From the beginning of the article:
In the fields of social and cultural sciences, the newly awakened concern with urban space and the spatial structure of society has not only given new impulse to research on cities in general, but has also produced a growing interest in the construction of urban landscapes as landscapes of meaning and, thus, the production of locality in more general terms (cf. Appadurai 1996). With regard to cities being at the same time symbols and agents of the wide-reaching transformation processes, taking place in late modernity (for an overview cf. Smart & Smart 2003; Niedermüller 1998), the investigation of how cities are produced is crucial to the understanding of contemporary social and cultural transformation processes in more general terms. Refining this argument, cities are described not merely as social frames for the actions of different social groups and the performance of different forms of lifestyles. Rather, cities are interpreted as symbolic texts which are written by political, social and cultural forces (cf. Low 1999). From this perspective, cities, their architecture and spatial order represent social imagination and political visions. They are cultural constructions, places and locations for myths, memories and nostalgia as well as contemporary balances of power and hegemony. Thus, the symbolic landscape of a city represents today’s political, social and cultural power and the hegemonic ideas and concepts in history. Or to put it another way, city space functions as a symbolically coded social and historical text, and in this text, different and changing political and ideological goals, historical interpretations and cultural meanings are inscribed.