Visiting Professorship in Urban Studies 2020
Urban Productivity. New Public Space, Youth Integration and Labour Market Access

MASTER MODULE: Urban Productivity. New Public Space, Youth Integration and Labour Market Access

SE 280. 535 Concepts and critique of the production of space: Space, Youth and Labour Markets in Contemporary Processes of Urbanization

***This course will be offered by Visiting Professor in Urban Studies 2020, Dr. Kim Trogal by Assoc. Prof. Dr. Sabine Knierbein and by University Assistant Angelika Gabauer, MA***

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 planning theory, aiming at discussing their implications for new urban public space and urban practices that foster youth integration. In the context of the module’s wider agenda of urban productivity, this course aims to deepen engagement with a range of critical theories through which both the problematics of urban productivity, labour and inclusion can be examined. The seminar units aim to elaborate on complex issues of urban change by exploring the theoretical and empirical dimensions of productivity in relation to the urban realm. The course thus offers an opportunity to think through what the political consequences of such theoretical insights and framings are for praxis, and how praxis, vice versa, can inform theory building, particularly in and for the fields of architecture, planning and urban design.

Students will be asked to volunteer for running a seminar session in pairs of two. 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 moderate the debate. 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 preparing texts associated to three guest lecture inputs in November and discussing the inputs and associated readings in a smaller group, thereby bridging between written texts, live performances and potential personal encounters with acknowledged urban researchers.

ii. Contents of the course

By bringing together different sets of the thematic readings across disciplines and themes the course covers different theoretical approaches to enable critiques of urban productivity, labour and youth inclusion. The seminars series covers the following units and readings (see list below).

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/doodle 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 a different format. Each group will choose a seminar unit topic and prepare a 15minutes visual presentation and a position paper (max. 1 page, containing core thesis of the texts and a positioned comment by the students) on selected texts, resulting in three questions for further discussion. 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.

Themes of the seminar, therefore, will include:

Unit 0 – KickOff

Introduction: Space, Youth and Labour Markets in Contemporary Processes of Urbanization: tba


Seminar Unit 1: The social (re)production of space

This unit connects to lecture unit 1 on the social reproduction of space. The selected texts will offer an introductory debate into how the lens of social reproduction might change how we understand the contemporary city. Does an understanding of ‘social reproduction’ change how we perceive and value different neighborhoods, places or activities? What are the implications for architecture, planning and spatial practice to engage with theories and activities of social reproduction?


  • Fraser, N., 2016. ‘Contradictions of capital and care’. New left review100: 99-117.
  • Katz, C., 2001. ‘Vagabond capitalism and the necessity of social reproduction.’ Antipode33(4), pp.709-728.

Seminar Unit 2: Public Space, Youth and Planning as Governmentality

This unit connects to the lecture unit 2 on urban restructuring, public space and the contemporary city. It will offer an introduction into different lenses of how planning can be understood as a form of governmentality when focusing on its genealogy. From such an understanding, we can further ask if planning is also a form of the (self)management of the population or a ‘conduct-of-conduct’ which renders certain individuals as distinct subjects, how planning currently renders young people and youth as part of the population.


  • Litscher, M (2014). Urban Public Spaces in Switzerland. ‚Betwixt‘ and ‚Between‘ Performance and Competence. In: Madanipour, A, Knierbein, S and Degros, A (eds) Public Space and the Challenges of Urban Transformation in Europe. New York/ London. Routledge.
  • Huxley, Margo (2002) Governmentality, Gender, Planning: A Foucauldian Perspective. In: Allmendinger, P and Twedwr-Jones, M (eds) Planning Futures. New Directions for Planning Theory. Pp.136-154.

Seminar Unit 3: Austerity urbanism and urban life

This unit is linked to lecture unit 3 and focuses on impacts of austerity policies on the lives of urban residents. Via the texts, the seminar will introduce concepts of ‘austerity urbanism’ (Tonkiss, 2013) and ‘diverse economies’ (Gibson-Graham, 2006) to enable critical interpretations of participatory urban projects and their capacity to support skills building.


  • Tonkiss, F., 2013. Austerity urbanism and the makeshift city.City, 17(3), pp.312-324
  • Udall, J. and Holder, A., 2013. ‘”The diverse economies” of Participation.’ Footprint, pp.63-80.


Seminar Unit 4: Public space and Classificatory Struggles

While rising urban inequality has characterized European Cities since the 1970s already, urban scholarship has dealt in different ways with developing analytical tools to unravel patterns of uneven spatial development and social inequality. While class-analysis has been criticized in the course of a growing individualist reorganization of (not exclusively) Western capitalist societies (e.g. Beck), more recent contributions from cultural sociology have reinstated class analysis and linked it back to the scholarship of (urban) inequality. On the other side, public space researchers have problematized the notion of public space by shedding light on different interest, actors and agencies involved in the social (re)production of public space. The seminar will dive into these debates and identify connecting threats.


  • Madanipour, A. (ed.) 2010. Whose public space? Oxon: Routledge [pp 1-15]
  • Tyler, Imogen (2015) Classificatory struggles: class, culture and inequality in neoliberal times. The Sociological Review. Vol. 63, Issue 2, Pp. 493-511.

Seminar Unit 5: Urban Commons and the Production of Social Wealth

This unit connects to on the urban commons and the production of social wealth. Here the seminar sets out to explore some of the implications of understanding the city and commons, looking at different forms of socio-spatial organization. What does it take to create urban commons and what does it take to sustain them?


  • De Angelis, M. and S. Stavrides (2010) ‘On the commons: A public interview with Massimo De Angelis and Stavros Stavrides’, An Architektur 23: 4-27
  • Huron, A., 2015. ‘Working with strangers in saturated space: Reclaiming and maintaining the urban commons.’ Antipode47(4), pp.963-979. 

Seminar Unit 6: Care: Transforming Economies for People and Planet.

This lecture will feature debates about the guest lecture input by Prof. Dr. Katherine MacKinnon (La Trobe University, Australia) and the related readings. 

Seminar Unit 7: tba

This lecture will feature debates about the guest lecture input by Prof. Dr. Ali Madanipour (Newcastle University upon Tyne, UK) and the related readings. 

Seminar Unit 8: tba

This lecture will feature debates about the guest lecture input by Prof. Dr. Fran Tonkiss (LSE, UK) and the related readings.


Seminar Unit 9: tba

Seminar Unit 10: Open Seminar Unit

For this seminar unit, students can issue their thematic preferences by 30th November 2019 via email to Sabine Knierbein out of a range of topics discussed before. This unit allows students to discuss what they have learned so far, reflect on the democratic quality of group and plenary debates and understand how concepts and critique of urban development in urban studies are linked to concrete spatial and urban development phenomena. We may also discuss some case studies that exemplify theoretical approaches taught during ITB 1 and 2. In case this is of interest to the students, we might combine this lecture with a walk on site (e.g. Sonnwendquartier, or other).


  • To be defined in December 2019 according to the students stated preferences.

Seminar Unit 11: Degrowth or Post Growth Urbanism?

This seminar connects to lecture units 7 and  11, to discuss what the implications of degrowth and post-growth agendas might be for urbanism and what opportunities they might afford in post-work contexts. What are the implications of degrowth for the ‘future of work’ and what kind of urban spaces are needed?


Seminar Unit 12: Resistance, Work and Public Space

Several forms of protest and resistance in public space have related to work conditions and have also shaped new forms of solidary work engagement. This unit will discuss two different case studies from Vienna and from Buenos Aires.


  • Knierbein, S and Gabauer, A (2017) Worlded Resistance as ‘Alter Politics’. Train of Hope and the Protest Against the Akademikerball in Vienna. IN: Hou, Jeff and Knierbein, Sabine (eds) City Unsilenced. Urban Resistance and Public Space in the Age of Shrinking Democracy. New York/London. Routledge. Pp. 214-228.
  • Vidosa, Regina and Rosa, Paula (2018) Emancipatory Practices of Self-Organized Workers in the Context of Neoliberal Policies: IMPA, the case of “recovered factory” in Buenos Aires. IN: Knierbein, Sabine and Viderman, Tihomir (eds) Public Space Unbound. Urban Emancipation and the Post-Political Condition. New York/London. Routledge. Pp. 225-239.

Closing Unit: Summary: Space, Youth and Labour Markets in Contemporary Processes of Urbanization

In this unit we will retrospectively summarize the seminar series and its units, establish connections between different teaching inputs and clarify remaining questions. The unit also offers space to pose questions as regards the assessment procedures. 

iii. Methods

Through selected readings and encounters with international scholars in the field of urban studies and planning theory, students will learn about authors’ research methods and their particular take on spatial analysis. Empirical case study readings will be combined with more theoretical paper sources in order to allow debates touching on both universal and more particular issues in urban studies.

iv. Assessment of students’ performance

  • The evaluation of the course will be based upon the following activities:
    40% oral presentation of texts, including prepared questions for discussion and moderation of seminar unit
  • 30% position paper (Thesenpapier) that summarizes the lines of argument, theses and conclusions of the presented texts in a brief but structured way, and that presents a well-reasoned own position towards the unit’s theme (open format: text, poster, map, movie, blog, poem…)
  • 30% participation in overall discussions including constructive feedback to one chosen group

v. Further information

This seminar «Concepts and critique of the production of space” is part of the module 11 «Urban culture, public space» (consisting of three courses, VO 280.534, SE 280.535and EX 280.536) which is offered during three intensive teaching weeks (ITB) by the Interdisciplinary Centre for Urban Culture and Public Space ( Module 11 compiles a set of integrated courses dealing with lived space at the interface of the fields of urban studies, urban design and urban planning. In 2019, the main focus will be on «Urban Productivity: New Public Space, Youth Integration and Labour Market Access”. The courses mainly address master students (late bachelor or early doctoral students), especially from planning and architecture are invited to take part. Yet we explicitly welcome students coming from other Viennese universities in related disciplines, such as urban studies, urban design, geography, sociology, political science, landscape architecture, cultural studies, etc. as well as ‘Mitbeleger’.  The course language is English. We support students active participation in debates and interactive teaching formats, and encourage you to bring in and develop your own ideas and critical perspectives. We seek to create an international level of debate and exchange and welcome students from all countries and cultures. Just contact us (

Students interested in this course are highly recommended to take part in the lecture (TISS No 280.534) and the exercise (TISS No 280.536).

To take part in all three courses of the module 11 please register for module 11 until 2nd October 2019 (11:59 pm) via TISS registration for the course, VO 280.534. Further course registration will be carried out directly at the kick-off meeting on 3rd of October, 9am (Seminar room 3/4 in Augasse 2-6, 2nd floor.

Dates of the Module 11

The main body of teaching will be delivered during three intensive teaching blocks (ITB):

  • ITB 1 – 21st to 25th October 2019
  • ITB 2 – 18th to 26nd November 2019 (including free conference visit for guest lectures)
  • ITB 3 – 20th to 24th January 2020