This open-theme issue brings together contributions received over the course of the last year ranging across a variety of themes and a diverse host of locations: our authors look at the ways in which street-level activity and social interactions shape urban life through an ethnographic study of a street market in Islington, London; trace a historical overview of how street lighting and the advent of department stores affected the public life of women at the turn of the century; and advocate for the role of children in city planning in Kathmandu, Nepal. Topical to contemporary debates on migration, a historical analysis of housing policies for refugees explores pathways to home ownership in-between formality and informality in the 1920s in Volos, Greece.
We’ve had the chance to discuss architectural and urban heritage and its changing significance to contemporary city dwellers in our interview with Martin Bricelj Baraga from the Nonument Group, an artists collective based in Ljubljana, Slovenia, that maps and archives 20th century monuments which have lost, shifted, or undergone a radical change in their meaning – nonuments. Monument, or perhaps nonument, to a forgotten world of social equity, the architectural legacy of Yugoslavia’s ‘humane brutalism’ reminds us of a distinct moment of spatial production guided by the pursuit of an alternative societal arrangement.
Setting the pace for future publications, we are excited to announce that from the next issue onwards each issue will publish contributions in response to a specific call, making each publication theme-specific. Our next three issues focus on the themes of Public Space, Visualising the City, and Land, respectively. For the latter theme our call is now open!
In a bid to explore novel and unconventional ways of narrating the city and relating to its lived experiences, we are launching an ongoing call for our Letters from the City section. We aim to open up this section to contributions that cross, mix, and go beyond the boundaries and media assigned to format-specific sections – let us read your stories. It is not without a certain nostalgia we have read and publish in this issue your Letter from Rome, recounting a journey beyond the stereotypical spaces of the eternal city, thank you.
Cover image: Fridays for Future Global Protest, 20.09.2019, Potsdamer Platz, Berlin. Image: Sara King.