Phase V: 2019

2019 – Urban Citizenship. Public Space, Post-Migrational Perspectives and Civic Innovation

crossover/focus: urban planning and cultural theory

Debates on urban citizenship have been updated particularly in the fields of human geography and urban sociology in the past five years, identifying the need to revise notions of citizenship bound to the legal status of national identities with a particular emphasis on diversifying urban life. This debate has been empirically informed by a growing number of long-term city residents who lack access to the representative political systems, and thus cannot issue their political right to participate in the formal mechanisms of democracy in national states that are undergoing transitions towards becoming even more urbanized territories. Also, the set of methodological tools to research into the roles of public space in diversifying urban societies has been enriched by contributions from cultural theory, particularly cultural studies and sociology, that have rendered cities as key places for migration and migration as key driver of urbanization (also in a historic perspective). From this viewpoint, migration is not an add-on process to already existing cities (and homogeneous urban societies), but migration has been a key condition for cities coming into being, for the ever changing ability of urban societies to constantly produce innovative ways of thinking and praxis on a densely populated terrain. From this perspective, cultural difference has historically been a key feature of cities and has widely contributed to the success of cities to become thriving places of emancipation. In the Academic Year 2019 we invite scholars to identify key challenges that this complex situation and the already gained insights in the humanities and social sciences pose to the doings and sayings of architects, planners and designers. As e.g. participation mechanisms in formal planning processes are often relating to legal status of inhabitants, and as particularly cultural theory provides e.g. postmigrational and post-colonial accounts to reconsider the notion of urban citizenship, we invite scholars to shed a light on new ways of research and teaching at the interface of urban studies and the spatial arts, with an emphasis on planning.