EventsThe Open City

The Open City

Richard Sennett | Saskia Sassen

London School of Economics | Columbia University

Event from
09 June
Photo from Sennet Richard und Sassen Saskia



Together, Richard Sennett and Saskia Sassen analyse the ways in which the modern world is succumbing to “brutal simplicities” in the phrase ­of the historian Jacob Burckhardt. He points to a sharp division between winners and losers, between religious convictions, between natives and foreigners. 

In contrast to this, Sassen and Sennet develop the concept of the “open city,” which not only opens the city up to a complex interplay ­of politics, business and social life, but also nurtures culture. In the discussion with the audience at the Oskar von Miller Forum, they both answered questions about the current state of our cities, with Saskia Sassen responding from the viewpoint of politics and business, and Richard Sennett arguing from the perspective of an urban planner.

Richard Sennett und Saskia Sassen

Richard Sennett is university professor at New York University and also holds positions at the London School of Economics and at Cambridge University (UK). His research and writing is about cities, labour, and cultural sociology. His wife Saskia Sassen is the Robert ­S. Lynd Professor of Sociology, and chairs the Committee on Global Thought, Columbia University. Her main focus of research is on cities, immigration, and states in the world economy, with inequality, gendering and digitisation being three key variables running through ­her work

Photo of the lecture by Richard Sennett und Saskia Sassen
Photo of the lecture by Sennet Richard und Sassen Saskia
Photo: Astrid Eckert