Intermediate European Cities. Conditions Between Metropolis and Town

Working Group 2


  • Angeliki Sioli Delft University of Technology
  • Sonja Novak Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences in Osijek
  • Giuseppe Resta Faculdade de Arquitectura da Universidade do Porto



This article will discuss the conditions that define the intermediate European city at the beginning of the twenty-first century: the mid-size, other or secondary city as it many times appears in the relevant bibliography, although these terms fail to capture its full potential. We argue that the intermediate European city cannot simply be defined by parameters like population number, territorial extension, or other forms of scale. Instead, we propose an interpretation through categories of conditions from various scientific disciplines covering different perspectives, as provided by our network members. These conditions suggest a systematization of phenomena commonly manifested in the urban contexts under examination. The article aims to get closer to defining what an intermediate city is or is not, concluding with the concrete illustration of seven selected conditions: scale as a commodity, gravity, perceptual coherence, open-ended image, walkable distances, parochial realm and against fragmentability. 

Author Biographies

Angeliki Sioli, Delft University of Technology

Angeliki Sioli – Co-leader WG2 – PhD, is an assistant professor at the Chair of Methods of Analysis and Imagination at the Faculty of Architecture and the Built Environment at Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands. She is a licensed architect, holding a PhD degree from the History and Theory Program of McGill University, Canada. Her research seeks connections between architecture and literature in the public realm of the city, focusing on aspects of embodied perception of place in the urban environment. She has edited the volume Reading Architecture: Literary Imagination and Architectural Experience (Routledge, 2018) and she is currently working on a collection of essays dedicated to sound and acoustic atmospheres of architecture. She is the co-leader of Working Group 2 in the COST Action Writing Urban Places, working along with the group’s members to create a strong, contemporary and interdisciplinary theoretical context for the study of mid-sized European cities. 

Sonja Novak, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences in Osijek

Sonja Novak – Leader WG2 – PhD, is currently assistant professor and chair of German Literature at the Department of German Studies, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences in Osijek, Croatia, where she teaches History of German Literature and courses on Literary Theory at undergraduate (BA), graduate (MA) and postgraduate (PhD) level. She conducts her research in the humanities within the research field of Philology and her area of expertise is Literary Theory and History of Literature. Current research topics cover comparative literature, contemporary fiction and drama, with special emphasis on German and Croatian literature. She joined the COST Action Writing Urban Places to explore literary heterotopias. 

Giuseppe Resta, Faculdade de Arquitectura da Universidade do Porto

Giuseppe Resta – Co-leader WG2 – is a Researcher at the Faculdade de Arquitectura da Universidade do Porto (PORTofCALL project). He previously held teaching positions in Istanbul, Ankara, Bari and Tirana. He is the owner and curator of Antilia Gallery (IT) and co-founder of the architecture thinktank PROFFERLO Architecture (IT-UK). His latest monographic books are Journey to Albania: Architectures, Expeditions and Landscapes of Tourism (Accademia University Press, 2022) and Jean-Christophe Quinton: A Few Houses and Shelters 2002-2021 (Libria, 2021). His research on architecture and the city is focused on the relationship between space and power, and on adaptive reuse via artistic practices. Resta is a co-leader of Working Group 2 in the COST Action Writing Urban Places


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How to Cite

Sioli, A., Novak, S., & Resta, G. (2023). Intermediate European Cities. Conditions Between Metropolis and Town: Working Group 2. Writingplace, (8-9).