Within the framework of the COST Action 18126 Writing Urban Places: New Narratives of the European City—a European network of scholars interested in urban narratives—the terms of meaningfulness, appropriation and integration have been identified as opportunities for a multi- and interdisciplinary exploration from the perspectives of architecture (including landscape architecture), literary theory, urbanism, sociology, ethnology, fine arts, cultural studies, civil engineering, design, aesthetics, semiotics, anthropology, psychology, communication studies, cultural heritage, to name only a few.
Based on the contemporary architectural and literary discourse, the Action examines the three terms as points of departure for approaching and intervening in mid-sized European cities. Meaningfulness is understood as offering urban communities and spatial professionals (architects, urbanists, designers) the instruments and methods to improve their understanding of their built environment and thus their role in relation to that environment. Experiential, historical and site-specific qualities of urban places attribute meaning and identify to places, thus meaningfulness can be explored through historical narratives, oral history and cultural heritage in the (re)construction of urban identities. Appropriation is seen as an act that can empower local communities, by improving their ability to project feelings and hopes on urban planning schemes and built environment strategies. The role of local actors (users, inhabitants and other stakeholders) becomes crucial in such urban processes, precisely because they are the ones who experience, appropriate and develop their environment. Lastly, integration is seen as offering concrete tools and methods for the construction of common grounds among different and often contradictory communities, allowing for multiple narratives, actors, and urban developments to interact and connect, creating new meanings and appropriations of space.
In the light of such explorations, we invite submissions of original research papers that, from an inter- or a multidisciplinary theoretical perspective, attempt to define and illustrate meaningfulness, appropriation and integration in the context of mid-sized European cities. The submissions can explore narratives and stories of meaningfulness in the urban environment, examples of urban appropriation from different local actors, architectural processes and literary perspectives of community integration in the European urban context. COST members of the Writing Urban Places Action are specifically invited to contribute, and to team up with one or more members of the Action.
Submission: full papers 2500-3000 words including endnotes + short bio (100 words)
Deadline: March 15th 2021
Editors of this issue: Klaske Havik, Susana Oliveira, Sonja Novak, Angeliki Sioli
Please note that all submissions are subject to a blind peer-review process. For authors guidelines and the submission procedure please check https://journals.open.tudelft.nl/writingplace/about/submissions
This issue will be published in collaboration with the network of COST Action CA18126 Writing Urban Places. New Narratives of the European City.
 This call for papers emerges from the COST Action’s one-day online conference "Meaningfulness, Appropriation and Integration of/in City Narratives," held on November 17th 2020