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Capital City Cultures

Reconstructing Contemporary Europe in Vienna and Berlin

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Monika De Frantz

Global market competition and the political responses to globalization transform urban societies and states, and thus the cultures of capital cities in contemporary Europe. Vienna’s cultural district Museumsquartier and the planned Humboldt Forum on Berlin’s Schlossplatz illustrate two of the most controversial sites of urban reconstruction in Central Eastern Europe since the 1990s.
Tracing the processes of their political emergence through more than a decade of heated public debates, this book narrates the metaphor-rich and engaging stories about these old European capitals facing change. It compares the reconstruction of political legitimacy and its cultural symbols from two different local perspectives of European state transformation.
This enquiry into urban culture highlights the diversity of contemporary cities and their political potential for change.