Shrinking Europe twenty years on | The high-speed railway network as driver of urban change and the role of design

Activity: Talk or presentationTalk or presentation at a workshop, seminar, course or other meeting


The contribution is part of a series of Research Lunch lectures organised at the Department of Architecture.

In the 21st century clusters of well-connected cities are becoming a reality in Europe. Major cities engage a competitive approach to attract more and more incoming inhabitants by strategic projects, as urban interventions along the proliferation of high-speed railways (HSR), auto routes, ports and aero hubs. Since the eighties, this phenomenon is supported by EU policies that aimed at accelerating the process of states’ integration, pushing a physical compression of cities and territories, assuming infrastructures as main substrate for the construction of new metropolitan areas.
In the scenario of ‘time-space’ compression and the primary importance of technological development, the HSR stations became a tool for ‘city branding’ which also lead to the creation of partnerships and combined efforts of public authorities and private developers to realize ambitious projects. They were presented along with new business opportunities, visions and options. Architecture and urban design became essential instruments in any urban transformation process. Starting from Euralille, a crucial pioneer of neoliberal projects, the lecture will attempt to shed a new light on the role of the design(ers) in large scale infrastructural projects.
Period4 Jun 2021
Held atHistory, Form & Aesthetics
Degree of RecognitionLocal