Research and Book Project:

ETH Stu­dio Basel / Con­tem­po­ra­ry City Institute

Spe­ci­fi­ci­ty is a rese­arch and book pro­ject curr­ent­ly being con­duc­ted by ETH Stu­dio Basel / the Con­tem­po­ra­ry City Insti­tu­te on cur­rent urban trans­for­ma­ti­on pro­ces­ses. The pro­ject ela­bo­ra­tes on ongo­ing or alre­a­dy com­ple­ted rese­arch stu­dies con­duc­ted at the insti­tu­te. The Chair of Socio­lo­gy sup­ports this project.

The cen­tral hypo­the­sis of Spe­ci­fi­ci­ty is that urban are­as, pre­cis­e­ly under con­di­ti­ons that are con­ver­ging world­wi­de, tend to deve­lop their own spe­ci­fi­ci­ty, their own uni­que cha­rac­ter, set of pat­terns, and distinc­ti­ve phy­si­cal and social pre­sence. Urba­niza­ti­on is inva­ria­bly a con­cre­te pro­cess shaped by local con­di­ti­ons, struc­tures, and power rela­ti­ons. Glo­bal ten­den­ci­es accor­din­gly find vary­ing inter­pre­ta­ti­on depen­ding on local con­di­ti­ons. Spe­ci­fi­ci­ty explo­res the­se pro­ces­ses in the fol­lo­wing cities und urban are­as: Nap­les, the Nile Val­ley, Hong Kong, Bel­gra­de, Nai­ro­bi, Bei­rut, Casa­blan­ca, and the Cana­ry Islands.

ETH Stu­dio Basel (Hg.); Roger Die­ner, Jac­ques Her­zog, Mar­cel Mei­li, Pierre de Meu­ron, Manu­el Herz, Chris­ti­an Schmid und Mili­ca Topa­lo­vic: The Ine­vi­ta­ble Spe­ci­fi­ci­ty of Cities: Napo­li, Nile Val­ley, Bel­gra­de, Nai­ro­bi, Hong Kong, Cana­ry Islands, Bei­rut, Casa­blan­ca. Lars Mül­ler Publishers. Zürich, 2015.

R. Die­ner, J. Her­zog, P.d. Meu­ron, M. Mei­li, C. Schmid: Switz­er­land: An Urban Por­trait Birk­häu­ser, 2005