City of Vienna Visiting Professorship 2017

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

We warmly welcome our new City of Vienna Visiting Professor Ed Wall from the University of Greenwich (Department of Architecture and Landscape) as City of Vienna Visiting Professor for the academic year 2017! Together with the local team, Ed will develop teaching, research and networking endeavours in Vienna to investigate the future dimensions of public space, with a particular focus on urban equity (summer term) and the global agenda (winter term).

When climate change, resource conservation, and international migration and refuge increasingly shape urban agendas, wide-reaching urban action is needed to develop a cross-border professional ethics. This includes principles of fair construction, planning, and design that are increasingly relevant as the local sites of action being studied are increasingly “globalized”. This trend follows the call to increase the focus on human rights in the education of planners, builders, and designers, and works to translate post-colonial accounts into local planning practice. With regard to global political programs with an urban focus, such as that at UN-Habitat, new developments are becoming apparent that stylize public spaces into the central places of global urban coexistence. For the students, such a global framework of thought and action represents a means to come to understand planning and design of public spaces from the perspective of the Global South, among others. This is about overcoming patterns of intellectual and cultural domination in favor of allowing mutual learning processes to flourish in the spirit of global and local collaboration. The most urgent issues of global urbanization are discussed from different cultural, ethnic, and humanitarian perspectives in the context of public spaces in cities across five continents. The subject of these considerations is the development and intensification of a Fair Building / Fair Planning approach corresponding to the UN Convention on Human Rights.


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



19 - 23 June 2017  
Master Module “Urban Culture and Public Space”, 3rd Intensive Teaching Block (ITB III)  
20 June 2017  
Public Evening Lecture, “City Unsilenced and urban resistance. On worlded urbanism”, Sabine Knierbein, 6.30pm at Seminar Room W15, Augasse 2-6, section D, 2nd floor, 1090 Vienna  
23rd June 2017  
Final Module Presentation, Urban Renewal Management Office GB*10, Quellenstraße 149, 1100 Favoriten  
11 - 14 July 2017  
Participation in AESOP Annual Conference “Spaces of Dialog for Places of Dignity. Fostering the European Dimension of Planning"