The paper presents a theoretical fresco of the contemporary city, starting from the case study of Bologna. The hypothesis that guides the investigation is that today we are confronting with a new phenomenon, the globalized city: a common urban matrix that shapes and at the same time is shaped by almost every city. The article is organized as a sort of cartography. It proposes a grid of events, of theoretical glances and of social subjects, to produce an urban rhapsody through which to distill some suggestions about research prospects on contemporary urban scenarios.
During the last years new forms of social mobilization have emerged in Bologna, and they are taken here as a lens through which to put light on the crisis of the neoliberal city and on the new emerging urban dynamics. Since 2012 a cycle of struggles in Bologna’s logistics sector, a new form of mobilization, has shown a specific tension that could be generalized as a friction between the globalized city and the planetary urbanization. A second example is the occupation, in October 2014, of an abandoned building by hundreds people to realize a collective house. This action has enlightened a completely new social composition and the watermark of a new urban texture.
The paper also reflects on the relationship between social movements and the city’s transformations. On one hand the economic and the city planning shifting configurations of the city seem to produce different forms of resistance. On the other hand social struggles often produce anticipations on city developments. Finally, it is presented a reflexion about the concepts of “de-gendered city”, the city as aporia and the city as a battlefield.