Where City And Territory Meet...

Online Symposium
16th -17th September 2021

(c) Martin Grabner

Registration Now Open!

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.

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?


16th September

09:00 ‒ 09:15    WELCOME, opening

09:25 ‒ 09:45    KEYNOTE 1Prof. Aglaée Degros | The territorial project

10:00 ‒ 10:45    SESSION 1 | Ass.- Prof. Wolfgang Dokonal, DI Fabian Wallmüller | ... at the fringe
        10:00 ‒ 10:30     paper presentations (2 presentations á 15’)
            Ward Verbakel Gardens of Puurs, a village urbanism for Flanders
            Elena Andonova et al. Re-thinking the urban edge and growth of the city: Skopje’s North-
            East Periurban Fringe
        10:30 ‒ 10:45     panel discussion

10:55 ‒ 11:10    SLIDE SHOW PRESENTATION 1
            Corné Strootman Painting a portrait: On the fringe of world-heritage

11:15 ‒ 12:30    SESSION 2 | Ass.-Prof. Wolfgang Dokonal, Ass.-Prof. Bernhard Wieser |... along the corridor
        11:15 ‒ 12:00     paper presentations (3 presentations á 15’)
            DI Catherine Papst The space between city and suburbia - Suburban connectivity and its
            local consequences
            Johannes Bernsteiner Boulevard peripherique: from city frontier to metropolitain link
            Raf Ilsbroekx, Maarten van Acker Reconnecting fragmented districts in peripheral
            automotive infrastructure landscapes: the case cité Versailles in Brussels
        12:00 ‒ 12:30    panel discussion

12:30‒ 14:00    LUNCH BREAK

14:00 ‒ 15:15    SESSION 3 | Prof. Andreas Lichtblau, Jennifer Fauster MSc ESALA | ... in exchange with actors
        14:00 ‒ 14:45     paper presentations (3 presentations á 15’)
            Lea Soret Landvestors
            Stefan Devoldere The stadsatelier oostende as a pro-active tool for quality in
             urban development
            Sébastien Clement, K. Dupre, How do gardeners influence biodiversity? A tropical case
        14:45 ‒ 15:15     panel discussion

15:15 ‒ 15:30    SLIDE SHOW PRESENTATION 2
            Jonila Prifti PhD, A. Llubani MSc Questioning the quality of Tirana‘s public spaces
            Elisabeth Oswald et al. Wir & Co - a cooperatively and sustainably developed
            residential project

15:45 ‒ 16:45    SESSION 4 | Prof. Andreas Lichtblau, Jennifer Fauster MSc ESALA | ... in parametric issues
        15:45 ‒ 16:15     paper presentations (2 presentations á 15’)
            Sramana Mukherjee, Dr. S. P. Ray Disasters and smart city: coping with a tropical cyclon
             in the slums of Bhubaneswar, india
            Nina De Jonghe, T. Coppens Can quanitative guidelines support sustainable and qualitative
            urban design?
        16:15 ‒ 16:45     panel discussion

16:55‒ 17:15    KEYNOTE 2  |  DI Markus Bogensberger
        Instruments of urban planning illustrated with  styrian examples

17th September

09:00 ‒ 09:10    WELCOME

09:15 ‒ 09:35    KEYNOTE 3  |  Dr. Eva Schwab  
        Sustainability and justice in the territorial project

09:45 ‒ 11:00    SESSION 5 | Ass.-Prof. Daniel Gethmann, DI Radostina Radulova-Stahmer | ... in spaces of transition
        09:45 ‒ 10:30     paper presentations (3 presentations á 15’)
            Ian Gillis MArch. BsED. BFA Terroir to non-place: defining future food territories
            Tommaso Pietropolli Weak structures for the transition: Horizontality in greater
            Geneva city-territory
            Julio de la Fuente, Natalia Gutiérrez Madrid, new proximities in the productive post-
             industrial city
        10:30 ‒ 11:00     panel discussion

11:00 ‒ 11:15    SLIDE SHOW PRESENTATION 3
            Sandra Guinand, A. Montalvo Rojo, M. Scherner Exploring “espace vécu“ of new build
            Environment through photovoice interview. The case of donau city in vienna
            Marco Broekman Healthy urban living in Merwede

11:30 ‒ 12:15    SESSION 6 | Ass.-Prof. Daniel Gethmann, DI Radostina Radulova-Stahmer | ... in spheres of uncertainty
        11:30 ‒ 12:00     paper presentations (2 presentations á 15’)
            Beatrice Galimberti Antifragile strategies for implementing design processes in
            uncertain times
            Lilli Lička, Hannes Gröblacher Does utopia help? The use of individual Visions for a
            common goal
        12:00 ‒ 12:15     panel discussion 

12:25 ‒ 12:45    KEYNOTE 4  |  Prof. Em. Marcel Smets
          Contemporary urbanism in view of its modernist legacy

12:50 ‒ 13:30    CLOSING PLENARY  |  Prof. Em. Han Meyer, Prof. Em. Marcel Smets, 
          Dr. Eva Schwab, DI Markus Bogensberger, Moderator: Prof. Aglaée Degros

Keynotes and Planery

Keynote 1 | The Territorial Turn | Prof. Aglaée Degros

Keynote 2 | Instruments of Urban Planning Illustrated with Styrian Examples | Markus Bogensberger

Keynote 3 | Justice and Sustainablility in the Territorial Project | Eva Schwab

Keynote 4 | Contemporary Urbanism in View of its Modernist Legacy | Prof. Em. Marcel Smets

Closing Plenary Part 1 | Prof. Aglaée Degros, Eva Schwab, Markus Bogensberger, Prof. Em. Marcel Smets, Prof. Em. Han Meyer

Closing Plenary Part 2 | Prof. Aglaée Degros, Eva Schwab, Markus Bogensberger, Prof. Em. Marcel Smets, Prof. Em. Han Meyer