Date: Thursday 8th July, 5.30-7pm.
Place: Track10_SCCRP-T10, Room 22.

The newly established AESOP thematic group on Public Spaces and Urban Cultures is inviting you to the launching event to be held during the AESOP Annual Conference in Helsinki, Finland, in June 2010. Public spaces as arenas of social interaction are one of the vital elements of city’s public life as they play a significant role to bring together different groups of people from different cultural backgrounds regardless to aspects of class, ethnic origin, gender and age. Public spaces, however, are under the pressure of globalization, privatization at the macrolevel and of city image and marketing strategies as well as other private sector inspired regeneration strategies at the microlevel. During the phase of postfordist transitions, especially cultural approaches within the planning community have characterized debates on how to deal with this manifest pressures on public spaces. With rising rhythms of development. the degree of conflicts and fragmentation in public spaces – taken from a descriptive perspective – is changing. From a normative perspective, the role of public spaces as places for integration and democracy is, therefore, challenged and contested.

The new AESOP Thematic Group on Public Spaces and Urban Cultures aims at an improved understanding of the relational nature of public spaces by using different concepts of urban culture as analytical perspectives. Thereby, debates shall be stimulated that relate to three main strands of investigation:
- Issues of artistic and intellectual practices and urban planning;
- Emerging urban cultures and socio-spatial practices in public spaces and
- Postdisciplinary academic education regarding urban cultures and public spaces

Everybody welcome
Please feel warmly invited to join us!


Ali Madanipour (Professor of Urban Design, Newcastle University)
Ceren Sezer (TU Delft)
Sabine Knierbein (SKuOR, TU Vienna)
Chiara Tornaghi (University of Leeds)