Exkursion nach South-East London – Urban Agendas caught between local needs and global pressures

Link: TISS 280.525

EX Excursion / Semester hours: 3.0 / ECTS 4.0


i. Aim of the Course

In collaboration with the City of Vienna Visiting Professor Ed Wall the Interdisciplinary Centre for Urban Culture and Public Space organizes a five-day excursion to London (UK) from 5th to 9th Feburary 2018. To close the City of Vienna Visiting Professorship of 2017/2018 we will explore the theme of Urban Equity and the Global Agenda through various projects, streets and sites in London’s East.

In this (still designated) global city of finance capital, we will continue the debate about the role of public space against the background of a global urban agenda that addresses fundamental issues of climate change, resource conservation, international migration and growing inequalities. When local sites of urban life, i.e. lived spaces, are come under a growing pressure of global forces, principles of fair planning, design and construction become, it seems, ever more relevant and need to become main constituents in the education of planners, designers and architects.

ii. Subject of the Course

By undertaking various field visits to detect specific London problematics (e.g. dwelling crisis, squats in patios, insurgencies against developers projects, art and architectural intervention) we will shift between – and thus question conceptions of – center and periphery, innovative projects/ buildings and neighbourhoods resisting gentrification, global developments and local initiatives. Together with local architects, planners and residents we will explore Greenwich, Lewisham, Whitechapel, and the Isle of Dogs with their fascinating contrast of neighbourhoods, housing, public spaces and histories.

The excursion will involve a seminal part where further UK based SKuOR Visiting Professors (Sophie Watson, Maria Kaika, Chiara Tornaghi, and others) will be invited to contribute perspectives on isuses of localism, multiculturalism, food justice and political ecology. We thereby take the opportunity to discuss the spatial impacts and implications of BREXIT and changing geopolitical power relations through the lense of urban studies.

iii. Additional Information

The excursion is open to Master students in Spatial Planning and Architecture (and further disciplines related to urban studies). Number of participants is limited to 12 students and will be financially supported by the Study Dean. The total costs (including travel, hostel, visits and food) will amount to about approx. 450€/student of which 160€/student will be funded by the Study Dean (to be confirmed).

Kick-Off Meeting for the Excursion will take place during the 2nd SKuOR teaching block (Nov 27th to Dec 1st).

Due to the ongoing threat of terrorist violence in urban centers around the world (and in London) whereby we stress that we will mainly visit sites away from the highly centralized squares and streets, thus the focus on London’s East. Nevertheless, violent threats against public urban culture are quite unpredictable in these unsettled times, thus everyone participating needs to take part on individual responsibility, while we make sure that through means of collective, reflexive and detailed organization, we will actively seek to minimize risks, while acknowledging that we cannot just disregard them. Also, if you wish to visit prominent sites during weekends before or after the excursion, this is on your personal account.

iv. Application

If you would like to join the excursion, please register in TISS and send an email to elina.kraenzle@skuor.tuwien.ac.at with a motivational statement (in the body of the email, 200 words) why you’d like to join the excursion and how it complements past or future research/projects you’re involved in.