From Cultural Regeneration to Discursive Governance: Constructing the Flagship of the 'Museumsquartier Vienna' as a Plural Symbol of Change
Title: From Cultural Regeneration to Discursive Governance: Constructing the Flagship of the 'Museumsquartier Vienna' as a Plural Symbol of Change
Author: DE FRANTZ, Monika
Citation: International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, 2005, 29, 1, 50-66
Responding to, as well as actively constructing, a climate of economic competition,urban policy-makers use cultural strategies to promote economic development and at the same time mobilize political support. But the plural nature of culture not only promotes collective mobilization to overcome political economic interest conflicts. Its deep symbolic meanings can also enhance contestation and conflict beyond the initial regeneration plans. The political controversy about Vienna's new cultural district 'Museumsquartier' illustrates how the leaders of an old European capital city, challenged by multiple national, regional and global transition processes, struggle to capitalize on their cultural heritage for a collective future vision. Instead of implementing one coherent political strategy, the city, its architecture, collective memories and spatial frames are ultimately shaped by plural symbolic conflicts that negotiate diverse meanings, values and tastes. The case study shows that urban flagships are not merely spatial expressions of larger capitalist globalization structures permeating the built cityscape. As a contextual outcome of local discussion processes, reflecting diverse urban meanings in the context of larger transformations, the new architecture contributes to Vienna's specific aesthetic character as well as to its political redefinition as a European capital city
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