The article considers the dubious concept of “city limits” and “urban features”: territorial boundaries and imaginary urban features expressed in Russian by the same abstraction. As many concepts explicating ‘city’ and ‘urban’ remain confusing, we have tried to take the concept of external borders as a starting criterion to depict what is inside these boundaries and to discover the dialectical transformation in the dynamics of the intersection of material and immaterial boundaries of the so-called “urbanized environment”. M. Foucauldian “archeology” is taken for methodology (except for the description of the history of city boundaries). The spatial concept proposed as a defining analytical tool reveals additional possibilities for the study of social reality in the context of ‘philosophy of the city’. The urban contour is the outline of an abstract space, a mimetic place, both produced and productive. Having lost its clear boundaries, urban space, however, continues to ensure the coordination of flows and networks.
The research can be applicant to the clarification of the borders of identity and spatial boundaries of the city in order to refine the definition of the concept of “urban” environment, as well as in interdisciplinary studies of the fluidity of borders.
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