The aspects of everyday city life: A sociological insight into the city

Ján Legény

SUMMARY

The article provides a sociological insight into the city and its everyday life. As architects and town planners we create a space, the city itself. Lewis Mumford has already stressed that the city and its transformation in time cannot be defined by a simple formula. It is necessary to perceive this complex “organism” and respond to its changes in the course of everyday life with a multidisciplinary approach. Criticism of everyday life is necessary in order to prevent degradation of the quality of life, the stagnation of living conditions and the curtailing of utopian human existence.

The city is being continuously transformed over the constantly flowing time – during seasons, day and night. One can introduce specific night city labels such as „entertainment zone”, “eat street” or “red-light district”. The article clarifies the fundamental changes of the city are based on social aspects. Gentrification (an act when the middle-class population is moving to the traditional sites of the working class and the traditional (poorer) population is pushed out of them) is one of the characteristic current trends which can be stimulated by supporting the idea of a creative city. The reason is that the civic creativity has always been a life-giving blood for the city. One of the distinguishing attributes of “everydayness” of the city is the diversity – cultural, social, ethnic, racial etc., therefore the aspect of tolerance, openness, understanding and mutual respect is crucial. The author explains the basis of gender sociology, the behaviour of women in the city or emotional and rational implications of their behaviour on the city (urban tourism and catchwords such as branding and marketing in a city). In this regard, the terms such as “McDonaldization” or “Dysneyization” have been introduced. The notions of remembered city and urban memory have also been explained. The aim of the article is to support more sensitive perception of everyday life in the city that is extremely important especially for architects and town planners.

Keywords: urban design, development, gentrification, emotions, everydayness, city, town rhytm, sociology, public space