The Mid-Sized City: a New Scale for Urban Thought
12 February 2021
Stadsgezicht in Den Haag (Cityscape in The Hague) by George Hendrik Breitner; between 1880 and 1923; Image credit: Wikimedia Commons
Small or medium-sized cities are conceptually a blind spot in urban experience, they lie somewhere between town and country, and yet they are considered - at least in Germany – as a province. This essay is a plea for the specific quality of life of this in-between place, in which freedom and restriction mutually permeate and relativize each other, avoiding both homogeneity and that accumulation of differences which creates disentangled silos. A certain form of urbanity seems to be possible here, which is in danger of being lost in the metropolises: a creative space for different people that is potentially present in the metropolises but can only be activated with increasing difficulties.