HOU, J. und KNIERBEIN, S. (2017, in Druck): City Unsilenced: Urban resistance and public space in the age of shrinking democracy. New York/London, Routledge.

What do the recent urban resistance tactics around the world have in common? What are the roles of public space in these movements? What are the implications of urban resistance for the remaking of public space in the „age of shrinking democracy“? To what extent do these resistances move from anti- to alter-politics?

City Unsilenced brings together a cross-disciplinary group of scholars and scholar-activists to examine the spaces, conditions and processes in which neoliberal practices have profoundly impacted the everyday social, economic, and political life of citizens and communities around the globe. They examine the commonalities and specificities of urban resistance movements that respond to those impacts. They focus on how such movements make use of and transform the meanings and capacity of public space. They investigate their ramifications in the continued practices of renewing democracies. A broad collection of cases is presented and analyzed, including Movimento Passe Livre (Brazil), Google Bus Blockades San Francisco (USA), the Platform for Mortgage Affected People (PAH) (Spain), the Piqueteros Movement (Argentina), Umbrella Movement (Hong Kong), post-Occupy Gezi Park (Turkey), Sunflower Movement (Taiwan), Occupy Oakland (USA), Syntagma Square (Greece), 1DMX (Mexico), Miyashita Park Tokyo (Japan), 15-M Movement (Spain), and Train of Hope Vienna (Austria).

By better understanding the processes and implications of the recent urban resistances, City Unsilenced contributes to the ongoing debates concerning the role and significance of public space in the practice of lived democracy and lived space. Weitere Information.

cover public space and relational perspectives TORNAGHI Chiara, KNIERBEIN Sabine (2015) Public Space and Relational Perspectives. New Challenges for Architecture and Planning. New York/London, Routledge.

Traditional approaches to understand space tend to view public space mainly as a shell or container, focussing on its morphological structures and functional uses. That way, its ever-changing meanings, contested or challenged uses have been largely ignored, as well as the contextual and on-going dynamics between social actors, their cultures, and struggles. The key role of space in enabling spatial opportunities for social action, the fluidity of its social meaning and the changing degree of „publicness“ of a space remain unexplored fields of academic inquiry and professional practice. Public Space and Relational Perspectives offers a different understanding of public spaces in the city. The aim of the book is to (re)introduce the lived experiences in public life into the teaching curricula of those academic disciplines which deal with public space and the built environment, such as architecture, planning and urban design, as well as the social sciences. The book presents conceptual, practical and research challenges and brings together findings from activists, practitioners and theorists. The editors provide eight educational challenges that educators can endorse when training future practitioners and researchers to accept and to engage with the social relations that unfold in and through public space. Weitere Informationen.

Cover image: KARO* architekten

Book Review von Christine Mady, in Urban Studies Journal.

Presseaussendung von TU Wien

9780415640558 MADANIPOUR Ali, KNIERBEIN Sabine and DEGROS Aglaee (2014) Public Space and the Challenges of Urban Transformation in Europe. New York/London, Routledge. English. 232 pages.

European cities are changing rapidly in part due to the process of de-industrialization, European integration and economic globalization. Within those cities public spaces are the meeting place of politics and culture, social and individual territories, instrumental and expressive concerns. Public Space and the Challenges of Urban Transformation in Europe investigates how European city authorities understand and deal with their public spaces, how this interacts with market forces, social norms and cultural expectations, whether and how this relates to the needs and experiences of their citizens, exploring new strategies and innovative practices for strengthening public spaces and urban culture.

These questions are explored by looking at 13 case studies from across Europe, written by active scholars in the area of public space and organized in three parts

  • strategies, plans and policies
  • multiple roles of public space
  • and everyday life in the city.

Weitere Informationen.

HOU Jeffrey, Editor. (2013) Transcultural Cities. Border-Crossing and Placemaking. New York, Routledge. English. 336 pages. ISBN: 978-0415631426

Transcultural Cities uses a framework of transcultural placemaking, cross-disciplinary inquiry and transnational focus to examine a collection of case studies around the world, presented by a multidisciplinary group of scholars and activists in architecture, urban planning, urban studies, art, environmental psychology, geography, political science, and social work. The book addresses the intercultural exchanges as well as the cultural trans-formation that takes place in urban spaces. In doing so, it views cultures not in isolation from each other in today’s diverse urban environments, but as mutually influenced, constituted and transformed. Weitere Informationen.

KNIERBEIN Sabine und MEGYERI, Matthias (2011) Private Public. London: Lost Books. English/German. Limited Edition. 104 pages with 20 images added, ISBN: 978-3-9814930-0-9, also available in French (ISBN 978-2-910036-68-3). Lost Books.

Ein Phänomen – zwei Blickwinkel: Die Privatisierung des öffentlichen Raums in der neuesten Publikation von Lost Books

Wie funktioniert die Privatisierung des öffentlichen Raums? Gibt es Kunst an der Grenze zwischen privatem und öffentlichen Raum? Lost Books beleuchtet dieses Thema in einer neuen Publikation aus zwei scheinbar gegensätzlichen Perspektiven: auf der einen Seite beschäftigt sich ein Text der anerkannten Urbanistin Sabine Knierbein (Wien) eingehend mit dem Phänomen während die Photoserie des international erfolgreichen Künstlers Matthias Megyeri (Stuttgart/ London) den Sachverhalt künstlerisch betrachtet. Weitere Informationen.

Wenn unsere Aufmerksamkeit gemessen und bewertet wird, und private Investoren bald den sichtbarsten kulturellen Einfluss auf unser Stadtbild haben werden, müssen wir uns fragen: Wie öffentlich ist unser öffentlicher Raum? Wie kann es sein, dass ein paar wenige Firmen Europas Stadtlandschaften nach den Gesetzen des Kommerzes formen? Wann wird offen ausgesprochen, dass unsere Aufmerksamkeit kommerziell umkämpft wird, und zwar nicht nur in den zu Hause konsumierten und abschaltbaren Medien, sondern auch im öffentlichen Raum, wo wir uns diesen Mechanismen nicht mehr entziehen können?

Eine wissenschaftliche Sicht auf diese urbane Entwicklung wird in Sabine Knierbeins akribisch recherchierten Essay gezeigt, basierend auf ihrer Doktorarbeit zum Thema Produktion zentraler öffentlicher Räume im Zeitalter der Aufmerksamkeitsökonomie. Matthias Megyeri’s Arbeit zeigt das Phänomen im künstlerischen Kontext mit seiner Photoserie “Public-Private – Private-Public”, wo öffentliche Installationen zu sehen sind, in denen er es schafft, eine faszinierende Spannung zwischen privatem und öffentlichem Raum zu kreieren. Die Kombination von Knierbein und Megyeri’s Beiträgen weist auf, wie gleichsam stark sich Wissenschaft und Kunst mit dem aktuellen Zeitgeschehen beschäftigen. Die Publikation ist, mit einem geprägten Cover und eingeklebten Originalphotografien, hochwertig hergestellt und in einer limitierten Auflage erschienen.

Private Public
Sabine Knierbein | Matthias Megyeri

Co-Verlag: CEAAC, Frankreich
Seitenzahl: 104 mit 20 eingeklebten Abbildungen
Format: 155 mm x 210 mm
Bindung: Freirückenbroschur mit geprägtem Umschlag
Limitierte Auflage: 350
Preis: EUR 36,-

Sprache: Englisch/ Deutsch
ISBN: 978-3-9814930-0-9
Erhältlich bei

BRIDGE Gary and WATSON Sophie (2011) The New Blackwell Companion to the City. Blackwell and Whiley. ISBN: 978-1-4051-8981-1. Hardcover. 784 pages. Wiley-Blackwell.Malden. Weitere Informationen.
MADANIPOUR Ali (2010) Whose public space. International Case Studies in Urban Design and Development. ISBN: 978-0-415-55386-5. Paperback. 274 pages. Routledge. London. Weitere Informationen.
KNIERBEIN Sabine, RIEGER-JANDL Andrea und BANERJEE Ian (2010) Information. Kommunikation. Aufmerksamkeit! Explorative Stadtforschung über City Branding hinaus (in Englisch). IVA Verlag. Vienna. Weitere Informationen.

Changing relationships among information, communication, and attention produce new urban phenomena. With this book, various authors contribute to an investigation of these phenomena in an explorative way by means of places and processes. These indicate a wide range of controversial interactions between institutions and actors who occupy anew various niches in this area of tension. Topics touch on the effects of city branding strategies and the role of various actors such as urban curators, media strategists, and branding experts. As such, it is about these actors, interests, and  characteristics of the discursive as well as the material design of contemporary cites, that play very different roles in the urban competition for attention.