Building (the capital of) Europe as a heterotopy

Publication date:
Eric Corijn

The European unification project requires imagination to achieve the support of the population. Its role should be that of a capital city, not only the location for its institutions, but also as the place for developing arts, culture and innovation related to the project. To become such a capital of Europe would be a good urban project for Brussels. But to achieve that, a critical assessment is needed of the effects of the unification process with very strong centre-periphery dialectics. In that process the Mediterranean way of life is fading away, though it represents a vital part of "Europeanness". Constructing a postnational European imaginary and investing that in the project of a capital city needs a decentered identity in a heterotopian space.

Key words: Europe, Brussels, urbanity, urban imaginaries