In this keynote presentation, Donald E. Hall of Lehigh University will discuss the city of his birth: Birmingham, Alabama (USA). While we often celebrate cities as places of vibrant artistic and cultural innovation and stimulation, cities can also feel like traps to some citizens if the values and priorities they embody are not compatible with the lives and interests of those inhabitants.
In discussing the personal journey out of his birth city, Professor Hall will pose questions to the audience for all to consider: What do we need from cities? How do some cities become lost in their pasts and therefore unable to embrace the changing needs of their populations? What causes some cities to languish, stagnate, and alienate, while other reinvent themselves and thrive? Following the keynote, the audience will be asked to provide their own thoughts on cities as sites of pleasure and pain.