Visibility as a stake for cities

Lefebvre, Olivier (2016) Visibility as a stake for cities. REAL CORP 2016 – SMART ME UP! How to become and how to stay a Smart City, and does this improve quality of life? Proceedings of 21st International Conference on Urban Planning, Regional Development and Information Society. pp. 1009-1013.

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Visibility has been recently discovered by sociologists. It is very much different from fame. Fame is the simple consequence of meritocracy: the name of somebody who is talented in some field is well known. Visibility involves the use of Medias and Internet (dissymmetry between the star and his (her) audience) and the person of the star (face, clothes …) is loved and worshiped. The French sociologist Heinich, a follower of Bourdieu, has theorized visibility: there is a “capital of visibility”, which is measurable (size of the audience), accumulable, transferable (to the heirs) and convertible (from some field to another one). If we consider the analogy between visible persons and visible cities, there are several interesting aspects: - The large cities are visible, while mid-sized cities are not visible, but devoted to fame (professional fame) - Their strategies allow the large cities many kinds of activities (aimed at creating the consumers’ needs) while mid-sized cities have to choose: some fame and not another one (classical music and not jazz for Salzburg, for instance) - The inhabitants of the large cities are familiar with the “laws of visibility” and the inhabitants of the mid-sized cities are familiar with the “laws of fame” - A new division of space appears. In the large cities there is visibility and a poor quality of life (because of frequent building sites, mega events, noise, networks which are saturated etc.). At the opposite, in the mid-sized cities, there is no visibility but the quality of life is at its top (at least in some of them) - There is more insecurity in the large cities, because the visible symbols (which are targeted by terrorists) are there. Moreover, their economy is also threatened, because it relies on visitors and tourists. Therefore security is required.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: visibility , urban strategies, new spatial division of labor, adverse selection, security in large cities
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > B Philosophy (General)
G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > G Geography (General)
H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
Depositing User: REAL CORP Administrator
Date Deposited: 22 Jul 2016 07:29
Last Modified: 22 Jul 2016 07:29

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