Winter semester 2017/18

Urban culture, public space and the future – Urban equity and the global agenda

The Interdisciplinary Centre for Urban Culture and Public Space is offering three courses this upcoming semester.

The master project Lost in “Transdanubia” – Translating the global urban agenda through local urban action will focus on relations between housing and public space in the designated “periphery” of Vienna in the context of a global political agenda. We are happy to offer this course together with City of Vienna Visiting Professor Ed Wall (University of Greenwich) and Marlene Wagner (buildCollective) and in cooperation with the Local Agenda 21.

This semester’s thesis seminar Contemporary Urban Design Theory is aimed at advanced master and PhD students conducting research in urban design, planning theory, urban studies and related disciplines. Students from all TU disciplines and Mitbeleger from other Austrian universities are very welcome to discuss their thesis projects in a supportive environment with their peers, City of Vienna Visiting Professor Ed Wall and Associate Professor Sabine Knierbein.

We are excited to also announce the possibility to join us for an excursion to London in late February 2018. Please check our teaching section for further information and updates.

All courses are held in English.


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

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.

Announcement by Routledge.
cover public space and relational perspectives TORNAGHI Chiara, KNIERBEIN Sabine (2015, Routledge)
Public Space and Relational Perspectives. New Challenges for Architecture and Planning.
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.
Cover image: KARO* architekten
Book Review by Christine Mady, in Urban Studies Journal.
Press release by TU Wien



31 August 2017, 11.55pm   
Registration deadline for the master project of winter term 2017 - Lost in "Transdanubia" - Translating the global urban agenda through local urban action  
15 September 2017, 11.30am  
International Conference on Working Class Districts, "Urbane Transformationen und Lebensqualitäten in der wachsenden Stadt", Session moderation "Urban planning, urban qualities and participation", FH Campus Vienna  
23 September 2017, 4.30pm  
"Urban Emancipation" Talk with Martina Nußbaumer, Vienna Humanities Festival "Revolution!", Boecklsaal, TU Wien  
03 October 2017, 9am  
Kick-off event for the master project - Lost in "Transdanubia" - Translating the global urban agenda through local urban action  
16 - 20 October 2017  
Master project - Lost in "Transdanubia" - Translating the global urban agenda through local urban action, 1st Intensive Teaching Block (ITB I)  
08 November 2017  
"Zweiter Zukunftskongress Langfristige Siedlungsentwicklung", participant in panel discussion "Quality in the dense city", Alte Kongresshalle, Munich  
27 November - 01 December 2017  
Master project - Lost in "Transdanubia" - Translating the global urban agenda through local urban action, 2nd Intensive Teaching Block (ITB II)  
11 - 13 December 2017  
Co-Organization of AESOP Thematic Group Meeting: "Cities and Self-Organization" as AESOP TG representative, La Sapienza University, Rome  
15 - 19 January 2018  
Master project - Lost in "Transdanubia" - Translating the global urban agenda through local urban action, 3rd Intensive Teaching Block (ITB III)