City as a Classroom

August 23, 2020

Big cities have always summoned people who were looking for a better life. Every year millions of people come to megacities in pursuit of their dream. There are ones for whom this decision was the best thing they did, they light up like stars, build a successful career, and reach unparalleled heights. For others, moving to another city does not end well but what is the reason? Why do the same cities become an ideal condition for some and an obstacle for others?

According to the paradigm shared by interdisciplinary academia, every human being is born as a blank “white sheet of paper” and one becomes who he is in the process of becoming an adult, socialization and experiencing trials on the path of life. So what does impact on what that “white sheet of paper” will look like after a while? What writes the human being? 

Indisputably, one of the fundamental categories in the development of a person is the environment. The environment is where one grows up and is shaped by that very “invisible Author”. The processes of urbanization, which actively catalyzed the dynamics of the development of civilization long before the 21st century, draw attention to the particular environment which is occupied by a modern person — a CITY.

Education and training of a person occur in the process of life and activity concurrently at different levels. The “learning” range in a city as a classroom can be represented as follows:

  • Symbolic
  • Philosophical
  • Religious
  • Political and geopolitical
  • Psychological
  • Sociological
  • Neurophysiological
  • Physiological
  • Anthropological

The given conference takes a look at the ways cities impact an individual on all levels.

Resolution of the conference


Conference objectives 

Through critical and objective view on enduring factors of cities that directly impact and reshape individuals and even personality traits, it is proposed to find out explanations to questions such as “what do cities teach and show us?”, “in what ways cities shape and train us?”, and most importantly “how people can 'use' cities to accomplish things possessing knowledge to abovementioned questions”. This conference is designed to consolidate the efforts of scientists and experts to ultimately comprehend existing questions with scientifically based keys, directed at uncovering the logic and tactics of implementing the "HOW TO MAKE THIS CIVILIZATION A FLOURISHING ONE".

In the course of six days of the conference, the following topics were covered in the format of online discussion panels:

1. Theoretical foundations for studying cities. City as a set of factors defining the status and level of personality development;
2. Symbolism, photography, expeditionary scientific activities, and other methods of exploring cities;
3. Ongoing threats in the context of the city;
4. Symbolism, mysticism and visual sociology of the European continent. Sociological, psychological, anthropological and religious perspectives on cities in other continents;
5. City as a university and training program in life;
6. Architecture as textbooks for city residents and unconscious training in the course of their lives in a city.

Papers of the conference

As an outcome of the scientific discussion, the following aspects were considered and analyzed: the way the urban environment affects a person and determines his or her future; how may the methodology of researching a city as a classroom may; security in the city; the stages of personal development; statuses and factors determining personal development and photography as a tool for looking into historical enigmas.

Videos of the conference