City, Civility and Capitalism
It is hard to imagine a city more suitable for a seminar on “City, Civility and
Capitalism” than Venice. In 1960 the English writer Jan Morris wrote: “Venice
stands, as she loves to tell you, on the frontiers of east and west, half-way
between the setting and the rising sun. Goethe calls her ‘the market-place of
the Morning and the Evening lands’. Certainly no city on earth gives a more immediate
impression of symmetry and unity, or seems more patently born to greatness.”
This seminar will explore how architecture, urban design and trade historically and
today have contributed to civility and political order. The first panel examines civility
as a concept and its role in both political organisation and in economic relations
between citizens in Renaissance Italy. The second panel will turn our focus to the
cities of today and how we can create urban environments where the individual can
flourish. Can townscape and good manners create happiness and what part does
architecture play in creating civilised societies?
We will end the day by investigating the future of capitalism and trade and its
effects on both the modern city and on our communities. What will happen to our
trading system in the post-Brexit international order and what will the next step of
the digital revolution mean for capitalism as we know it? Can civility prevail in a
world of disruption?
Seminariet City Civiliy and capitalism hölls i Venedig 29 mars 2019.