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Civic Culture


Cities can either be places that mark inequality and promote social, religious and ethnic isolation, or they can be the exact opposite: places that foster a sense of community. In urban history and theory, a lot of attention has been given to the city as a generator of social cohesion and social equilibrium. We encounter the work of Werner Hegemann and analyze a line of thinking that presents the city as the built form of the urban community, and history as the agent that shapes this community over time. We see Camillo Sitte as a precursor of Hegemann, and the two mayors of Bogotá, Mockus and Penelosa, as heir to this tradition. Civic culture is about people’s attachment to their city and their everyday environment: it’s about people: biking, public transportation, Kindergarten, manners, sports – politics trying to get the most out the people, instead of orchestrating them and transforming them into the {civic} soldiers of a state machine…