Call for papers for a Special Issue in Journal of Urban Design!!!

Becoming Local: inquiries into public space practices, meanings and values.

Call for papers for a special issue in Journal of Urban Design has the goal to assemble and to precise insights of the becoming local series. We encourage contributors from the different workshops as well as other authors, who report from different fronts of becoming local in public space.

This call brings out the topics discussed, namely, by:

1) Understanding public spaces as “places” where global tendencies ‘sediment’ and are being ‘translated’ and ‘transformed’ according to local cultural, social and political contexts.
2) Public spaces as a ‘reflection of local identities’ shaped by community behaviours, patterns of everyday life and collective memories.
3) Public spaces as a ‘ground of investigation of place making practices’ by different actors and agents particularly in the context of changing role of state, market and civil society in shaping, creating and transforming public spaces.

Given the above, the aim of this special issue is to explore relevant debates on public space, bringing together researchers and case studies from different urban contexts. The outcome aims to contribute to the debate of achieving a consensus to create inclusive public spaces.

The deadline for abstract submission is 31th August. The results of a preliminary review will be announced by the end of September. The selected authors will, then, be invited to submit full papers till 15th December. Interested contributors from both practice and academia, and at their interface, are invited to submit an abstract of maximum 350 words to the e-mail address

For any requests and inquiries, please contact:
Sara Santos Cruz (Oporto,;
Nadia Charalambous (Nicosia,;
Nikolai Roskamm (Berlin,

Guidelines for abstracts and links to the meeting series:

Call for Papers!!!

Defragmenting and Activating Public Spaces in Unstable Urban Settings

The Faculty of Architecture, Art and Design at the Notre Dame University – Louaize will host the first meeting of the AESOP Thematic Group for Public Spaces and Urban Cultures (AESOP TG PSUC) in Beirut, Lebanon. This meeting launches the new thematic series: Unstable Geographies – Dislocated Publics, with its four sub-themes:

 City, refugees, and migration

 Fragmented social fabric – individualised patterns of consumption

 The decline of national politics – Resurgence of the urban political

 Change of perspective – worlding urban studies

The series aims to address current issues related to public spaces common to cities globally, from an interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary perspective, while engaging a variety of actors and stakeholders. The purpose of this meeting, organized in parallel to the City Street2 Conference (refer to, is to unfold themes under the title of the series within the local and unstable context of Beirut. The meeting will combine the keynote speeches of CS2 presentations from the contributions to this call, a field visit and a workshop. The workshop will provide the opportunity for stakeholders to discuss, exchange views, and propose ideas with the purpose of sharing resources and producing knowledge on contemporary public space concerns. A concluding roundtable discussion will consolidate the ideas, concerns and recommendations presented during the meeting, and set the basis for further practical and theoretical explorations.
(see and here)

Call for Interest

Association of European Schools of Planning (AESOP)
Thematic Group ‘Public Spaces and Urban Cultures’ (TG PS-UC)

February, 2016
The AESOP Thematic Group for Public Spaces and Urban Cultures (AESOP TG PS-UC) has opened a call to potential institutional partners, in Europe and beyond, to host the group’s meeting in the series UNSTABLE GEOGRAPHIES - DISLOCATED PUBLICS, during the period from 2016 to 2018. Previous meetings of the Thematic Group have been organised under the themes of “Conviviality” (2010-2012; in Vienna, Ljubljana, Naples, Brussels, and Lisbon) and “Becoming Local” (2013-2015; in Istanbul, Bucharest, Vienna, Paris, Rome, Glasgow, and Oporto). The new topic UNSTABLE GEOGRAPHIES - DISLOCATED PUBLICS has been developed during the group’s meetings in Prague and Oporto between July and September, 2015. This umbrella topic builds on the group’s approaches and activities aimed to critically reflect upon, analyse, and discuss current trends and tendencies in public spaces and urban cultures in the fields of urban research, design, and planning. If you are interested in hosting an upcoming group’s meeting, please contact us at by 28 February 2016 and include a 2-page description of the project and intellectual framework (including theme, relation to the new topic, budgeting ideas, and institutional partners (including NGOs, and others), motivation).

The theme
Public spaces, as a manifestation of cities’ different cultures, are recognized as valuable social and cultural capital of urban societies. They have increasingly been celebrated as crossroads of different interests, backgrounds, and values, allowing - if not inviting - diverse urban populations to enjoy the fruits of (past) emancipatory struggle(s). A thriving scene of actors and performative practices mainly rooted in the fields of urban design and planning for the city centres and adjacent districts, engages in creating places of everyday life for multiple city publics. This renaissance of diverse public spaces, however, takes place against the bleak backdrop painted by fear and uncertainty now also spilling onto the privileged part of the world, which has found itself overwhelmed by the scale of the recent crisis of capitalism and the waves of migrants. A response carved out by policymakers and institutions, which has not shied away from morally ambiguous means to put capitalism back on track and curb the influx of (uninvited) people, has shown that the institutions and the order of the West, while building on the achievements of past emancipatory struggles, often sustain hostile practices of exclusion and othering. A number of initiatives and activists’ movements stand in opposition to such neo-colonial practices, calling on urban publics and emerging cultures to challenge and rethink the prevailing political and institutional ethics. In the meantime, a strong call for strengthening dialogue and mutual learning between cities and regions of the Global South and of the Global North is gaining momentum in urban research and practice. The UNSTABLE GEOGRAPHIES - DISLOCATED PUBLICS series combines inclusive urban theory, methods, and practice to promote (post)migrational perspectives between different world regions and their cities. It simultaneously reflects on the changing structural constraints in times of multiple crises in which public space is emphasized in various, partly contradictory ways: social, cultural, ecological, political, and economic. Our standpoint takes public spaces as a key catalyst in the process of accommodating diverse cultural values and meeting basic human needs. Among many salient and urgent issues that need to inform current planning, design, and research communities both in theory and practice, we suggest focusing on four main subtopics:
1. City, refugees, and migration
2. Fragmented social fabric – individualised patterns of consumption
3. The decline of national politics – Resurgence of the urban political
4. Change of perspective – worlding urban studies

For full information, please visit the blog of the AESOP Thematic Group for Public Spaces and Urban Cultures and the Announcement CfI “Unstable Geographies - Dislocated Publics”. The submission date is for statements of interest is 28th February 2016. For submission and requests, please contact the group (

Symposium and PhD (Advanced Master's) workshop
‘Dialectics between urban imaginaries and urban materialities’
22 January – 25 January 2013 at Vienna University of Technology

The **Interdisciplinary Centre for Urban Culture and Public Space (SKuOR)** at Vienna University of Technology and the City of Vienna Visiting Professor Prof. D.Phil. Maria Kaika (University of Manchester) host a public symposium aimed at researchers and practitioners in the field of urban theory, urban intervention, social/ spatial practices, political ecology, urban cultures and public space.

The symposium concludes SKuOR’s annual teaching and research theme Urban culture, public space and resources. Aesthetics and materiality, which has approached materialities and the changing aesthetics of space as a facet and the outcome of the social production of space. By undertaking an interdisciplinary approach, the team, assembling various disciplinary backgrounds, has been researching how institutional arrangements (interplay of the civil society, state and markets), political, economic and social processes, as well as discourses manifest in a city’s space. Keynote speakers from both the field of urban theory and urban practice will contribute to a debate on the dialectics between urban imaginaries and urban materialities.

Up to 10 PhD and up to 15 Master's students, who will be selected for the course on the basis of submission of their abstracts, will have the opportunity to:
  1. present their research and receive feedback on their work from the keynote speakers the visiting professor, the SKuOR team, urban practitioners, and other participants. The presentation will be in the form of a 15-minute PowerPoint talk, followed by discussion,
  2. participate in an interactive PhD workshop, coordinated by Prof. Maria Kaika (Master's workshop. coordinated by dr. Anja Steglich). This will provide inputs on research skills and academic publishing, as well as an environment for engaging in a peer-to-peer discussion on the participants’ research.

Participation in the symposium and the PhD (Master's) workshop will be credited with a certificate of participation in the value of 3.0 ECTS points.

Submissions are encouraged from all disciplines and research perspectives.
Deadline to submit your application is 18 November 2012
Submit to ****

An abstract of your PhD research (Master's thesis) of a maximum of 500 words following this structure:
1. Research question(s)
2. Contribution to the field (state of research and the frame of the analysis)
3. Methodology
4. Case study
5. Bibliography (not counted into the word limit)

Notification of acceptance by 20 November 2012. The accepted applicants will be asked to submit a full paper of a maximum of 2500 words by 7 January 2013.

Date: Thursday 8th July, 5.30-7pm.
Place: Track10_SCCRP-T10, Room 22.

The newly established AESOP thematic group on Public Spaces and Urban Cultures is inviting you to the launching event to be held during the AESOP Annual Conference in Helsinki, Finland, in June 2010. Public spaces as arenas of social interaction are one of the vital elements of city’s public life as they play a significant role to bring together different groups of people from different cultural backgrounds regardless to aspects of class, ethnic origin, gender and age. Public spaces, however, are under the pressure of globalization, privatization at the macrolevel and of city image and marketing strategies as well as other private sector inspired regeneration strategies at the microlevel. During the phase of postfordist transitions, especially cultural approaches within the planning community have characterized debates on how to deal with this manifest pressures on public spaces. With rising rhythms of development. the degree of conflicts and fragmentation in public spaces – taken from a descriptive perspective – is changing. From a normative perspective, the role of public spaces as places for integration and democracy is, therefore, challenged and contested.

The new AESOP Thematic Group on Public Spaces and Urban Cultures aims at an improved understanding of the relational nature of public spaces by using different concepts of urban culture as analytical perspectives. Thereby, debates shall be stimulated that relate to three main strands of investigation:
- Issues of artistic and intellectual practices and urban planning;
- Emerging urban cultures and socio-spatial practices in public spaces and
- Postdisciplinary academic education regarding urban cultures and public spaces

Everybody welcome
Please feel warmly invited to join us!


Ali Madanipour (Professor of Urban Design, Newcastle University)
Ceren Sezer (TU Delft)
Sabine Knierbein (SKuOR, TU Vienna)
Chiara Tornaghi (University of Leeds)

For more information and contacts:


CALL for Paper:

Dear Sir or Madam,

the Interdisciplinary Centre for Urban Culture and Public Space (http.// at the Faculty of Architecture and Planning at Vienna University of Technology invites academics as well as practitioners coming from various disciplinary fields to take part in the following call for conference contributions:

European Conference, 10th and 11th November 2010, Vienna, Austria

Conference theme: European cities are changing rapidly in partial response to the processes of de-industrialization, European integration and economic globalization. Public spaces of these cities, as essential ingredients of the urban image and experience, are increasingly playing an important part in this transition. A key question concerns the role that public spaces are expected to play in political, economic and cultural transformation of cities, and the impact of these transformations on the nature of public space as a shared resource. How are public authorities addressing the challenges of provision and maintenance of public space both as a catalyst for change and as a common good? The questions that will be explored revolve around three sub-themes: strategies, plans and policies; multiple roles of public space; and everyday life in the city.

Strategies, plans and policies: How do public authorities address a growing pressure on public spaces? What are the issues, strategies, and tactics of dealing with public spaces, and what do they aim to achieve? Who are the state and non-state actors involved in setting the conditions for public spaces? How are they organized and what are the relationships between different actors? How are policies initiated, formulated, implemented, reflected and finally, how do people perceive and react to such policies? How do design and planning professionals contribute with their projects to the changing conditions of public spaces? How can innovative practices contribute to redefine approaching public spaces?

Multiple roles of public space: Public space is where public life unfolds: art works are displayed, commercial messages transmitted, political power is displayed and social norms affirmed or challenged. How do these different processes take place? How do public spaces accommodate these multiple roles? How are conflicts of interest addressed? Which new phenomena of social transformation do emerge in public spaces? How do contemporary design and planning interventions renegotiate the boundaries of public space? What is the (changing) position of arts within public space as an actor between politics and people?

Everyday life and sharing the city: Public space is the realm of sociability. How do public spaces address people’s everyday needs and expectations? How are the boundaries between public and private spheres set, and how does this affect people’s daily life? How are cultural differences and social inequalities addressed in public spaces? How is local everyday life knowledge taken into account by professional disciplines planning, developing and designing public spaces? Which latent social needs get visible in public spaces? How can a fair sharing of public spaces be arranged? How do designers deal with the involvement of people in the process of producing public space? How do city representatives handle the ‘voices of people’?

Organising committee: Prof. Dr. Ali Madanipour, DI Aglaée Degros and Dr. Sabine Knierbein, Interdisciplinary Centre for Urban Culture and Public Space (TU Vienna,
Abstract length: max. 200 words
Conference fee: 10 Euro (students), 30 Euro (institutions)
Deadline for Abstract Submission: 23rd June 2010 to
Notice on Abstract Acceptance: 30th July 2010
Deadline for Short Paper Submission (additional Movie or Audio Submission possible): 30th September 2010
More information:
Contact:__ Dr. Sabine Knierbein,">, +43-1-58801-26816