AESOP Thematic Group

Über The AESOP Thematic Group Public Spaces and Urban Cultures was founded in 2010 by Sabine Knierbein (TU Wien), Ceren Sezer (TU Delft) and Chiara Tornaghi (University of Coventry)  and formally established within the structural framework of the Association of European Schools of Planning. The network consists of 80 international scientific scholars and researchers who are especially interested in public spaces and urban cultures within planning theory and spatially oriented social research.
Aim (english) The main goal is to initiate a new thematic group within AESOP community: Urban Cultures and Public Spaces. With this thematic group, we aim to better understand the relational nature of public spaces by using different concepts of urban culture as analytical perspectives.

  • To encourage studies on evolving urban cultures and renewed intellectual and practical challenges that these cultures pose to the way public spaces are used, interpreted, designed, and taught,
  • To strengthen the analytical connection between studies on urban cultures and public spaces within and beyond the AESOP planning community – thus, we want to reach policy makers, local communities, urban activists and other social actors,
  • To share and exchange different disciplinary approaches and experiences in practice and theory on the related subjects through research activities and workshops at a European scale.
Themes of investigation
  • Issues of artistic and intellectual practices and urban planning
  • Emerging urban cultures and socio-spatial practices in public spaces
  • Academic education approaches regarding urban cultures and public spaces that challenge sectorial rationalities of particular disciplines. Read more
  • Sabine Knierbein (Vienna University of Technology, Interdisciplinary Centre for Urban Culture and Public Space, Austria). Read more
  • Ceren Sezer (Delft University of Technology, Chair of Spatial Planning and Strategy, The Netherlands) Read more
  • Chiara Tornaghi (University of Coventry, Centre for Agroecology, Water and Resilience, UK) Read more
How do we work With these three strands of research highlighted above, this thematic group encourages a systematic discussion on theory and practice of urban cultures and public spaces within the AESOP planning community. By doing so, we aim to initiate further collaborations in building and implementing a change in contemporary fragmented research agendas regarding the interface of both thematic fields, to foster experimental and innovative programmes in planning education as well as committing ourselves to a range of publications for the planning community.
How to get involved? We welcome enthusiast participants from the AESOP community and beyond, to join this group and to take active role in co-organising conference sessions, methodology workshops, summer schools or working meetings for the development of a common research proposal.
To get involved, please visit our Website and contact us via E-mail if you are interested in participating actively within this decentrally organized network.
Further information Please visit our AESOP Public Space and Urban Cultures Blog, the PSUC website or contact us via E-mail.