This panel explores the relationship of mobile people and cities. The intention is to highlight how tourists and immigrants, for example, contribute to the shaping of urban space, while also discussing the ethnographic means for studying such dynamics.
In the contemporary world an ever-increasing number of people seem to be on the move. Artists are attracted by Berlin, tourists visit Shanghai or New York, while migrant workers with different educational backgrounds move to cities such as Dubai and Singapore. For different reasons cities around the world seem to attract mobile people.
But what impact do these people whose lives are marked by a certain degree of mobility have on the urban settings in which they stay either temporarily or for a longer period of time? Do their lifestyles produce a condition of flow that transcends their individual lives and furthers the formation of global and mobile cities in which the local gains a translocal character? Do people who move foster the circulation of cultural practices, goods, and images within and across national borders? And how does mobility as encountered in everyday life of cites affect the process through which inhabitants of urban space negotiate their identities?
Papers in this panel are eager to explore the relationship between people and cities. How, for example, do tourists, immigrants, refugees, expatriates, visiting artist or exchange students contribute to the shaping of the urban space they visit or in which they live, work, or study? In what ways do cities affect their lives? In terms of method, what are the means researchers apply in order to gain a deeper understanding of the impact that mobile people have on the making of cities?
Hossam Adly (Ecole polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne)Luca Pattaroni (EPFL)