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Final Report - WALLS FOR FREEDOM? (Walls for Freedom? Divided cities in a global age: Padua, Ceuta & Melilla, Belfast and Berlin)

Project ID: 221502
Funded under: FP7-PEOPLE


Porous borders and walls seem to be a contradiction in terms, yet they coexist in contemporary societies. This project aims to asses this contradiction by exploring the impact of walls in contemporary European cities. As urban artifacts walls are a contentious figure: not friendly, but embodying security; not totally urban, but defining urbanity and civility; not a common good, but representing the distinctive line between one specific community from another.

By tracing the historical, cultural, socio-political and economic arguments for erecting walls in Padua (2006), Ceuta/Melilla (1998/2001), Belfast (1970 s) and Berlin (1961) this project explores the impact of walls in ordinary city life in a twofold way. On the one hand it questions the effectiveness of walls as an instrument for conflict resolution, while on the other hand it addresses the moral understanding they provoke at the level of institutions and lay persons.

The final report details the achievements of the project and outlines that the research focused on a familiarisation with the specificities of the case studies: Berlin, Belfast, Padua, Ceuta and Melilla. Secondary research was carried out for each of these cases; primary field-work research stages were undertaken in Berlin and Belfast.

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