Culture and Sustainability in European Cities. Imagining Europolis
Edited by Svetlana Hristova, Milena Dragicevic Sesic, Nancy Duxbury. London, Routledge, 2015, 242 pages, ISBN: 9781315772028
This book represents an interdisciplinary insight into the complex thematic of culture and sustainability in the urban age. Basically, a wide range of case studies is offered in four sections, namely Culture and sustainable development of European cities: what are the issues?, Europolis as a project: envisioning more sustainable cities, Culture for sustainable development in urban policies and practices, and Making the city resilient: building communities through artivism. Nevertheless, there is a clear, "overarching question: what are the roles of culture in sustaining small and medium-sized cities?" In addition, the idea of Europolis is introduced. Basically, "Europolis is conceptualized as the emergence of a European model – or models, since it incorporates a variety of local approaches – for urban sustainability involving processes of reimagining and co-creating new city futures explicitly using culture". This is a unique and stimulating notion, as it raises many questions on the European Union in general. Can policy measures be implemented universally? Is the idea of Europolis desirable outside the EU? Is the issue of postcolonialism related to this city concept? Can Europolis function if it universalises and becomes a globally implemented model?
Civic imagination is identified as a prerequisite for the proper development of cities and a broader society nowadays. This is an important contribution considering that a postmodern society is increasingly characterised by the lack of imagination. Simply, radical alternatives to a current neoliberal capitalist system are rarely even seriously considered as a possibility.
Therefore, this publication is worthy as it asks the reader to rethink the urban age and question the underlying premises of the contemporary society.
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