Where City And Territory Meet...

Online Symposium
16th -17th September 2021


(c) Martin Grabner

Call for Extended Abstracts, Videos and Slide Shows

Where city and territory meet…

Crises have influenced the formation of urbanism as a discipline, just as much as they have had effects on the development of different urbanistic movements. The current situation once again has confronted us with the fragility of our built environments - and thereby has evoked calls for a rethinking of the goals and means of urbanism.

In face of immense social and ecological challenges, one can already observe a much-needed change in approach. Ever more projects become increasingly rooted in their wider environment; taking into account ecological systems of resources as well as attempting to tackle issues of equity and social responsibility without being confined to an ecological answer.

Such projects are not limited to a single place defined by the confinements of the property but situate the project site within a wider area connected to socio-ecological systems and their metabolism. Project sites can be transformed in such way, as to participate in larger systems or even strengthen them. Such projects go beyond goals of economic progress, modernity, and technology to put emphasis on well-being, ecology, and social inclusion. This notion of urban design proposes prosperity as a goal, a concept that allows much less use of resources and offers more social equity. In short: A project which integrates ecological and social issues without seeing any contradiction between them becomes what we call a territorial project. It signifies a reconceptualization of urbanism’s goals and means.

Rethinking the discipline in such way, however, is not necessarily how contemporary urban planning and design are playing out.

How, then, does the territorial project manifest in the actual design of our built environment?

Taking current and historic urban and rural projects as a base to move beyond a reconsideration of the profession’s fundamental goals and means, this online symposium invites theoretical, practical, methodological and empirical contributions that look at how the ongoing societal discourse manifests in space. We understand projects both as the medium and outcome of an amalgam of influences, be they of ecological, economic, cultural, social or political nature. Thus, we welcome extended abstracts which explore how these influences are part of the territorial project and enable its spatial manifestation. We look forward to contributions from a variety of disciplinary backgrounds, be they architecture, landscape architecture, urbanism, planning or geography, urban studies and policy making.

We particularly encourage submissions that investigate (but are not limited to) the following themes and questions in a historical or contemporary perspective:

Topic areas

Looking for… quality in urban design

Over the past 15 years, Central European conurbations have experienced significant population growth, prompting urban densification. The recent urban boom, however, has done little to facilitate the emergence of socially and functionally mixed neighborhoods with public spaces where people can come together. And yet there is an increasing need for precisely these aspects of urbanism that form and shape society, as we can only overcome future environmental, demographic, and social challenges if we work together.

Although a large number of planning instruments that apply at different scale levels exist, critics question whether they are effective and truly useful for facilitating high-quality spatial development. This has prompted a lively discourse on questions of building culture in recent years, discussing a holistic view of spatial planning from individual buildings to regional development. How can quality in the built environment be encouraged? How can exchange, discourse and cooperation between the stakeholders involved in planning and design (clients, architects, spatial planners, landscape architects, authorities, and politicians) be intensified? What forms of comprehensive planning instruments exist (or could be developed in the future), that consider social, urbanistic, cultural, economic, and ecological criteria, while also providing a framework for an interdisciplinary shared task involving state administration, external stakeholders, and citizens?

Looking for…. justice in urban design

The idea of justice plays an important guiding role to facilitate a critical discourse on the goals and results of our planning and design actions; especially as mainstream approaches in urbanism tend to focus on the technical aspects of sustainability and resilience only. Part of this discourse has to question what type of living environment we want to create and who should be its beneficiaries.

In light of current social dynamics, such as an ever-increasing individualization of lifestyles and milieus as well as growing social inequality it would be naive to believe that a large-scale social consensus could be reached or that design could bring about such a broad agreement. Rather, we can formulate the goal that all design solutions should have the potential to be used or appropriated in different ways—by both human and non-human actors—and that they should support a wide range of interests and needs. How do justice issues manifest in territorial projects and how are trade-offs materialized in space? How can designers face conflicts and diversity when designing a contemporary territorial project? How have ideas of justice changed through the territorial project approach?

Looking for… pluridisciplinary and pluridimensional implementation processes

Today, the decision process is an integral part of the project. In the absence of a strong public authority, implementation is only possible when those affected accept the project. Communication, participation, and co-creation are thus essential components of any contemporary urban vision, the result of which can no longer be planned in advance to any extent.

While analysis and projects used to be divided into separate stages of diagnosis and improvement, these parts form a whole, complementing each other in an iterative process now. The project raises new questions for analysis that in turn offer possibilities for a new one. The project is transformed from a solution to a question. By working in depth on divergent scenarios, it is possible to find out which of the potential directions will be accepted by everyone involved. Pursuing these different paths new perspectives can be offered and enable a better understanding of what is possible, while at the same time providing space to define fixed cornerstones of a desirable development. How does this approach to the implementation process transform the role and social significance of architects and urban planners/designers? How do scale and time dimensions within the territorial project affect decision-making and negotiation processes? How can pluridisciplinary and pluridimensional projects still support the development of a shared position?

Guidelines for Submission

The online symposium is intended for architects, landscape architects, urbanists, planners and designers as well as scholars with a background in planning and design, geography, urban studies, and policy makers. 

The official language of the online symposium is English. The Scientific Committee invites scholars and practitioners to submit extended abstracts for presentations on research outcomes or practice examples. All abstracts will be submitted for blind review by a panel of reviewers. After revision, the selected extended abstracts will be published in electronic proceedings. During the online symposium, we expect a Power Point or PDF presentation. Please submit one abstract on a single topic only. The conference presentation will be a maximum of fifteen minutes. One session lasts for 1 hour and contains 2 presentations each in three parallel tracks. These are brought together by a panel discussion at the end of each session.

The online symposium lasts for 1,5 days and contains keynotes by Prof. Aglaée Degros, Prof. Marcel Smets, Dr. Eva Schwab and DI Markus Bogensberger as well as panel discussions, videos and slide shows alongside the paper sessions.

Extended Abstracts

Submission title: A maximum of twelve words
Submission format: Research or practice
Author(s) information: List all authors and identify who is contact author.
Topic areas: Please indicate to which topic area (see above) your presentation relates.
Keywords: Please add up to five keywords

Research – Main text of extended abstract:

  • 1000 words (or shorter) and 1 image
  • clear and concise summary of what will be in the presentation
  • results of new research not yet published
  • research question
  • context and theory of the problem
  • methodology used
  • results and broad conclusions
  • use template provided

Practice – Main text of extended abstract:

  • three A4 pages (text and visuals) max.
  • what the project is about
  • how it relates to the conference theme
  • location
  • presenter’s role
  • use template provided

References: Abstracts should include a maximum of five major literature references. The Harvard system of referencing should be used.

Videos and Slide Shows Concepts

Submission title: A maximum of twelve words
Submission format: motion picture or slide show
Author(s) information: List all authors and identify who is contact author
Topic areas: Please indicate to which topic area (see above) your presentation relates.
Keywords: Up to five keywords are permitted

Video – Main text:

  • 500 words max.
  • description of the project presented
  • scene list
  • method for the verbal or acoustic underlining of the shown (voice over/written text/music etc.)
  • Reference for the videographic style (e.g. as links)
  • use template provided

Slide show – Main text:

  • 500 words max.
  • description of the project presented
  • description of the visual material shown on the slides
  • method for the verbal underlining of the shown (voice over/written text/ etc.)
  • use template provided

The videos and slide shows should have a length of about 3 minutes each.


Call for Extended Abstracts
Topic Areas
Guidlines for Submission

Programme

Dates:

  • 16.05.2021
    Abstract submission
  • 21.06.2021
    Notification of acceptance
  • 06.09.2021
    Presentation/videos/slideshows submission
  • 16.-17.09.2021
    Online Symposium

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Contact:
urbagraz@tugraz.at