The 5th International Conference “Aesthetic Energy of the City”: Static and Dynamic Qualities of the City

organized by
The University of Lodz  [Department of Ethics/Institute of Philosophy]
The University of Barcelona [Polis Research Centre]
The Urban Forms Foundation
The Conference will be held at the Institute of Philosophy at the University of Lodz, 3/5 Lindleya Street, on 12th–14th September 2022.
[Due to the developing Covid-19 pandemic, we are considering the possibility of conducting an entirely online conference. If it is possible, we are ready to organize both virtual and live sessions]

The city is usually full of opposites. It is important especially now as we face the challenges of the Sustainable Development Goals (the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development) which will surely have an impact on the ways of “building a city”. In a living city, something always changes, but there are also elements that function permanently or relatively permanently. It seems that the oscillation between what is static and dynamic is an inherent feature of the city. The experience of this diversity or polarization manifests itself in various aspects, not only historical, but above all axiological. We differentiate and value what is:

  • sustainable /unsustainable
  • old / new
  • permanent / ephemeral
  • orderly / chaotic
  • planned / spontaneous
  • invasive / neutral
  • homogeneous and stylish / heterogeneous and syncretic
  • sudden / expected
  • useful / useless
  • visible during the day or at night
  • noticeable while moving or resting
  • assessed from the outside or inside (by tourists / residents).

The different qualities can be internalized as values and hierarchized in various ways. Dynamics can be understood not only positively, but also destructively, because even such an aspect may generate qualities considered as positive after some time. These aspects include both modernization and reconstruction, and on the other hand, ruins, expansion of natural forms. In spite of the obvious volatility, don’t we expect a balance between what is permanent and what is changeable? How much can one allow oneself to introduce changes or modifications (perhaps it is not always worth to protect everything)? What changes are more readily accepted: functional or visual? What changes are more advantageous to our cities?

Please submit your abstract via email using attached AEC5-Registration-form. Abstracts will undergo a peer review for selection or rejection by the conference committee.
A printed publication of the Conference abstracts will be available at the Conference. Only the attending and registered delegates are going to be published. All abstracts (maximum of 400 words) must contain the title of the proposed paper, the name of the author, a brief cv including current affiliation and the contact information (institutional affiliation, mailing address and email address).

All accepted and registered delegates will be presenting their papers at the Conference.
Presentations will be organized in sessions or panels of no more than 4 papers presented for 20 min and all followed by a 30 minute debate.

The publication of full papers will be prepared after the Conference and authors will be notified if their papers are selected for further publication. Depending on the subject, we offer printing selected, double-reviewed papers in magazines: “On the w @terfront” (University of Barcelona), “Acta Universitatis Lodziensis. Folia Philosophica. Ethica – Aesthetica – Practica” (University of Lodz). See our previous papers.

All attending delegates must proceed with Registration and fee payment in order to present their papers at the Conference.


Agnieszka Gralińska-Toborek Ph.D (Conference Secretary)
Wioletta Kazimierska-Jerzyk Ph.D (Conference Chair) 

The 5th International Conference “Aesthetic Energy of the City”:  Static and Dynamic Qualities of the City

Workshop on ‘Collective Space’ and Urban Regeneration

Dr. Eduardo Gutiérrez has delivered a workshop on Collective Space’ and Urban Regeneration in the M.A. Urban Design: Art, City, Society at the University of Barcelona.

Dr. Eduardo Gutiérrez is a mexican Architect. Master in Urban Design from the University of Barcelona and Doctor in Public Space and Urban Regeberation from the University of Barcelona.
Now he is Full-time Professor and Researcher, Department of Architecture, Universidad de las Americas Puebla, San Andres Cholula
Academic of the National Academy of Architecture (Mexico)
Associate researcher at the POLIS Research Center (University of Barcelona)

Main publications

  • 2013 Equipamientos culturales como factor de cohesión urbana dentro de los procesos de regeneración en la ciudad. El caso de La Filmoteca de Cataluña en el barrio del Raval, Barcelona. (Trabajo Final Máster)
  • 2019 El papel del espacio colectivo dentro de los procesos de regeneración urbana. (Tesis Doctoral)
  • 2019 Schumacher, Melissa, Pamela Durán-Díaz, Anne K. Kurjenoja, Eduardo Gutiérrez-Juárez, and David A. González-Rivas . “Evolution and Collapse of Ejidos in Mexico—To What Extent Is Communal Land Used for Urban Development?” Land 8, no. 10: 146.
  • 2021 Chi, Doris A., Edwin González M., Renato Valdivia, and Eduardo Gutiérrez J.. “Parametric Design and Comfort Optimization of Dynamic Shading Structures” Sustainability 13, no. 14: 7670.
  • 2021 Eduardo Gutiérrez, Melissa Schumacher, Anne Kurjenoja Manifiestos:visiones de la Arquitectura (libro). UDLAP. San Andrés de Cholula

Krystyna Strumiłło

The role of hotel architecture in shaping the city’s image


The elements of the environment are characterized by variability. The structure of the city is also a subject to constant structural, social and material transformations.

Objects in the city can play significant role for urban landscape. In recent years, it can be observed that the architecture of hotels in cities is becoming more and more unique. After years of building similar hotel facilities, architects began to create more and more original forms that attract the attention of passers-by and are remembered. The importance of individual places in the hierarchy of these space is also changing. Hotels are elements that
build the image of cities, often becoming their visual dominant. This applies to creating a sculpture in a space that catch attention with its form and play of colors.

The aim of the article is to show, on the example of selected projects, how hotel buildings can shape urban images. The research method is based on the analysis of selected objects and showing their role in shaping the image of the city. The concept of the hotel influences the building of identity. The form of the hotel, the functionality, the materials, and their combination, create the semantic experience for observer. The hotel becomes a ‘story’ narrative that gives visitors or pedestrians a personal feeling of reading architecture.

According to Kevin Lynch (1960:8), the external image we perceive can be analyzed by combining three factors: identity, structure and meaning. Identity is identifying an object, distinguishing it from others, making it exclusive. Thus, fragments of space of greater importance are created in the city, which are shaped in terms of public utility. These areas, having greater value, are also of greater prestige for the city. They add as well the aesthetic energy to the city.


Maria Nowakowska


The aim of the paper is to outline the circumstances of the establishment of the Łódź Sculpture Gallery in Rubinstein’s Alley (formerly: Aleja ZMP) and its impact on the aesthetics of Łódź.

Despite the city’s history dating back to the beginning of the 15th century, the first fully-fledged sculpture in public space appeared only in 1912. By the beginning of World War II, the number of sculptures increased to a dozen or so, but all of those works were destroyed by the Germans in the first years of the occupation.

In the period 1945–1970, two monuments and a dozen or so smaller forms appeared. The sculptural face of the city was changed only by the Łódź Sculpture Gallery, which focused on the most important issues of post-war town planning, politics, artistic trends, and social needs.
Despite its short period of operation (1972–1978), its effects are still visible almost everywhere in Łódź. Never before and never after has the medium of sculpture been aestheticised on such a scale in the city.

The memory of this place and several dozen sculptures (and of their creators) has almost faded away. Currently, activities are under way to restore the Łódź Sculpture Gallery to its due position in the history of the city and to continue its activities in the same place. 


Adrianna Krzywik

Murals as Memory Carriers. Analysis of the Meanings Given to Them and the Attitudes of Their Creators


The phenomenon of wall paintings has been developing in public space since the Mexican Revolution. Murals are used, among other purposes, to capture memories. Moreover, they are one of the most popular forms of representation of the past in public space, commonly called memory carriers. In the discussion of the research being carried out, the opportunities associated with the formation of historical awareness and attitudes towards society’s past through commemorative murals will be highlighted.
The research was conducted from July to November 2020. It was based on the analysis of the existing materials – photographs of commemorative murals (significant and marked elements) and interviews with semi-structured memory agents. The first stage of the described research focused on the authors of commemorative murals.
The aim of the research was to determine the meaning and values that the creators of murals have given in general and in particular to the commemorative murals made by themselves.
The research allowed, among other things, to answer questions concerning the artistic path of the creators (graffiti environment), what factors influenced the process of making mural (family history, one’s own past, finances, social involvement), worldview and values of the declared creators (patriotism) and attitude to the politics of memory.


This issue develops contents delivered at:

Cristina Pratas Cruzeiro

Art with Revolution! Political mobilization in artistic practices between 1974 and 1977 in Portugal


This article analyzes the relationship between Portuguese artists and bodies of power and the popular masses after the Revolution of 25 April 1974 and until 1977.

The analysis of this period in Portugal will consider the dynamics surrounding socially engaged artistic practices integrated in the public space, within its historic and social framework.

The article argues that the Portuguese artistic context under consideration arose from the politicians and artists motivation to bring art and the popular masses closer to the ongoing revolutionary process. In this approach, I identify collaboration as the most frequent attitude used by artists in relation to the political system and population. This approach decreased since 1976, at which time there was an increase in conflict with the political power structures. Regarding the relationship with the population, from that moment on there was also a decrease in the use of collaborative tools and an intensification of transgressive and provocative tools in artistic

These changes will be articulated in the article based on the country’s objective political and social conditions, and their influence on attitudinal nuances identified in the socially engaged artistic practices under analysis.


Daniel Carrasco- Bahamonde

Arte, Memoria y Territorio. Estudio de caso del proyecto “muralismo en mi barrio” en Huechuraba, Chile


La intervención mural del entorno urbano en Chile presenta una amplia tradición histórica. En el ámbito comunitario constituye una herramienta de mediación para la transformación material y la apropiación simbólica de espacios públicos que promueve la recuperación de áreas degradadas y el empoderamiento de las comunidades.

El artículo presenta una iniciativa de rehabilitación de un espacio público en la comuna de Huechuraba mediante una intervención mural del entorno y tiene como principales objetivos dar cuenta de la metodología de trabajo utilizada y los principales elementos gráficos que dan forma al mural, articulando en una experiencia transformadora arte, memoria y territorio.

 La metodología se apoyó en un enfoque participativo que integra procesos de diálogo entre actores del territorio, la reconstrucción de su historia reciente, el co-diseño de una propuesta gráfico-pictórica y la co-producción de un mural comunitario.

La iniciativa contribuyó a generar instancias de encuentro, diálogo y reflexión entre diversos actores, transformando el rostro de un sector estratégico del casco histórico de la comuna y promoviendo el empoderamiento de las comunidades, el patrimonio cultural y la identidad del barrio.


The Woman Builds. ‘Architecture Na Periphery’

  • Álvarez Domínguez Mónica EnriquetaUniversidad Politécnica de Madrid, Escuela Técnica Superior de Arquitectura
  • Angelique TrachanaUniversidad Politécnica de Madrid, Escuela Técnica Superior de Arquitectura

Participation for the intervention and transformation of the environment, in the case study Arquitectura Na Periferia”, is presented as an emancipatory way for women and to mitigate conflicts of different kinds in marginalized settlements.
This article studies the broader consequences of citizen participation and collaboration in practices that break the usual operational schemes of the architectural and urban discipline.
In this way, it is intended to carry out, at the same time, an evaluation of some renewed professional practices, reviewing the attitudes and action procedures and demonstrating the efficiency of the processes in which the people and communities involved grow and transform.


Searching for the center. First part

  • Remesar Antoni Universitat de Barcelona

This article, the first part of a series, reviews the idea of the ‘center’ of the city through an analysis of some utopian proposals, including Howard’s for the garden city and ends with an analysis of the polycentrality of the medieval city.

After a review of the evolution of circular and polygonal cities from an analysis of secondary
sources, artistic iconography, cartography of the early days of printing and images of Google Earth, introduces the discussion about the ‘ideal city by studying this concept in medieval scholasticism, especially in the work of Eiximenis, as well as the relationship of this ideal with the materialization of the medieval cities [1] of repopulation, valuing the relationship between the routes and the emergence of the urban center and [2] the study, with different
intensities, of important medieval cities: Siena, Bologna, Florence, Venice, Brussels, Krakow,
Naples and Barcelona.

In the case of these last two cities, the article focuses on the importance of the port and shore space, as a large public space in the city.


					View Vol. 63 No. 9 (2021): The icons and the city

Aesthetic Uniqueness of Public Space. Based on the Example of the Region of Łódź(Poland) Basic Terminological Issues

Jowita Mróz Doctoral School of Humanities. University of Łódź


The concept of uniqueness can be an important critical tool. But as related to architecture, buildings, or the entire architectural and visual landscape of the city it appears frequently in many different contexts.
One can state that describing objects in public space and even entire urban complexes in terms of uniqueness plays a marketing role – it increases the tourist attractiveness of the area – as well as socio-cultural role, because it helps to strengthen the city and build its community’s sense of identity. Indicating these goals or the intention to create uniqueness in the region of Łódź draws attention to another, more fundamental theoretical-linguistic issue, namely, what it means that something is unique.
Taking into account etymology, theoretical approach, as well as possible values attributed to ‛uniqueness,’ I will consider main terminological problems with the notion. Bearing in mind these basic theoretical-linguistic issues, I will consider whether there are unique objects in the city of Łódź and the region.
Trying to answer this question I will review phenomena and objects that could be considered as unique. Identifying possible uniqueness of the places and objects located in public spaces of the region of Łódź, I will consider what can create a unique panorama of urban space in Łódź and its region, and on what scale this uniqueness can be considered in order to avoid the feeling that in some sense everything is unique, or nothing is, because it imitates or resembles existing solutions, ideas in other cities of Poland or Europe.


The image of contemporary architecture of Wrocław depicted in recent tourist commercial and Internet media

Natalia Bursiewicz Pedagogical University of Krakow


The aim of the paper is to present the tourist and image potential of contemporary public architecture.
Wrocław was chosen as the research subject, as it is a historical center with an extremely rich architectural heritage, which has enjoyed great interest among visitors for centuries. With the announcement of Wrocław as the European Capital of Culture 2016, and then the European Best Destination in 2018, its attractiveness increased significantly, which was reflected not only in the number of visitors, but also in the advertising materials themselves.
Both before and after arrival, millions of tourists encounter a multitude of various advertising forms, both virtual and printed, which determine the direction of sightseeing and shape a specific image and perception of the city. In general opinion, Wrocław is considered a historic city, the most interesting places of which are concentrated around the Old Town and Ostrów Tumski. The Centennial Hall, built at the beginning of the 20th century, stands out from the „newer heritage”.
The idea of the study, however, was to answer the question whether contemporary architecture is used in any way in the current tourist advertisement of the city. Another goal was to identify and list the most frequently appearing objects from the adopted group, and to analyze the manner of their presentation. Based on the collected materials, efforts were made to assess the role of the media in creating a tourist product in terms of promoting local architecture in recent years.
At the same time, an attempt was made to evaluate the role of architecture in creating the city’s progressive brand. In the research, the author used the method of analyzing the existing statistical data, iconographic research and the method of analyzing the content of advertising materials, as well as scientific studies on cultural heritage and tourism in the city. The final part of the paper shows that modern architecture can be a significant element increasing the tourist attractiveness of the city.


Integrated Urban-Social Programs (PIUS) and Casa Analco (FABUAP). Two projects in the periphery and the centre of the city in search of citizen participation

Adriana Hernández Sánchez DOI:

Cover Image


This work exemplifies a search for participation for the promotion of urban-architectural projects both in the center and in the periphery of a Mexican city such as Puebla, where twenty years ago few activities were developed in which the main actors were the inhabitants. Fortunately, in recent years it has been possible to carry out specific actions where participation is a key part of having a less technical vision on the part of architects, urban planners and heritage conservators.

The first project is the Integral Urban Social Program in which, through a municipal action, an attempt was made to implement a participatory process in sectors considered to be of extreme poverty where municipal government programs tried to impact the areas called PIUS. An important part was the Participatory Design process that mobilized the main universities of the city through young architecture students to carry out a series of projects where the condition was to have contact with the communities.

In the case of the Casa Analco project, a university initiative in the historic centre of the city in a very traditional neighbourhood (16th century) with problems of deterioration, abandonment and insecurity, with which the university-neighbourhood link is currently promoted and in where space has been the pretext to promote university participation in the rehabilitation of a building, but at the same time in a rapprochement with the neighbourhood.

Through these two cases it is confirmed that it is possible to make participation possible through a process that must be adapted to each place, these experiences leave a series of reflections in different areas, from which a basic process can be broken down to encourage it through organization, promotion, awareness of the work team, knowledge of the place, time, evaluation, management and adaptability.


Puebla; México; participation; centre; periphery; process; management.

Citizens-based Assessment of a Renovation Facilitating Policy in Urban Deteriorated Areas: An Ordinal Logistic Regression Model

By Saeed Najd Ataei Sarkarabad, Elahe Rezaei, Kyoumars Habibi


Cover Image


This study tested which latent factors exist that could significantly impact the citizens-based performance assessment of the Neighborhood Renovation Service Office (NRSO) which is a renovation facilitating policy. Two hundred residents of Urban Deteriorated Areas (UDAs) in
Fallah & Yaftabad neighborhoods, were interviewed by questionnaires. To analyze the outcomes of the questionnaires, first, an Exploratory Factor Analysis (EFA) for identifying underlying factors for assessment of the mentioned policy and subsequently Ordinal Logistic Regression
(OLR) for modeling the factors concerning performance assessment were employed.

The residents who had more familiarity with the plans and policies evaluated the renovation office performance more positively. Also if NRSOs want to be assessed as more effective in their intervention they need to empower their interacting community’s socioeconomic factor.
The OLR model showed that the sense of place is another significant underlying factor in this regard. However, residency duration despite converging as a factor in EFA did not show any significant impact based on the OLR model.


citizens-based assessment; renovation facilitating policy; Neighborhood Renovation Service Office (NRSO); Urban Deteriorated Areas (UDAs); Ordinal Logistic Regression (OLR)