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ESSLLI 2012, Opole, Poland
The 26th meeting of the GLLI
prof. Słodczyk

On Tuesday, 3 December 2013, the Group of Logic, Language and Information of Opole University hosted Professor Janusz Słodczyk, Vice-Rector of Opole University in charge of scientific and financial matters.

The meeting was co-organized by the authorities of the Department of Economy and the Institute of History of Opole University. In the ‘Blue Aula’ of Collegium Maius of Opole University, sited at Copernicus Square, Professor J. Słodczyk delivered his lecture under the title Logic of planning cities throughout centuries.

After a short welcoming speech and introduction into the subject matter dealt with in the lecture, which was done by Professor Janusz Czelakowski, Professor Urszula Wubraniec-Skardowska made a presentation of the scientific silhouette and the output of the lecturer of the day, paying special attention to his monograph entitled Logic of Planning and Building Cities (published by Opole University in 2012). The book has been acclaimed to be the best academic handbook in Poland, treating about the problem of urban planning in the diachronic framework.

A city as a notion and a city as a concrete, like Paris or London – offers a fascinating theme to historians, geographers, urban planners, economists – to everybody who is interested social life and in issues of man’s environment. Processes of establishing, development and decline of cities are directed by a peculiar inner logic, thus by a certain natural order of things. On the other hand, development of cities, being a material testimony to people’s activity, is steered in a determined way – in the way as make the expanding habitat friendly to human beings. The key role is played here by historically changing criteria of rational planning of cities and constructing them.

Speaking to the audience who filled the hall to the brim, Prof. J. Słodczyk presented histories of establishing cities and the main principles behind planning them, from the ancient times up to contemporary ones, focusing mainly on the area of Western civilization which includes the circle of influence of the Greek culture. As the lecturer stressed, in a short presentation, it was not possible to cover the whole problem area and therefore he was forced to resign from discussing a few themes (e.g., principles of Chinese, Islamic, Japanese urban planning, or that being developed in other regions in the world). The lecture was richly illustrated with factographic materials (numerous photographs, drawings, plans of cities, beginning with the ancient Pergamon, ranging through medieval towns, including those located on German law, Renaissance ideal cities, into Paris, Washington, Petersburg, etc.). It provoked great interest on the part of the audience and gave rise to a lively discussion.