S23
Theorising city landscapes: boundaries and place in urban space

Convenors:
Benjamin Vis (University of Leeds)
Robert Homsher (University College London)
Nicky Garland (University College London)
Location:
Merchant Venturer's 1.11a
Start time:
18 December, 2010 at 9:00
Session slots:
1

Short abstract:

Archaeology lacks proper concepts to analyse and explain processes and phenomena associated with urbanism. This session invites speakers to present innovative ideas and the use of exemplary theories that may contribute to advancing the investigation of various types of space in urban environments.

Long abstract:

Urbanism is an interdisciplinary field of study in which archaeology holds a unique position. It is the only field able to shed light on the origins, constitution and long-term development of cities and urban living. While it is generally recognised that cities represent a dynamic composite complex, currently archaeology lacks the concepts and methodology to study the processes involved therein; consequently, the nature of its processes, components and their bearing on the social aspects of urban living remain obscure. We are looking for critical and fundamental theoretical approaches towards interpreting concepts of the city, urbanism and the built environment in any geographical location. These approaches should relate either to the notion of place (i.e. geographical, identity, social meaning) or the role of boundaries (i.e. physical and psychological, urban sprawl, movement between urban and rural areas) within the urban setting, including those that may be derived from modelling as well as those resulting from aprioristic reasoning. Participants are challenged to venture beyond descriptive and analytical organisation of data to consider explanations for the formation, utilisation and perception of urban spaces. These approaches should account for the inferential value and consequences of the fundamental notions with which many disciplines treat and interpret such space. Buildings, the built environment and landscape-oriented approaches are welcomed, especially interdisciplinary approaches combining archaeology with related subjects such as geography, planning and architecture.