve political goals and distance themselves from past administrations while shifting from social to economic objectives, and the internationalization of cultural events (music and art festivals, sport competitions, museum exhibits & conferences) as means to expand urban economic sectors, are major components of the urban policies adopted by Bilbao and Liverpool.

The symposium will discuss the problematic consequences of the predominant logic of the market as applied to redevelopment projects.

This symposium is supported by the Etxepare Basque Institute.