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CCGES > Current Projects > Mapping Urban Space/Mapping Transnational Space

Mapping Urban Space/Mapping Transnational Space

Project Overview

Maps and mapping have become keywords for integrative and interdisciplinary work in the social sciences and the humanities. This project brings together practitioners and theorists from Canada and Germany who are active across the field to identify and develop critical approaches to the role of maps in producing urban space. In addition, both workshops will assemble young scholars as well as those working in local or transnational activist groups.

Workshop aims

The first workshop is dedicated to the question of mapping urban spaces. Urban spaces are in the focus of maps produced by a range of actors in urban governance use maps for their own purposes. For example, there are planning maps, social maps, maps of poverty, maps of health needs, maps of minorities, etc.). Those interested in or representing business and entertainment also produce and use maps, e.g. shopping maps, tourism map. Maps have also been included in the repertoire of critical urbanism associations. And there are other actors/foci as well. Focusing primarily on Berlin and Toronto, without excluding contributions from other cities, we aim to compare the use of maps, to analyze how maps and urban politics are connected, and to develop methodologies for critical mappings.
The second workshop shifts the scale, examining transnational spaces, with the EU as the main focus. With the increasing role of European government agencies, a European space is being produced not only in policies, but also as the subject of mappings, including maps by European governance actors like the ESPON (the European Observation Network for Territorial Development and Cohesion). While this is a space different from national spaces, the mappings it has produced feature some elements (including EU-borders, internal inequalities, or economic development plans) similar to that of the nation space,. In this workshop, we will focus on the link between mapping and politics on the transnational scale, and ask what new elements are emerging in comparison with traditional nation-state mapping practices.
Further outcomes

Each workshop will lead to a book-length publication (Workshop 1: Mapping Urban Spaces: Berlin and Toronto; Workshop 2: Mapping Transnational Space: the EU). An online presentation of the results will accompany this publication. The workshops are designed to lead to further joint undertakings through subsequent projects and collaboration between the participants and other potential collaborators.

Research Directors

Prof. Ulrich Best, Geography Department, York University and Visiting DAAD Professor in Geography, York University and the Canadian Centre for German and European Studies –
Prof. Boris Michel, Institut für Geographie, Universität Erlangen