With focus on The Good City

11 September 2015

In autumn 2015, Uppsala University will put on the acclaimed musical West Side Story for a series of dates. In addition, a number of seminars, discussions and lectures will be held around the theme of “The Good City”.

Den goda staden (“The Good City”) is a collaborative project which aims to bring culture and science together. Some 20 different activities are planned for the autumn, with emphasis on questions of urban exclusion and community. How do we lead sustainable lives in the city, counteract segregation and cultivate urban well-being and a sense of belonging?

An important part of Den goda staden is the production of West Side Story, one of the most popular musicals of the 20th century. Its narrative not only deals with xenophobia, exclusion and gang mentality in an inner-city environment, but also addresses dreams and the yearning for a different life.

A modern-day Romeo and Juliet

Uppsala University is staging the musical at the venue Svandamshallarna in Uppsala, which will see ten performances in November 2015.

West Side Story is a Romeo and Juliet story set in a modern, urban context, and deals with the city as a backdrop of life. Parallel to our production of West Side Story, we also want to spark debate on the state of the city’, says Deputy Vice-Chancellor Anders Malmberg, chairman of the steering committee for the project.

‘The theme of the musical is highly relevant to contemporary society, and one that is easy to relate to current research at the University’, he continues.

Several partners

The project Den goda staden is a joint undertaking between Uppsala University and several collaborative partners. The main partners are Uppsala Municipality and SH Bygg.

‘None of this would have been possible without the contribution of our many private and public partners. We are very pleased and expectant’, Anders Malmberg says.