States of Mind and the City: Place and Wellbeing Symposium Oct. 2014 Istanbul

States of Mind and the City: Place and Wellbeing Symposium

15-17 October 2014, Istanbul



The “States of Mind and the City: Place and Wellbeing”  Symposium is intended as a multidisciplinary platform to bring together perspectives on the meanings, challenges, and potential in geographically interpreting wellbeing in urban settings. The event will explore the city as a geopolitical site of emotional wellbeing and mental health by drawing on Istanbul’s past, present, formal, confined, improvised, informal, fictional and lived therapeutic landscapes. Some examples of these places include hospitals, mental institutions, parks, green/grey lots, trails, seafronts, gardens, coffeehouses, neighbourhood markets, spice and herb shops, barbershops, springs, spas and public baths, art venues, cemeteries, mosques, churches and other holy places. Some other examples might be assessments of walkability, soundscapes or the city skyline. In these examples the site-specific aspect is less fixed, more dynamic, and the healing aspect might be related to visceral experiences of movement, rhythm and angle/vista.

Place and Wellbeing

Place is crucial to how we think, feel, act and relate to others. The Symposium is a platform to explore wellbeing as a performative continuum of embodied action and place-based experience. In its 2005 definition the World Health Organization refers to mental health as “a state of wellbeing in which the individual realizes his or her own abilities, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and Continue reading

A Parkour State of Mind [Tedx Talk by Matthew Lamb]

Dr. Matthew Lamb shows us how the built environment is designed to influence our experiences of city space and how parkour can change our point of view to see things a little differently. [listen also to his podcast interview here][access his article on Parkour in the Journal of Urban Cultural Studies as free content in issue 1.1 here]


JUCS 1.2 content list [now published]

The Journal of Urban Cultural Studies is pleased to announce the content of issue 1.2, now published [podcast interview with Ben Jefferson is already available on this site here, interview with Maja Klausen is forthcoming, free content from issue 1.1 available here]

[full abstracts follow the short content list]


New Jerusalems: Derek Walcott’s poetics of the Caribbean city [BEN THOMAS JEFFERSON, University of Essex]

Re-enchanting the city: Hybrid space, affect and playful performance in geocaching, a location-based mobile game [MAJA KLAUSEN, University of Southern Denmark]

The projection on the wall: What audiovisual architectural mapping says about Catalan identity [STEPHEN LUIS VILASECA, Northern Illinois University]

Richard Price’s Lower East Side: Cops, culture, and gentrification [THOMAS HEISE, McGill University]

Colonial modernity and urban space: Naguib Mahfouz’s Cairo [BEDE SCOTT, Nanyang Technological University]

The London 2012 Olympics: The cultural politics of urban regeneration [MICHAEL SILK, University of Bath]


Temporalizing urban space: The making of place by three Hong Kong writers [WINNIE L. M. YEE, University of Hong Kong]

Teaching urban: Reflections from hispanic studies [MATTHEW I. FEINBERG, Oberlin College]

Jane Jacobs and the problem of the city [CARLTON WADE BASMAJIAN, Iowa State University]

Reclaiming the city through archive and activism: An interview with the Museum of Reclaimed Urban Space (MoRUS) [SUSAN DIVINE, The College of Charleston]

Continue reading

NGA has plan for total “Map of the World”

Open Geography

John Goolgasian, NGA

According to the NGA, one of the most popular sessions at the recent GEOINT 2013* (held over from 2013) conference was one which offered a total “Map of the World:”

But what is it?

Map of the World is the foundation for intelligence integration, said NGA Director Letitia A. Long in her keynote address at the four-day event.

The clue lies in this statement:

Twelve different data views will make up Map of the World and nine of them are online now, including maritime and aeronautical.

This, along with Goolgasian’s involvement, indicates that it is probably related to, or draws from, the work of the World-Wide Human Geography Database Working Group (WWHGD). I’ve written about Goolgasian on this blog before.

The WWHGD is…

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Returning from 2014 AAG

Just got back from Tampa, one of these years I will spend more than 1 full day and a half day at the AAG conference — too many interesting things going on to see in such a short time, particularly with a packed schedule of 10 presentations on Thursday including work by those from language and literature fields, architecture, history, sociology as well as geography (in two linked sessions: “Urban Cultural Studies 1: Geography and the Humanities” and “Urban Cultural Studies 2: The Culture(s) of Cities”). Looking forward to next time, perhaps 2015 in Chicago.

Thanks for all who attended the sessions for your interest, if you dropped by, remember that the first issue of the Journal of Urban Cultural Studies is available for free here (some presentations delivered reflect articles published in issue 1.1, some of the other presentations reflect work that will appear in the second issue, and still others were new faces that we were happy to hear from about their original and intriguing work –unfortunately the second issue won’t include free content, but have your library subscribe to the print or online format of the journal through Intellect).

Also note that on this very blog you can find podcast interviews with at least three of the presenters from the sessions (also available on itunes). Just follow the menu bar to listen.

CfP: Metropolitan Streets: Everyday Temporalities and Contemporaneity

[from URB-GEOG-GORUM] Submissions are invited for the panel “Metropolitan Streets: Everyday Temporalities and Contemporaneity”, as part of the forthcoming conference “Metropolitan Temporalities”, November 20 – 22, 2014 at the Technische Universität in Berlin, Germany.

Over the past three decades, both urban studies and globalization studies have predominately focused on spatial concerns, often neglecting the important temporal dimensions of global urban development. Our third annual conference therefore seeks to systematically examine the diverse temporal aspects of global exchange and metropolitan development in four thematic clusters: metropolitan pasts and futures; politics of time; metropolitan rhythms; and economies of time.

Session Description:

Historically, streets and their social and spatial orders have changed over time according to the respective societal setting. Streets have always been the most profound units of urban life and the main elements to structure urban form and transportation. However, with the rise of the profession of urban planning, streets have been increasingly reshaped, according to the planner’s ideals of their time.

Today, streets with their specific spatial and social orders are the most dynamic space-time settings in a metropolis: they comprise a high degree of mobility, varying uses, agents, everyday practices and activities, norms, values, symbolic meanings, and power relations as well as a constant negotiation in between them. All of these coexist and Continue reading

H+U+D: Humanities, Urbanism, and Design Project


H+U+D The School of Arts and Sciences, PennDesign, and the Penn Institute of Urban Research are putting forth a joint call for research proposals for the 2014-2015 academic year. The Mellon Humanities, Urbanism, and Design (H+U+D) Project is aimed at interdisciplinary design/humanities projects at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. The maximum award is $2000 per proposal to be spent on travel, archival charges, and photography. The project is made possible through the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation for a five-year collaborative initiative at Penn called Fulfilling and Liveable Cities: Design, Urban Life and the Humanities, as described in an Almanac article from last year. Project proposals are due by April 14, 2014, and can be submitted according to instructions on the CURF website
Fulfilling and Livable Cities: Design, Urban Life and the Humanities – See more at:

The H+U+D Project provides a rich opportunity for students…

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Seeing Like A City: A Symposium (QMU of London, June 6-7, 2014)


A Symposium

Queen Mary University of London

Keynote Address: Professor Mariana Valverde (University of Toronto) and Michael McKinnie (Queen Mary University of London)*

Keynote: Friday 6th June 6pm (open to the public)

Symposium: Saturday 7th June (all day)

 Deadline for abstracts: Monday 7th April

How have infrastructures of performance shaped civic ideas and ideals in mundane and spectacular ways? How are these ideas and ideals contained, contaminated, revealed and concealed spatially, temporally, legally and historically through cultural activity? How does cultural activity shape and see the city?

Seeing Like a City is an interdisciplinary symposium centred on the relationships between theatre, performance and urbanism.  In the past, theatre and performance scholars including Marvin Carlson, Jen Harvie, D.J. Hopkins, Ric Knowles, Kim Solga, have seen the city as a fertile site for considering a range of urban performances. Seeing Like a City builds on this work; it invites researchers to take up the challenge of accounting for contemporary urban performance.

This event is inspired by Mariana Valverde’s article ‘Seeing Like a City’ (2009), which offers a reading of the urban that acknowledges Continue reading

Views of Rome (Emory U)

With continuing interest in DH work and Urban Studies, I’ve just been referred to this interesting project:

Views of Rome is the online home of the 1773 edition of Pirro Ligorio’s Anteiquae Urbis Imago (Image of the Ancient City) held at Emory University. Originally published in 1561, the Imago is a cartographic reconstruction of fourth-century AD Rome. A high-resolution scan of the map exists as an interactive digital tool for use by students in the classroom and by members of the general public.