Grootstad - Research axes Faculty of Arts

Metropolitan cities

The city ('grootstad' in Dutch) is increasingly perceived as a spatial complex that offers solutions for tomorrow's problems. Worldwide more and more people live in urbanised areas, which has made the city both a vector of contemporary social problems and a laboratory for solutions for the future. Which role does the Faculty of Arts take in this frontline research domain?

Emphasis on historical research

Situated in one of the oldest urban areas in Europe, the University of Antwerp approaches the city primarily as a historical phenomenon. The region Antwerp has many metropolitan features but it has for more than 1000 years been part of a wide urban network that is intertwined with the globalisation. These networks are versatile in nature and bring migration, capital, resources, and products to the city.

Because of these transfers and exchanges, often also culture and idea clashes, the city has turned out to be the perfect place for circulating knowledge, new paradigms and insights and then spreading these to a wider region. The University of Antwerp wants to channel these new insights on human society and use them for the contemporary community development and policies.

Interdisciplinary research

The Faculty of Arts' research groups work primarily interdisciplinary. The city is a complex, hybrid and layered reality of which researchers can study the materiality of its buildings, streets and squares, but also the imagination and experience in language, discourse and image.

Always starting from the philosophical, linguistic and visual manner in which the city has been comprehended, experienced, imagined, and shaped, the University of Antwerp decisively wants to gather disciplines so we can innovatively think of the city as an economic, social and cultural biotope in which people cohabit.

Interfacultary research

The urban research within the Faculty of Arts is executed in an intensive, interfacultary dialogue. Because of the complexity of the contemporary urban fabric, we have research partnerships concerning urban sociology, transport and spatial economics, architecture and design sciences, and the many environmental, technical and cognitive research domains. The University of Antwerp wants to integrate a scientific and constructive view on the urban policies of today and tomorrow.