Call for abstracts
What’s going on in public spaces and urban cultures? 
Updates on current research, policy and practice

AESOP Thematic Group Public Space and Urban Culture’s Special Session #44 at the Regions in Recovery. Building Sustainable Futures - Global E-Festival, 2-18 June 2021

Session Organisers

Christine Mady | Notre Dame University-Louaize, Lebanon, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Stefania Ragozino
 | National Research Council of Italy, Institute for Research on Innovation and Services for Development, Naples, Italy, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Tihomir Viderman | Brandenburg University of Technology Cottbus - Senftenberg, Germany, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Regions and cities appear to have been shaped through responses to a series of challenges and crises, including health or climate hazards, interruptions in economic growth, political upheavals or social transformations. Urban scholars and policy-makers frequently observe and engage with public spaces as arenas which embody both the challenges and responses. The challenges have been articulated in themes such as accessibility, healthy living, democracy, justice, social movements. Against a seemingly bleak outlook, public spaces and urban cultures also nurture optimistic responses. ‘The New Urban Agenda’, adopted by the UN-Habitat Conference, Habitat III, promotes public space as a key ingredient of ‘inclusive, connected, safe and accessible’ cities (UN Habitat, 2016).

This special session on “What’s going on in public spaces and urban cultures? Updates on current research, policy and practice” asks how public spaces can inform research, policy and practice towards creating ‘inclusive, connected, safe and accessible’ cities.

Contributions are invited, but are not limited to address one of the following topics:

  • Changing typologies and roles of players and actors: multiplicity of publics and public space cultures, arenas for rebuilding participation
  • Public spaces and changes: climate change, social movements, circular economy;
  • Changing needs and roles: homelessness, refugees, immigrants and integration, age, gender, social, cultural, ethnic and religious considerations and urban justice;
  • Questioning the global north-south divide and public space dynamics;
  • Changing role of public spaces in political conflict zones;
  • Changing environmental awareness: public space as a buffer zone, contribution to public health (mental and physical well-being);
  • Changing intangible cultural heritage: adapting the genius loci to multiple and dynamic cultural identities;
  • The impact of technological innovation on public space research and practice.

This session is organized by the AESOP Thematic Group Public Spaces and Urban Cultures, which gathers an international and interdisciplinary group of researchers and practitioners, who contribute a plurality of perspectives. The group was established in 2010 under the umbrella of the Association of European Schools of Planning Education (AESOP). Since then, it promotes a dialogue between practitioners, academics, governmental and non-governmental professionals, and further interest groups through virtual and physical meetings, workshops, conferences and roundtables.

Deadline abstract submission 31 March 2021

Click here to submit

*AESOP ExCo will cover the speaker fees (up to a maximum of 5 speakers)*

Regions in Recovery Building Sustainable Futures - Global E-Festival

2021 Regions in Recovery Special Sessions

AESOP Thematic Group Public Spaces and Urban Cultures