Urban discourse – city space, city language, city planning: Eco-semiotic approaches to the discourse analysis of urban renewal

Ernest W. B. Hess-Lüttich


Sustainable Urban Planning has to be understood as a communicative process connecting city architecture, technology, city district management and social infrastructure of neighbourhoods. The focus on sustainability raises the question of the necessary discourse conditions that allow architects and city planners enter into a dialogue with other urban stakeholders, citizens, local administrators and politicians, and discuss which cultural heritage should be preserved and where sustainability takes precedence. Looking at the style of discourse in urban communication brings also its socio-cultural modalities into focus. At the intersection of communication and discourse studies, urban ecology and sociology, the article focuses on the growing interest in architectural communication and, taking current approaches as a starting point, seeks to clarify which conversational maxims and discourse requirements by mediation, moderation, and integration are promising for achieving a new urban quality.


Urban Discourse; sustainability; spatial sciences; eco-semiotics; energetic renewal; urban planning; Tempelhof Airport Berlin

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.12697/SSS.2016.44.1-2.02

SIGN SYSTEMS STUDIES. ISSN 1406-4243 (print), 1736-7409 (online). E-mail: sss@ut.ee. Postal address: Sign Systems Studies, Dept. of Semiotics, University of Tartu, Jakobi St. 2, 51014 Tartu, Estonia