As part of the Association of the European Schools of Planning, Thematic Group on Public Spaces and Urban Cultures theme on ‘Public Spaces, Urban Cultures and Constructing Peace’, we are pleased to invite you to contribute and participate in the TG PSUC Meeting Helsinki, co-organised by Aalto University, 15 to 16 May 2023 in Helsinki. The event includes visits to libraries in Helsinki, discussions with various stakeholders, working sessions and presentations.
Considering the TG PSUC theme 2022-2024 (https://aesop-planning.eu/resources/news-archive/thematic-groups/public-spaces-and-urban-cultures/call-for-expressions-of-interest-to-host-the-thematic-group-s-meetings-2022-2024), this event invites explorations into the relation between public libraries and public spaces, and their capability towards the construction of peace within their context, be it at the neighbourhood or city scale. The construction of peace is not understood in contrast to war. It is rather an everyday operation of negotiation that instils a sense equilibrium within a spectrum of differences occurring simultaneously within shared urban open and enclosed/ interior spaces. Acknowledging that public libraries are planned and designed to be accessible, a connection which could start with a public street but could further expand to include a public space, we are inviting explorations into the meaning and potential of such spatial relations and their potential or actual contribution to peace building. This includes spatial relations between indoor and outdoor; programmatic/ functional relations that enable intertwining or merging public and private activities; degrees of freedom provided to allow for spontaneous activities; and new configurations amplifying the voice and presence of often-marginalised user groups/ identities.
We invite abstracts from young or established academics interested in this topic to submit an abstract, which address further aspects related to the topic: representation, inclusion, diversity, spatial justice, co-design, governance; methodologies for researching public libraries and public spaces; contextual specificities where public libraries and public spaces have contributed to peace construction, and so on. Authors of accepted abstracts are expected to prepare a presentation for the event and further information will be provided at a later stage.
Submission requirements: provision of 250-word abstract explaining: relation to the event topic, conceptual framework, methodology, summary of the results, three references and three keywords, 100-word biography of the main author. Both the biography and previous or ongoing research on this theme will be considered in selecting the abstracts.
Submission due by: Monday 13 March 2023 send to
Participation in the meeting is free of charge and all additional costs (travel and accommodation) are covered by the participants. The representatives of the Thematic Group on Public Spaces and Urban Cultures (TG PSUC) are Ebba Högström and Matej Nikšič, and the local TG PSUC representations are Hossam Hewidy and Christine Mady.
For more information about the event, please email: