Report from Cyprus

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ABOUT DIVIDED CITIES... IN DIVIDED NICOSIA
REPORT FROM THE XXVI CONFERENCE, 2-6 July 2019, Nicosia, Cyprus

The XXVI International Seminar on Urban Form "Cities as Assemblages" was held from 2-6 July 2019 in Nicosia, the capital of Cyprus. The main organiser of the conference was the International Seminar on Urban Form (ISUF). Founded in 1994, the organisation brings together scholars and practitioners (architects, geographers, historians, urban planners, sociologists) working on issues of urban morphology.

In front of the entrance to Filoxenia Conference Centre
In front of the entrance to Filoxenia Conference Centre. From the left: Monika E. Adamska (Opole University of Technology); Robert Szmytkie (University of Wroclaw); Tomasz Figlus (University of Lodz); Łukasz Musiaka (University of Lodz).

The current President of ISUF is Professor Wendy McClure (University of Idaho, USA). The President of the Polish section of ISUF is Professor Anna Agata Kantarek (Cracow University of Technology).

This year's conference is the 26th edition of this international event, which is organised in a different city every year. Previous editions of the conference were held, among others, in Krasnoyarsk, Valencia, Nanjing, Rome, Porto, Brisbane, Delft and Montreal. Next year, the participants of the 27th edition of the conference will be invited by Salt Lake City, the following year by Glasgow. In 2022, the International Seminar on Urban Form will be hosted by Polish cities: Krakow and Łódź.

The conference in Nicosia was attended by about 250 participants from all over the world, who presented the results of their research during dozens of parallel scientific sessions. Keynote speakers were Wendy McClure (University of Idaho), Anne Vernez Moudon (University of Washington), Alan Penn (University College London) and Giuseppe Strappa (Sapienza University of Rome).

Poland was represented at the Nicosia conference by a group of seven scientists - geographers and architects: from the University of Lodz - Dr Tomasz Figlus and Dr Łukasz Musiaka, from the Technical University of Lodz - Dr hab. inż. arch. Małgorzata Hanzl, from the Opole University of Technology - dr hab. inż. arch. Monika Adamska, from Wrocław University of Technology - Robert Szmytkie, Ph. Maciej Motak, Prof. of PK and Anna Agata Kantarek, Ph. Anna Agata Kantarek, prof.

The chair of the Polish section of ISUF, Professor Anna Agata Kantarek, presented at the session dedicated to the presentation of the national sections of ISUF the scientific problems carried out by Polish scientists participating in ISUF 2019 and representing the following universities: the Cracow University of Technology, the Lodz University of Technology, the Opole University of Technology, the University of Lodz and the University of Wroclaw. The sessions and deliberations took place in the modern Filoxenia Conference Centre complex in the new part of the city, as well as in the historic Chateau Status building in the old town part of Nicosia.

Within the framework of this year's conference motto "Cities as Assemblages", 8 general research topics on theory, practice and methodology in the field of urban morphology were pursued, as well as specific topics (divided cities; Mediterranean port cities in a global context). Proposals for article topics, together with an abstract and a short CV, had to be submitted by mid-January 2019.

Co-authored proposal by dr inż. arch. Monika Ewa Adamska (Opole University of Technology) and dr inż. arch. Marcin Spyra (Opole University of Technology, Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg) titled "Divided cities or twin cities? "Divided cities or twin cities? Cieszyn/Český Těšín and Zgorzelec/Görlitz. Comparative study from Polish-Czech and Polish-German borderlands" submitted under the theme "Urban conflict and divided cities" was accepted and selected to be presented at ISUF 2019 in Nicosia. The authors presented pairs of cities from the Polish-Czech (Cieszyn and Český Těšín) and Polish-German borderlands (Zgorzelec and Görlitz) not only in morphological aspect, but also in terms of spatial policy and cross-border cooperation. The presentation given by dr Adamska met with great interest, numerous questions and discussion which continued also outside the session. The complex and multidisciplinary problem of towns divided by a state border is reflected in numerous scientific articles dealing with this issue from various perspectives, including: economic, spatial and sociological.

Filoxenia Conference Centre in Nicosia - venue for conferences
Filoxenia Conference Centre in Nicosia - venue for conferences

Dr hab. inż. arch. Anna Agata Kantarek, prof. PK zaprezentowała dwa referaty. Pierwszy z nich przedstawiony w sesji poświęconej lokalnym sieciom morfologii urbanistycznej (Network Presentations) zatytułowany był Polish Urban Morphology Network. Zawierał on omówienie tak badań z zakresu Polskiej tradycji morfologii urbanistycznej jak i przedstawiał osiągnięcia współczesnych badaczy. Drugi referat prezentowano w ramach sesji Methods. Stanowił on raport z realizacji grantu ISUF Small Scale Projects: Research & Practice, 2017-2019. Grant ten zatytułowany “Plot by plot urbanism”. Mapping post-socialist changes in urban tissues. Case of Krakow and Belgrade. A Comparative Study realizowany jest przez międzynarodowy zespół w składzie: z Politechniki Krakowskiej dr hab. inż. arch. Anna Agata Kantarek, prof. PK, dr inż. arch. Krzysztof Kwiatkowski, dr inż. arch. Wojciech Korbel, z Uniwerstetu Belgradzkiego prof. dr inż. arch. Vladan Djokic, dr inż. arch. Ana Nikovic oraz mgr inż. arch. Aleksandra Djordjevic, a także w roli eksperta prof. Ivor Samuels z Uniwersytetu w Birmingham. Grant jest poświęcony analizie porównawczej tkani urbanistycznej Krakowa i Belgradu w okresie po transformacjach politycznych po roku 1989. Transformacje te skutkowały zmianą systemu własności, sposobami realizacji inwestycji a także reformą systemów planowania. Zanotowano tak podobieństwa jak i różnice w przebudowie postsocjalistycznych przekształceń. Główną cechą współczesnego rozwoju badanych struktur miejskich jest promowanie decyzji oddolnych w zakresie inwestowania kosztem ustaleń syntetycznych, całościowych i perspektywicznych.

Kolejny zespół autorski: dr Tomasz Figlus (Uniwersytet Łódzki), dr Łukasz Musiaka (Uniwersytet Łódzki) i dr hab. Robert Szmytkie (Uniwersytet Wrocławski) również przygotował ciekawe wystąpienia. W postaci posteru naukowego pt.: „Methodical approaches in Polish research on urban morphology based on Conzenian tradition” zaprezentowane zostały główne kierunki badań morfologicznych w Polsce w okresie powojennym, nawiązujące do koncepcji MRG Conzena. Wyróżnione kierunki to adaptacje teorii cyklu rozwoju działki miejskiej, badania metrologiczne rozplanowania miast, wykorzystanie metody grafów i quasidendrytów, badania z zakresu urban sprawl i zmian w użytkowaniu ziemi, a także podejście morfogenetyczne przemian osadnictwa i zastosowanie koncepcji urban fringe belt. Zdaniem autorów w ostatnich latach można obserwować powolny wzrost zainteresowania studiami z zakresu morfologii osadnictwa w polskich badaniach.

View of Nicosia from the 11th floor of Shacolas Tower
View of Nicosia from the 11th floor of Shacolas Tower
Ledra Street - the main pedestrian street in the centre of Nicosia
Ledra Street - the main pedestrian street in the centre of Nicosia

The same team of researchers also presented a paper entitled "Theoretical concept of morphological changes of Polish city centres after World War II", in which they outlined the main determinants, periodisation and directions of spatial transformations in the seven largest Polish cities (Warsaw, Krakow, Łódź, Wrocław, Poznań, Gdańsk, Szczecin) from the end of World War II to the present day. The starting point for the presented research results was the division of the cities into three main groups based on the scale of wartime destruction and the scope of morphological transformations. As a summary, models of spatial changes in the centres of the cities under study were proposed.

Dr. hab. Małgorzata Hanzl from the Technical University of Łódź also presented her speech at the conference ("Searching for the Balance between Public Realm and Built Density - a Resilient Planning Paradigm" as part of the team: M. Hanzl, L.M. Bezerra and independently with the topic "Public Space as an Artefact of Culture Permanence and meaning. Case study of two sites in Lodz, Poland"). In turn, Maciej Motak, PhD (Krakow University of Technology) presented the topic entitled: 'The origin, further transformations, and present-day importance of Krakow's fringe belts resulting from the liquidation of the Fortress Krakow'.

In addition to the programme of scientific sessions, the conference organisers offered participants the opportunity to take part in a study walk around the historic city of Nicosia. The old town has the form of a multi-pointed star with bastions, which was given to the island's capital by the Venetians ruling at that time in the 16th century. For several decades, Nicosia has remained the world's only divided capital with the northern (Turkish) part and the southern (Greek) part separated by the so-called 'Green Line'. The ISUF 2019 conference was concluded at a gala dinner held at the Chateau Status in the historic part of Nicosia.

Dr inż. arch. Monika Ewa Adamska
Faculty of Construction and Architecture
Opole University of Technology

Dr Łukasz Musiaka
Faculty of Geographical Sciences
University of Lodz

Dr hab. inż. arch. Anna Agata Kantarek, Prof. of PK
Faculty of Architecture
Cracow University of Technology