Cities are important themes in music, and their related urban identities have framed continuously the various contexts of popular music in the recent decades. This article addresses some issues in Music Geographies focusing on how cities and towns appear in popular music and in its related culture. Particularly, the study unveils the presence of the cities and towns in music, decoding the main themes of their identities behind the lyrics and the musical messages. Firstly, the research shows the presence of the cities in music through continental and regional scales mapping, to identify the spatial distribution of cities in popular music. Secondly, their incidence is considered to understand their presence in various songs, with many of them being emblematic songs in the culture of popular music. Thirdly, some case-studies at continental scale are investigated through particular methods to unveil the main issues of urban identities. The research bases on quantitative investigation, GIS, visual methodologies and lyrics analysis. The main findings argue that, at different regional scales of analysis, cities and their urban identities are omnipresent themes in popular music. They are an integral part of contemporary Music Geographies, with relevant spatial and cultural inequalities, thus opening new avenues for further research.
The traditional settlement structure of many Swiss regions was typically characterised by dispersed small settlements, providing an important basis for agriculture. As industrialisation and structural change have accelerated, these hamlets are increasingly losing their original purpose. However, many of them are of high value in terms of their building culture and heritage. Trying to preserve them adequately presents both architectural and socio-economic challenges. In order to address these difficulties, we developed a new strategy for the hamlet of Kirchbühl, in the town of Sempach. By bringing together experts’ viewpoints and the viewpoints of the key stakeholders in a participatory process, we aimed to identify potential conflicts between the different views and address them early on in the development of new guidelines. For each work-package, the goals were defined with the aim of formulating a set of principles and recommendations for planners, builders and the public authorities. The results of the participatory elements have shown that it was possible to integrate the local viewpoints continuously into the ongoing process and the guidelines. A clear line of conflict emerged between the practical vision of the owners and inhabitants and a more preservationist vision of some authorities. Thus, a more direct dialogue between the local stakeholders and the experts should be aimed for in future projects. The ex-post process reflection has also shown that the process needs to be tightened financially and temporally, to be able to carry it out in other municipalities.
The aim of the article is to highlight the spatial distribution of historical migration based on anthroponyms which reflect it. Similarly, some names can give further information related to some historical events (e.g. the first historical mentions related to Bacea, the legend of the “founding” of Moldavia by inhabitants from Maramureș) or the limits of some historical-geographical regions (e.g. Transilvania/Transylvania, Bucovina/Bukovina). The study area referred to is the Carpathian-Balkan space, at the NUTS 2 level (or equivalent), including not only the regions situated in the area, but also the entire territory of the countries with which it even remotely overlaps. The maps which highlight the previously mentioned peculiarities are based on spatial distribution coefficients.
How does a void manifest itself in the urban space? The economic and demographic crisis, triggered by the end of the communist regime, has generated processes of contraction in all those realities marked by a massive industrialization, following which they have rapidly widened their borders, thus leaving interstitial and widespread voids in the urban fabric. But the end of the regime has also left an ideological vacuum. The imposed idea of the public good was followed by that of private property, incentivized by an excessively liberalized housing market. The collective image of the urban space has therefore been replaced by its individual perception: the new hierarchies and identities firstly created in the individuals’ minds have been then materialized and overlapped in the physical space, generating chaotic and not very permeable spaces, where an excessive spirit of appropriation seems to be evident. The garages are a clear example of this. Walking through the big blocks housing units that characterize the outskirts of the Romanian cities, it is not difficult to grasp their presence. Despite their formal simplicity, these particular structures (whose spatial and normative definition is not always very clear) reveal themselves as real extensions of the domestic environment excessively limited in its interior spaces. Therefore, they are an immediate response to a basic need, finding in the in-between spaces, the ideal place to manifest themselves: somehow, they are hybrid forms to re-imagine, even if individually, the collective urban space. Starting from the results of personal and multidisciplinary experiences in the contexts of the cities of Cluj-Napoca and Bucharest, this paper aims to highlight possible approaches to intervene in such contexts, suggesting ways for the mediated and collective appropriation of the urban space.
We live in an era in which public life within the urban space is in a profound crisis. The urban and economic development, corroborated with the technological advances, often determine public space to be replaced by remote social interactions. Thus have appeared more and more private spaces (i.e. commercial centres), culminating with an increasingly restricted and timid use of the public space that places under the sign of uncertainty the citizens’ right to the city. In this study, we aimed at realising a territorial diagnosis of the squares in the central area of Cluj-Napoca, analysing the degree of functionality of the urban elements, their current role based on users’ perceptions and experience, as well as the assessment of the cultural landscape’s aesthetic. Methodology included a questionnaire survey, direct and participatory observation, thematic photography, cartographic mapping, urban inventory, and territorial diagnosis. Results showed that the historical squares in the central Cluj-Napoca area were different in form, profile, size and structure, and in functional attributes. In addition, there has been a change in the functions of squares, along with the evolution of the city, from the economic function to the recreational and cultural one. Moreover, we realised an analysis and typology of the cultural landscapes of the urban public space in Cluj-Napoca. These research results enabled us to propose a series of actions which could reduce or eliminate territorial malfunctions, providing results for the decision-making process and for other researchers wishing to explore more this topic.
Reinventând Germanitatea. Etnicizare, mobilitate și împrumut cultural la marginea Europei [Reinventing Germanness. Ethnicization, Mobility, and Cultural Borrowing at the Margins of Europe]/ Ovidiu OLTEAN, Remus Gabriel ANGHEL and Christian SCHUSTER (eds.)