Background Funding Programme "Lost Cities. Perception of and living with abandoned cities in the cultures of the world"
The enormous process of urbanization, which has defined world history for thousands of years in different economic situations and with regional variations, and which is now developing a particular dynamism, has another side to it that initially appears paradoxical – namely the shrinking and entirely abandoned cities, the so-called Lost Cities. Current transformation processes in various parts of the world mean that many of these Lost Cities are emerging. Nevertheless, the phenomenon is not a new one, but has been a widespread hallmark of urban history since the emergence of urban culture in the fourth century B.C. It has therefore been perceived, reflected on and interpreted in very different ways in the cultural history of urban life. With this finding as a starting point and a goal of placing current problem situations in a greater historical context, the Gerda Henkel Foundation has established a new funding programme for the theme Lost Cities. Perception of and living with abandoned cities in the cultures of the world.