This introduction starts by discussing the recent convergence of two previously distinct research areas: media studies and urban studies. The separation is a particular facet of a more general disjunction between culture and space; which is now being outdated from both sides; as geographers and urban theorists are increasingly interested in the imaginary; mediated and symbolic; while cultural studies and media research express a growing attention to spatial dimensions and locations of communication practices.
The various aspects and forms of this convergence are highlighted; combining the study of space in culture and cities in media or media representations of urban spaces with studies of culture in space and media in cities; comprising urban spaces of media making and use as well as the interspatial flows of images; texts and sounds. The result is a complex and dialectical fusion that may be termed MediaCities.
Subthemes and dimensions of this interface between urban; media and cultural studies are discussed; outlining a background to the conference and ideas for future collaborative European research in this hybrid field; based on a set of different previous efforts that have paved the way for this new direction of research.