In the Life of Cities...: Parallel Narratives of the Urban

"the Egyptian youth [people] shaped their revolution on the 25th of January and validated the designation of the square as Tahrir square 57 years after a bunch of rebellious officers gave it the name but failed to deliver on their promise of liberation" Nasser Rabbat

This colloquium addresses the complex relations between urban artifacts and urban life. Architects, planners, and urban designers describe and give shape to the city, while novelists, humanists, and other scholars examine its operations and performances. What are the reciprocities between these two activities? How does the physical character of an urban environment influence or enable the events that take place within a specific setting?

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The people from the barrio built the city twice: during the day we built the houses of the well-off. At night and at weekends, with solidarity, we built our own homes, our barrio.

  —Andrés Antillano, resident of Caracas, April 15, 2004