Capital Cities/Les capitales

Capital Cities/Les capitales: International Perspectives/Perspectives internationales

JOHN TAYLOR
JEAN G. LENGELLÉ
CAROLINE ANDREW
Copyright Date: 1993
Pages: 435
https://www.jstor.org/stable/j.ctt81415
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  • Book Info
    Capital Cities/Les capitales
    Book Description:

    An unusual look at the nature and role of capital cities around the world - past, present and future. The 24 papers by scholars from many countries and disciplines present their thinking on capital cities, with contributions from Amos Rapoport, Claude Raffestin, Peter Hall and Anthony Sutcliffe. 16 papers in English, 8 in French.

    eISBN: 978-0-7735-8496-9
    Subjects: Sociology

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-viii)
  3. INTRODUCTION
    (pp. ix-xvi)
    John Taylor, Jean G. Lengellé and Caroline Andrew

    The papers and the commentary in this collection are a product of an international colloquium entitled “Capital Cities: How to Ensure their Effective and Harmonious Development,” which was held in Ottawa, Canada, December 6 to 8,1990.

    The written volume unfolds as the conference did, and, like it, can be considered in five parts:

    I. What Is a Capital City?

    II. The Roles and Activities of Capital Cities

    III. Capitals: Symbolism and the Built Environment

    IV. Capitals for the Future

    V. Avenues for Research

    The reader is, however, invited to enter the volume through the door of greatest interest, as the...

  4. I WHAT IS A CAPITAL CITY?

    • CAPITAL CITIES: What is a Capital?
      (pp. 3-6)
      John Meisel

      What distinguishes the capital from other places? Does it have a particular place in human affairs and among cities? How can the place be identified, and does it change once it becomes a capital?

      A number of worldwide sociopolitical developments impose certain limits and conditions on the answers one is likely to proffer to these questions. One of these follows from the ongoing information revolution and from changes in ubiquitous economic patterns. These developments are accompanied by two concurrent but seemingly incompatible tendencies.On the one hand, McLuhan’s global village is upon us: globalization places a great many activities and thoughts...

    • UNE CAPITALE EST-ELLE L’EXPRESSION D’UNE SÉMIOSPHERE NATIONALE OU LE LIEU DE MISE EN SCENE DU POUVOIR?
      (pp. 7-30)
      Claude Raffestin

      En français, le mot « capitale » est une ellipse de l’expression « ville capitale » dont l’usage est déjà réparable au XVesiècle. A partir du XVIIe, on parle le plus souvent de « capitale ». La même observation vaut pour l’italien et l’anglais. On a conservé, d’ailleurs, dans la période contemporaine, l’expressioncapital cityen anglais. Le substantif « capitale » procède du latincapitalis,dont la racine estcaput(tête). Il en va de même en allemand avec le mot composéHauptstadt(Hauptsignifiant la tête). Le caractère agglutinant du mot composé allemand n’a pas suscité l’ellipse....

    • ON THE NATURE OF CAPITALS AND THEIR PHYSICAL EXPRESSION
      (pp. 31-68)
      Amos Rapoport

      In this paper, I consider the nature of capitals and their physical expression, cross-culturally and historically, and derive implications for the present and future. These will emerge from the discussion. However, there is an underlying taxonomic premise: that, in general, single monothetic attributes cannot define or identify complex entities such as capitals. Rather, multiple (polythetic) attributes must be used, not all of which need to be present in any given case; every member of the type will possess many of the characteristics and each attribute will be shared by many members of the type. Thus, no single attribute is both...

    • THE CHANGING ROLE OF CAPITAL CITIES: Six Types of Capital City
      (pp. 69-84)
      Peter Hall

      The first point to make is elementary: not all capital cities are alike. Some are capitals solely because they are the seat of government; at one (Amsterdam), however, is a capital but not the seat of government. Capitals in federal systems may have less well-developed governmental functions than those in centralized states. Although most seats of government attract other national functions (commerce, finance, the media, higher education), not all do so to an equal degree. We can usefully distinguish the following cases:

      (1) Multi-function capitals: Such capitals combine all or most of the highest national-level functions (London, Paris, Madrid, Stockholm,...

    • COMMENTARY: What Is A Capital?
      (pp. 85-92)
      Beth Moore Milroy

      Discussion began in the light of the papers presented by professors Raffestin, Rapoport and Hall, and was concerned with the extent to which a state today can decide the form and semiotic content of its capital city, as compared to it being shaped mainly through inadvertence or by forces engaged in projects other than capital-building.

      The papers offered many insights into the questions prepared for this session by the colloquium organizers, such as: What is a capital city? What distinguishes the capital? Does it have a particular place in human affairs and among cities? How can that place be identified?...

  5. II THE ROLES AND ACTIVITIES OF CAPITAL CITIES

    • RÔLES ET ACTIVITÉS DES CAPITALES
      (pp. 95-98)
      Louise Quesnel

      Dans la recherche d’une définition de la capitale, l’on trouve tour à tour des références à la composante territoriale et spatiale, à la composante symbolique, et à la composante sociale. Premièrement, la capitale est un espace défini par une étendue géographique, par des caractéristiques topographiques et par une situation spécifique dans le système écologique global. Deuxièmement, la capitale est porteuse de valeurs et de messages référant au sentiment d’appartenance nationale et à l’image qu’un pays veut donner de lui-même. Et troisièmement, la capitale est aussi un lieu où vivent et travaillent des populations et où oeuvrent des entreprises. C’est donc...

    • ANCIENT CAPITAL CITIES AND NEW CAPITAL CITIES OF LATIN AMERICA
      (pp. 99-128)
      Jorge E. Hardoy

      Twenty independent republics form the group of countries known as Latin America. This designation is based on the Latin origin of the countries’ official languages and their Latin backgrounds.¹ Since World War II, several former British colonies in the Caribbean, Central America and northern South America have also become independent nations, and, in addition, there still exist in the region territories politically associated with, or dependent on, France, Holland and the United States.

      In recent decades, the United Nations has divided Latin America and the Caribbean into several regions: the Caribbean; Central America (including Mexico and Belize); temperate South America...

    • LE STATUT DES CAPITALES EUROPÉENNES
      (pp. 129-148)
      Francis Delpérée

      Dans leDictionnaire général de la politiquequ’il publie à Paris en 1863, Maurice Block définit de manière laconique la capitale : c’est le « siège du gouvernement. » À l’appui de cette définition, il fournit l’explication suivante : « Paris, Londres, Vienne, Berlin, Copenhague, Stockholm, Madrid, Lisbonne, etc. sont devenues des capitales, parce que ces villes sont habitées de temps immémorial par le souverain, autour duquel se sont naturellement groupées les autorités supérieures. La Rome ancienne est devenue capitale parce qu’elle a conquis peu à peu le pays qui l’entourait. »

      La définition est d’ordre technique¹. L’explication, elle, est...

    • WAYS OF GOVERNING FEDERAL CAPITALS
      (pp. 149-172)
      Donald C. Rowat

      All cities of the world are struggling with similar problems of urban growth and living. But the governing of capital cities presents a special problem, that of achieving a just balance between the interests of the local residents and the interests of the nation. And the governing offederalcapitals presents an additional basic problem: the relationship of the federal capital to the state or province in which it is geographically situated. A comparative study of how existing federal capitals are governed can give us some guidance on how these two fundamental problems may be solved.

      These problems are what...

    • CIRCULATION DES FEMMES MUSULMANES DANS L’ESPACE PUBLIC ET POLITIQUE FORMEL : Le role « capitale » de Tunis
      (pp. 173-188)
      Lilia Labidi

      L’importance des capitales comme espaces symboliques : voilà un des thèmes centraux du colloque. Nous ne pourrions pas comprendre le rôle que jouent les capitales dans la vie politique de leur pays sans les voir comme des lieux de représentation symbolique des mouvements et des forces politiques. Nous devrions envisager les capitales comme des scènes de théâtre où les acteurs politiques soulignent leur participation — leur entrée, leur absence, leurs périodes de force ou de faiblesse — et où ils illustrent, sur un plan symbolique, la construction de leur action politique dans une société donnée et dans une conjoncture particulière.

      Cette étude...

    • COMMENTARY: The Role and Activities of Capital Cities
      (pp. 189-192)
      Maureen Covell

      This session was organized around a series of questions. How do capitals manage pluralism in society? How do they manage relations between national and local levels of government? How do they reflect the values of the country, and how do they act as a centre for the communication of those values? How does a capital manage the two roles of capital for the country and city for those who inhabit it?

      These questions are related to the questions raised in the first session and to the emerging themes of the conference’s discussions. These themes can be specified as a series...

  6. III CAPITALS:: SYMBOLISM AND THE BUILT ENVIRONMENT

    • CAPITAL CITIES: Does Form Follow Values?
      (pp. 195-212)
      Anthony Sutcliffe

      This conference on capital cities is being held in one of the world’s numerous capital cities. Capital cities exist not by virtue of their own size or economic importance, but because of their relationship to a national state. National states have emerged slowly since the later Middle Ages as the most common solution to the effective government of a world that is divided into a large number of territorial masses and of racial and ethnic groups, not to speak of religions. Even federal states, such as Canada and United States, have normally had a national capital, even if, like the...

    • THE CREATION OF WASHINGTON, DC: Political Symbolism and Practical Problem Solving in the Establishment of a Capital City for the United States of America, 1787-1850
      (pp. 213-250)
      Milton C. Cummings Jr. and Matthew C. Price

      The fourth river is called Patawomeke, 6 or 7 myles in breadth. It is navigable 140 myles, and fed as the rest with many sweet rivers and springs, which fall from the bordering hils. These hils many of them are planted, and sides.... The river above this place maketh his passage downe a low pleasant valley overshadowed in many places with high rocky mountaines; from whence distill innumerable sweet and pleasant springs.¹

      So wrote the English explorer Captain John Smith in 1627, in hisGeneral Historie of Virginia, New England and the Summer Isles. The marshy area he described would,...

    • CULTURAL HEGEMONY AND CAPITAL CITIES
      (pp. 251-270)
      Anthony D. King

      In this chapter, I want to address some of the larger forces affecting all contemporary cities, particularly capital cities, and especially those likely to affect the production of symbols and the meanings that they may have for the different populations exposed to them. Moreover, so far as all aspects and dimensions of the built environment—the totality of its physical and spatial form—have symbolic functions, I shall not privilege any particular part of it. Squatter settlements on a city’s periphery have as much to say about a society and polity as the architect-designed icons in the central plaza.

      Let...

    • COMMENTARY: Capital Cities as Symbolic Resources
      (pp. 271-286)
      Gilles Paquet

      In the first session of this colloquium (“What is a Capital City?”), participants examined three questions: what is a capital city? What are the role and activities of capital cities? And, what are the links between material and symbolic resources in capital cities? It became clear, during the discussion, that a capital city is simultaneously three separate entities. First, it is asociopolitical forum,stylized to provide a locus where the citizenry can take part in and shape a national discourse, and to serve as a social learning mechanism for government. Secondly,it is an economic production and distribution centre...

  7. IV CAPITAL CITIES IN THE FUTURE

    • CAPITALES DE L’AVENIR
      (pp. 289-294)
      Anne Buttimer

      Nous sommes invités cet après-midi à orienter nos discussions vers l’avenir des villes capitales. Pour nous, les universitaires surtout, il est plus facile de suggérer des interprétations pour le passé que de spéculer sur l’avenir. Pendant les années soixante-dix, on a joué avec la futurologie — il y aurait beaucoup à dire surL’Europe 2000— mais en 1990, alors que le troisième millénaire approche, on devient plus prudent (ou silencieux) sur ce sujet. D’où viennent nos images du futur ? Des milieux intellectuels ou des contextes sociaux ? Ce que je voudrais suggérer ici, c’est qu’il serait prudent de nous rendre...

    • BERLIN OR BONN? The Dispute Over Germany’s Political Center
      (pp. 295-316)
      Theodor Hanf

      Federal balance or hegemony of a regional power center: the controversy over these two concepts determined long periods of German history. The French used to refer to it as the “querelles allemandes.” The major changes that took place within just less than a year, from the autumn of 1989 to the autumn of 1990, seem to have put a final end to the dispute.

      On October 2, 1990, the German division came to an end. This happened not as a result of a merger of the two parts, but by five newly created states situated in the former German Democratic...

    • CAPITALE-VILLE, VILLE-CAPITALE, UNE APPROCHE HOLISTIQUE
      (pp. 317-324)
      José Vandevoorde

      D’une vision exclusivement esthétique de l’art d’organiser les villes, l’urbanisme moderne s’est tourné vers une approche beaucoup plus technocratique. Et cette manière de procéder n’a pas tellement résisté aux mouvements de contestation nés de la décennie des années soixante. Peu à peu, le réflexe de constituer des équipes pluridisciplinaires s’est généralisé. La synthèse des approches pluridisciplinaires reste néanmoins embryonnaire et ressemble davantage à un résumé qu’à une réelle synthèse. En fait, aucun crédit n’est généralement alloué à la synthèse d’une problématique donnée, et on se retrouve avec un urbanisme parlé d’un côté et un urbanisme planologique de l’autre. La simple...

    • COMMENT UNE CAPITALE DEVIENT MACROCÉPHALE EN AFRIQUE SUBSAHARIENNE : Le Cas de Lomé au Togo (Afrique de l’Ouest)
      (pp. 325-342)
      Gabriel Kwami Nyassogbo

      Malgré son retard dans l’urbanisation, l’Afrique tropicale est marquée, depuis la fin de la Deuxième Guerre mondiale, et surtout après les indépendances, par un phénomène important : l’accroissement très rapide de la population urbaine. Mais cette urbanisation galopante est très mal répartie Elle s’est particulièrement concentrée sur les capitales, qui sont généralement des ports. Compris entre 5 et 8 p. 100 par an, les taux d’accroissement dépassent parfois 13 p. 100. La capitale du Sénégal, Dakar, a connu une croissance annuelle de 8,5 p. 100 entre 1921 et 1955, et de 16 p. 100 entre 1955 et 1960 (M. Santos...

    • CAPITAL CITIES IN EUROPE: Directions for the Future
      (pp. 343-376)
      Paul Drewe

      To say that capital cities are both capitals and cities sounds like a tautology. is more meaningful to ask: To what degree do cities serving as a seat for the central government differ from or resemble other cities? As far as Europe is concerned, this question can be answered using the results of a study by Brunet et al. (1989). This study covers 165 agglomerations with more than two hundred thousand inhabitants in the European Community, Switzerland and Austria. Brunet and his team rank the agglomerations in terms of sixteen indicators, which were selected to measure the European importance (taille...

    • WORLD CITY/CAPITAL CITY: New York in the Changing Global System
      (pp. 377-398)
      David A. Johnson

      The map of the world is changing. And with it the world urban system is also changing. What we see emerging is a network of world cities interlocked through information flows, directed by former national elites newly realigned into transnational elites. More than simply core and periphery, the emerging world order comprises a major integration and rationalization of the world economy and the world legal order. What Napoleon once sought to do with arms, world capital is doing with the internationalization of the money economy and new information technology. But the process is lumpy and uneven. A good portion of...

    • COMMENTAIRE: CAPITALES DE L’AVENIR
      (pp. 399-402)
      Alain-G. Gagnon

      On se demande si la direction que prendront les capitales nationales peut êter comprise à partir de la lecture du passé, ou si de nouvelles dynamiques sont à l’oeuvre dont il faudra tenir compte pour mieux saisir comment elles s’inscrivent dans l’ensemble des forces politiques et sociales. La question du symbolisme physique de la capitale se pose-t-elle encore ? Lorsque l’on parle de la direction que pourront prendre les capitales à l’avenir, on peut retenir six missions distinctes.

      D’abord, il y a une mission culturelle, qui s’exprime à travers les musées, les centres d’animation, les universités, et autres. Deuxièmement, il...

  8. V AVENUES FOR RESEARCH

    • DIRECTIONS DE RECHERCHE: INTRODUCTION
      (pp. 405-406)
      Paul-André Linteau

      La dernière étape de ce colloque vise à faire le lien entre l’expérience des autres capitales et celle d’Ottawa et à ouvrir des pistes de recherche. Les textes précédents ont permis de constater que le vocable « capitale » recouvre une grande diversité de situations. Si toutes les capitales partagent une caractéristique commune, celle d’être le siège de l’État et de ses principales institutions, les différences émergent dès qu’on examine les autres fonctions — notamment économiques et culturelles — de ces villes ainsi que leur taille et leur poids relatif dans leurs pays respectifs.

      Dans le cas d’Ottawa, plusieurs participants ont souligné...

    • Ottawa, Christaller, Horowitz and Parsons
      (pp. 407-418)
      J.A. Laponce

      I am honoured to have been asked to speak at this concluding session that ends three days of deliberations on the state and the status of capital cities, honoured but humbled. I am not a specialist on the subject of capitals. I can only claim to be a heavy user. And that is probably why I speak last. It is a little as if, at the end of a medical convention, a patient had been asked to give the concluding address. Or, to change the comparison slightly, it is as if anxious parents concerned about the growth or their adolescent...