17-18 November 2016, Nova University of Lisbon, Portugal
The city is by definition a living entity. It translates itself into a collectiveness of individuals who share and act on a material, social and cultural setting. Its history is one of dreams, achievements and loss. As such, it also bears a history of identity.
To know the history of cities is to understand our own place in the contemporaneity. The past is always seen through the eyes of the present and can only be understood as such.
Time erases memory through development and disaster. Cities can simply disappear because they lost their status in society, suffered severe catastrophes or transformed themselves so radically that their history is no longer materially traceable. They can also exemplary absorb the built and cultural heritage through rehabilitation and re-use. Archaeologists, historians, art historians, geographers, anthropologists and sociologists try to decipher and interpret a diverse but comparable amount of data in order to translate remote realities into a contemporaneous discourse. The more interconnected the research is the more efficient it becomes. [more]