Seminar

Visiting Professorship in Urban Studies 2021
Urban Generations. Public Space, Ageing Society and New Health Conditions

MASTER MODULE: Urban Generations. Public Space, Ageing Society and New Health Conditions

SE 280. 535 Concepts and critique of the production of space

[1 SE (seminar course), 2 SWS (contact hours, one is 45min, counted for 13-15 weeks per term), 4 ECTS]

TISS Course: 280.535

**This course will be offered by Visiting Professor in Urban Studies 2021 Dr. Marie Glaser, by Assoc. Prof. Dr. Sabine Knierbein and by University Assistant Angelika Gabauer, MA**

In accordance with further pandemic developments, teaching will be either offered as presence teaching or in a distance learning format.

i. Aims of the course 

This seminar course aims to introduce students to already established bodies of knowledge in the fields of urban studies and social sciences, aiming at discussing their implications for new and alternative approaches to intergenerational and all-including age-friendly cities and communities. In the context of the module’s wider agenda of ageing societies, public space and new health conditions, this course aims to deepen engagement with a range of critical theories through which both the problematics of ageing societies, social divisions and public space can be examined. The seminar units aim to elaborate on complex issues of urban change by exploring the theoretical and empirical dimensions of age-friendly planning and design processes. The seminar offers an opportunity to openly reflect the political consequences of such theoretical insights and framings for practicing urban design and urban research, planning and politics. Following an iterative approach this means also debating and developing methods and ways how practice can ground theory building of architecture, planning and urban design.

Students will be asked to volunteer for running a seminar session in pairs of 2-3 students. Within the session, they will present and discuss contents of two paper sources to the overall group, upload their presentation pdf’s the day before on TUWEL and also organize the format of and moderate the successive debate in a lively and socially engaged way. We encourage students to choose an interactive seminar format (bingo, mentimeter, performative, theatre or role play, smaller group debates, and other) that speaks to their subject of debate. The seminar will also benefit from local fieldtrips and meeting and discussing with selected local stakeholders. A guest lecture will open the opportunity to prepare texts and discuss the inputs and associated readings in a smaller group. We are prepared to switch the seminar to distance learning in case necessary, and we have collected already good experiences in running interactive seminars in this respect.

ii. Contents of the course

By bringing together different sets of the thematic readings across disciplines and themes the course covers theoretical approaches to enable learning about and critical revision of different conceptions of intergenerational living. After students have been volunteering for topics in groups of two or three (depending on number of participants) already during the obligatory module kick-off/google docs registration for course topics , this first seminar unit serves as an introduction to the seminar work and an explanation about the team-based dialogical way to organize a seminar in different learning formats. Each group will choose a seminar unit topic and prepare a 15-minutes visual presentation and a position paper (max. 1 page, containing core thesis of the two texts and a positioned comment by the students) on one self-chosen scientific source and one text selected by the teaching team, resulting in three questions for further discussion. For the self-chosen source:  Please choose on your own a relevant scientific text/ film/ visual/audio or other-media feature etc. related to the focus of the seminar unit and upload it 14 days before your presentation to the TUWEL seminar room.

While students have already started to snooze into these documents before this seminar kick-off meeting, instructors will offer help and supportive questions to those groups that will present in one of the next units (last 15minutes of each seminar unit will be reserved for the groups presenting on one of the next days to briefly talk through their ideas and questions with the respective teaching team supervisor). Additionally, each pair of volunteers also registers to give text-based feedback to another group of presenters, thus getting into a mode of training constructive scholarly feedback and debate.

The seminars series covers the following units and readings (see list below).

Themes of the seminar, therefore, will include:

Intensive Teaching Block I (ITB I) – 19 – 23 October 2020

Seminar Unit 0 – Policies, Practices and Cultures of Intergenerational Living (Introduction)
Visiting Professor Dr. Marie Glaser, Assoc. Prof. Dr. Sabine Knierbein and Univ. Ass. Angelika Gabauer MA

The teaching team will introduce the planned seminar unit series, explain how the student-led seminar sessions work and take some ideas about potential format choices from the participating students. A general introduction into the theme of the seminar will be presented by highlighting the mutual entanglement between policies, practices and cultures of intergenerational living.

Bibliography

  • Tine Buffel, Dominique Verté , et al.(2012) Theorising the relationship between older people and their immediate social living environment.International Journal of Lifelong Education, 31:1, p.13-32
  • Madanipour, Ali, Knierbein, Sabine and Aglaée Degros (2014) A Moment of Transformation. IN: Madanipour, Ali, Knierbein, Sabine and Aglaée Degros (eds) Public Space and the Challenges of Urban Transformation in Europe. London. Routledge. Pp. 1-8.
  • Hopkins, P. and Pain, R. (2007) Geographies of age: thinking relationally, Area, 39(3), pp. 287-294.

Seminar Unit 1: Urban Lives and Intergenerational relationships.
Visiting Professor Dr. Marie Glaser

This unit introduces into current issues of intergenerational relationships and age relations. How does space facilitate and limit intergenerational contact and relationships? How do the geographies of intergenerational relationships vary between social groups and contexts? And if generational separation are seen as problems (as often suggested), how can this be tackled?

Bibliography

  • Vanderbeck, Robert M (2007). Intergenerational Geographies: Age relations, segregation and re-engagements, in: Geography Compass, 1(2): 200-221.
  • Please add a scientific source of your own choice and upload it 14days in advance to the TUWEL

Seminar Unit 2: Liberal Democracies: The Dilemma of Public Space?
Assoc. Prof. Dr. Sabine Knierbein

This seminar unit attempts to untangle two threads of the intellectual and political legacy of two well-known public space researchers: Neil Smith and Setha Low. Setha Low’s liberal democratic approach has provided her with a sense of hope for the future of public space as a forum for new social and political encounters. The second part of the discussion turns to Neil Smith’s thinking as he moved away from having any faith in liberal urban policy, and his conclusion that neoliberalism was waning, while he then later turn to the idea of revolution as the necessary corrective to the death of neoliberalism. Setha Low hence contrasts his revolutionary imperative with my desire to imagine new kinds of translocal public spaces that could expand into a global public sphere. Both are ethnographic public space researchers and the debate will unravel the multiplicity of normative approaches to public space which however fundamentally differ when it comes to their inherent democratic ideals.

Bibliography

  • Low, S (2015) Public Space and the Public Sphere. The Legacy of Neil Smith. Antipode Vol. 00 No. 0 2015 ISSN  0066-4812, pp 1–18.
  • Please add a scientific source of your own choice and upload it 14days in advance to the TUWEL

Seminar Unit 3: An Alternative Picture of intergenerational cities.
Visiting Professor Dr. Marie Glaser

This unit gives room to discuss the concepts of intergenerational cities and /or age-friendly cities, their ideological backgrounds, their possible characteristics and their preconditions.

Bibliography

  • van Vliet, Willem ((2011) Intergenerational Cities: A Framework for Policies and Programs, in: Journal of Intergenerational Relationships, 9:4, 348-365.
  • Please add a second scientific source of your own choice and upload it 14days in advance to the TUWEL

Intensive Teaching Block II (ITB II) – 18 November & 30 November – 4 December 2020

Seminar Unit 4: Planning and Ordinary Lives
Assoc. Prof. Dr. Sabine Knierbein

Urban Design Masterplans and Planning Interventions into the social fabric of cities often disregard the everyday routines, needs and wants of local inhabitants. This seminar unit will help to carve out why this is the case, how this can be improved and why a consideration of forms of knowledge, power and representation is necessary to induce a change in planning procedures on the long run.

Bibliography

  • Friedmann, J (2012 (1999)) The City of Everyday Life. Knowledge/Power and the Problem of Representation. disP – The Planning Review, 35(136-137), pp. 4-11
  • Please add a scientific source of your own choice and upload it 14days in advance to the TUWEL

Seminar Unit 5: Intergenerational Geographies – a view to Japan
Visiting Professor Dr. Marie Glaser

This unit starts with an ethnographic reading of a study on Japanese intergenerational programs and institutionalized efforts. This serves as a starting point for the discussion on current situation in Western contexts like Austria or Switzerland with the aim to address experiences of participants, and synthesize challenges and limitations to be confronted with in intergenerational contacts , but also to develop a more consistent view on potentials and promising initiatives.

Bibliography

  • Thang, L. L. (2001). Chapter 8 `Windows to Society` , in: Thang, L. L. (2001). Generations in Touch: Linking the Old and Young in a Tokyo Neighbourhood. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, pp.169-193
  • Please add a scientific source of your own choice and upload it 14days in advance to the TUWEL

Seminar Unit 6: Embodied Space and Performative Planning.
Assoc. Prof. Dr. Sabine Knierbein 

While much of urban writing on the public and private space has been influenced by conceptions of space that built especially on the discursive construction of space, this unit will offer an entry perspective into conceptions of space that discuss social relations through aspects of body, performance and action. Recalling on Lefebvre’s urge to center praxis as any point of departure for further theoretical reflection, public space is thereby reconstituted as a sphere where praxis and theory meet, and where old-fashioned trenches in architecture and planning that seek to isolate practical from theoretical forms of generating knowledge shall be overcome. We will discuss particularly the difference between communicative and performative approaches to plan.

Bibliography

  • Altrock, U and Huning, S (2015) Cultural Interventions in Urban Public Spaces and Performative Planning. Insights from Shrinking Cities in Eastern Germany. In: Tornaghi, C and Knierbein, S (eds) Public Space and Relational Perspectives. New Challenges for Architecture and Planning. London, New York: Routledge, pp. 148-66
  • Please add a scientific source of your own choice and upload it 14days in advance to the TUWEL

Seminar Unit 7: Spatial Justice and Caring Cities.
Univ. Ass. Angelika Gabauer MA

Departing from the concept of spatial justice and ideas about the ‘just’ city, this seminar unit draws on feminist inspired readings that aim to re-think the notion of just cities through an ethic of care perspective. Work in this vein challenges the distinction between the public space as the realm of politics and justice, and the private space as the sphere of emotion and care. This seminar we will focus on attempts that argue for an inclusive approach to care and justice by refusing the separation of the two and rather emphasizing the structures and acts of caring that stretch across the public and private spheres.  

Bibliography

  • Williams, M. J. (2016) Care-full Justice in the City, Antipode 49(3), pp. 821-839
  • Please add a scientific source of your own choice and upload it 14days in advance to the TUWEL

Seminar Unit 8: Planning in the Context of Ageing Neighborhoods.
Visiting Professor Dr. Marie Glaser and Univ. Ass. Angelika Gabauer MA

Connecting to the lecture unit 8, which focuses on ageing in neighborhoods and the various formal and informal practices of care that take place within local communities, this seminar unit wants to take a closer look at the implications for the professions of planning and urban design.

Bibliography

  • Phillips, J. E. (2018) Planning and design of ageing communities, in: Skinner et al. (ed.) Geographical Gerontology, Routledge, pp. 68-79
  • Please add a scientific source of your own choice and upload it 14days in advance to the TUWEL

Seminar Unit 9 Planning in a Pluralist Society.
Univ. Ass. Angelika Gabauer MA

This seminar unit tackles questions of how participatory planning processes contribute to more inclusive city planning and enable more democratic planning practices. In light of pluralist societies in which a myriad of needs, interests, values and attitudes are not always compatible, and where particularly certain groups of people, who are exposed to structural discrimination, disadvantages or individual impairments, do often not receive equal attention within prevailing ‘communicative planning’ processes, this unit wants to discuss alternative forms of planning that are able to support intergenerational and all-including age-friendly cities and communities.

Bibliography

  • Gabauer, A. (2018) Conflict vs. Consensus. An Emancipatory Understanding of Planning in a Pluralist Society, in: Knierbein, S. and Viderman, T. (eds.) Public Space Unbound. Urban Emancipation and the Post-Political Condition, Routledge, pp. 173-188.
  • Please add a scientific source of your own choice and upload it 14days in advance to the TUWEL

 Intensive Teaching Block II (ITB II) – 18 – 22 January 2021

Seminar Unit 10:  Urban Fabric and Ageing in Vienna.
Guest Lecturer Dr. Christiane Feuerstein & Visiting Professor Dr. Marie Glaser

This unit is held as a fieldtrip in Vienna (tbc). Detailed info to follow.

Seminar Unit 11: How to Encounter Inequalities and segregation?
Visiting Professor Dr. Marie Glaser

This seminar encourages a debate on intergenerational projects and the role of research and researchers /architects  in the field and their agency towards policy production.  During this seminar session we start drafting a “manifesto” paper to encourage practices and policies of intergenerational living.

Bibliography

  • Please add a scientific source of your own choice and upload it 14days in advance to the TUWEL
  • Chapter 3, 4 & 5 in : Pain, Rachel (2005) Intergenerational Relations and Practice in the Development of Sustainable Communities. Background paper for the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister. [online]. Retrieved on April 1st 2020 from http://www.dur.ac.uk/resources/cscr/staff/researchpubs/ODPMintergenerationalreport.pdf

Seminar Unit 12: Unsilenced Cities and Tech-Led Gentrification.
Assoc. Prof. Dr. Sabine Knierbein

This unit is an attempt to better understand that the current waves of urban protests are inherently linked to rapidly changing structural conditions and the decline of (national) democracies. It (1) offers an insight into the post-occupy struggles in public space against a new tech-led gentrification (San Francisco) and will introduce results of empirical analysis as regards increasing urban inequality in the Bay Region due to disruptive urbanism rolled out particularly from the big Tech Companies in the Silicon Valley and Downtown San Francisco. It will illustrate how particularly elderly and disabled inhabitants of SF city centre suffer from an increased exposure to displacement and dispossession and will add a postcolonial lense to the study of urban inequality as well.

Bibliography

  • Maharawal, M (2017) San Francisco’s Tech-led Gentrification: Public Space, Protest, and the Urban Commons. In: Hou, J and Knierbein, S (eds) City Unsilenced. Public space and urban resistance in the age of shrinking democracy. New York, London: Routledge, pp. 30-43
  • Please add a scientific source of your own choice and upload it 14days in advance to the TUWEL

Seminar Unit 13: Summary: [Closing unit]

In this unit we will retrospectively summarize the seminar series and wrap up its contents, establish connections between different seminar units , and clarify remaining questions. During this seminar session we finish our “manifesto” paper to encourage practices and policies of intergenerational living.

iii. Teaching Methods

Through selected close readings, students will learn about thematical and theoretical specificities in the course`s main topic. Seminars are intended to be student-led, supporting the development of communication and pedagogical skills, as well as peer-to-peer learning.

Iv. Examination modalities

Each seminar group will choose a seminar unit topic and prepare a 15-minutes visual presentation and a position paper (max. 1 page, containing core thesis of the two texts and a positioned comment by the students) on one self-chosen scientific source and one text selected by the teaching team, resulting in three questions for further discussion. For the self-chosen source:  Please choose on your own a relevant scientific text/ film/ visual/audio or other-media feature etc. related to the focus of the seminar unit and upload it 14days before your presentation to the TUWEL seminar room. Assessment will be on position paper, presentation and overall participation in class including text-based peer-to-peer feedback to one chosen student group.