They see themselves as historic centres while simultaneously becoming secondary in the dynamics of regional urbanisation. They move between rural idylls and chronically overloaded junctions. They are innovative commercial locations and yet remain eternally the provinces. Are the middle-sized towns between all the cracks? Or is this position in-between an opportunity in itself because this kind of urban fabric has so much potential? Linz is a prototypical middle-sized town. Not only in terms of its size and geographic position, between the hotspots of Vienna and Salzburg, but also because of the widely strewn palette of attributes. And, in fact, in the recent past Linz has used this in-between position and developed a remarkable talent for reinventing itself. Linz is European Capital of Culture in 2009. This exceptional situation calls once more for a new pitch. Who can Linz learn from and what can others learn from Linz? What does Linz share with Madrid or Galati? Which of its attributes are shared with Moscow or Davos? An urban road movie - to the end of the world - is looking for the answer.
Angelika Fitz is specialist on cultural studies and curator; she has been responsible for a number of exhibitions and publications on architecture, urbanism, art and Post-Colonialist topics. She was the commissioner of the Austrian contributions to the Sao Paolo architecture biennial and lectured both in Austria and abroad. Martin Heller is the coordinator of Linz, Cultural Capital of Europe 2009. He is the director of the Zurich Museum of Design, Photography, Art, Media and Popular Culture. He served as the artistic director of the Swiss 2002 Expo Exhibit in 2002 and is the founder of Heller Enterprises Zurich.
Preface: Exhibiting the City (Dietmar Steiner).- Introduction: A City Like Linz (Angelika Fitz).- The Most Interesting City in Austria (Martin Heller).- From Siderurgy to Semiurgy (Klemens Gruber).- Accelerating Stifter Linz and its Landscape (Bart Lootsma).- LINZ TEXAS - RELATIONS. Scenarios, visuals and commentary: Angelika Fitz, Christina Nagele.- LINZ//PARIS, TEXAS. The Runners-up.- PASCHING. Shopping.- MADRID. Building for Traffic.- DAVOS. Country Air.- HYDERABAD. Landscapes of Technology.- SALZGITTER. The Nazis' Model City.- WOLFSBURG. Living Industry.- ROURKELA. Building for the World.- PORT CAMARGUE. The City as a Garden.- GALATI. Waterway.- MANCHESTER. The Fabric of the Industrial Revolution.- HAIFA. City of Labor.- MOSCOW. Excellence for All.- VIENNA. To Old Buildings!.- SEATTLE. Do-it-yourself Music.- LONDON. The Great Exhibition.- KASSEL. City Branding.- GRAZ. European Capital of Culture.- LINZ STATUS QUO: The Cultural Capital of a City.- Introduction (Bart Lootsma).- Deja vu (Angelika Schnell).- The Problem is - "What is the Problem?" (Shumon Basar).- Rethinking the City Spectacle (Roemer van Toorn).- APPENDIX: Biographies, Authors.- Acknowledgements.- About this publication.