Phase III – 2016

2016 Urban culture, public space and the present – Urban solidarity and european crisis

The currently existing everyday and professional cultures of urban experts are related to today’s university education: how do urban professionals live in and experience public spaces, which materialities do they perceive as appropriate and appealing, and with which socio-political issues are they involved today? Approaches to spatial development based on solidarity that take on the everyday cultural dimensions of public life in the city and involve residents and NGOs as everyday experts are currently trendy. Parallel to this, a change in planning and design from communicative, discourse-oriented to performative, action-centered approaches is taking shape. These new forms of collective urban development are based on practices of sharing. At present, serious problems like youth unemployment and impoverishment of populations are apparent in public spaces, especially in southern parts of Europe. There are few municipal or state resources for the development and safeguarding of public spaces as important spheres of social cohesion. Here, public space is a symptom of the crisis as well as a space of action in which to confront it socio-spatially. At present, little consideration is given to anti-discriminatory practices in processes of urban planning and urban design. With regard to spatial measures of labor market integration, we look at the spatial integration of e.g. young southern European migrant workers in public space in Vienna and Austria and, vice versa, at the situation of northern European migrant workers in Spain, Italy, Greece, and/or Portugal. With what degree of solidarity do planners and designers interact with (unemployed) colleagues from those countries where labor markets have partially collapsed? What approaches based on solidarity and everyday culture can currently be reinforced in the planning and design of public spaces (fair sharing)?