An event organized by UnCommon Public Space Group, Department of Urban Planning, University of California (Los Angeles, USA) and the Association of European Schools of Planning (AESOP) Thematic Group on Public Spaces and Urban Cultures, within the working theme 2022-2024 “Public Spaces, Urban Cultures, and Constructing Peace


Date: Monday, November 06, 2023, 4:00 pm - 7:00 pm CET / 7:00 am - 10:00 am PST 

Local organizers: Claire Nelischer,  Andres F. Ramirez, Gus Wendel, Christopher Giamarino

AESOP Thematic Group PSUC representatives: Stefania Ragozino (Italy), Christine Mady (Finland)


About the workshop:

This online workshop will incorporate presentations and structured collaborative activities to introduce bi-directional, place-based, and humanistic approaches to the study of public space, and the possibility of the "event" as a form of inquiry in public space research. It invites public space scholars working on issues related to justice and peace in public space to consider how events could serve as a tool to generate new understandings and foster community relationships in public spaces.


Highlighting examples from Los Angeles, we will share the recent work of UCLA's UnCommon Public Space Group to use transdisciplinary, community-based approaches to explore pressing public space issues, and advance justice and peace in urban public environments. Drawing from these examples, we will define our emerging approach to the use of events in public space research as a means to generate new understandings and foster peaceful and just relations in public space; frame this approach in relation to relevant theories and methods; and offer a working set of principles and practices events as a tool of inquiry in public space research. 


Drawing from their own research experiences and ideas, participants will engage in facilitated, small group discussions on the limits and possibilities of events as tools of public space research, and will work collaboratively to develop and refine principles for such an approach, and prompting new questions, ideas, and opportunities.


The workshop will conclude with a discussion of avenues for further development and collaboration around the concept of events in relation to public space research, including a future chapter presenting principles for events-based inquiry that will integrate examples, ideas and ongoing research from workshop participants. 


To participate:

To facilitate generative discussions and focused collaboration, this workshop will be limited to 20 participants. Those interested in participating are asked to submit a 300-word prospectus that includes: 

  • Your name, title, and affiliation
  • Your email address
  • A confirmation of your availability on November 06 during the workshop time (4:00 pm - 7:00 pm CET / 7:00 am - 10:00 am PST)
  • A 300-word statement describing your own public space research effort (past, present, or future) through which you are considering the potential of community-based events as a tool for building understanding of public space and relationality with community, and outlining your goals for participating in this workshop


Submissions will be evaluated for fit with the workshop's content and goals, as summarized above. Selected participants will be assigned to breakout groups for the workshop based on shared research interests and approaches.


Please submit your prospectus by October 27, 2023 - extended deadline to: Andres F. Ramirez, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Image source: (Un)Common Public Space Group. "Inhabiting the Night" event in Westlake/MacArthur Park, Los Angeles. 2022