15th September | Day 1


Territorial Turn!
Opening and introduction to the Symposium
Petra Petersson Dean Faculty of Architecture & Aglaée Degros Head Institute of Urbanism

 Bauhaus Earth Charter
Presentation by Prof. Philipp Misselwitz – Bauhaus Earth & TU Berlin

Bauhaus Earth’s goal is to develop a new future narrative for the design and construction of buildings and human settlements in which nature and civilization are re-entangled. The initiative is guided by the hypothesis that we must go beyond decarbonizing the building sector, but transform cities, infrastructures and buildings into a lever of systemic regeneration.

Coffee Break

Who owns the ground?
In the past decades, our urban environments have considerably changed. Urban growth in peri-urban areas as much as densification of inner-city areas are fuelled by real estate and urban planning dynamics. While this process is on-going and creates heterogeneous forms and conditions, exacerbating socio-economical polarization, how can we look at the ground as commons to transform, infuse and come up with different spatial orders for urbanity and habitability, capable to form socio-economic and cultural connections for a territorial urbanism? How could collective actions and models improve the environmental conditions of these inhabited territories?

How to design the territory?
Keynote by Susanne Eliasson GRAU - Good Reasons to Afford Urbanism

The keynote will address the challenges of the current shift from an urbanism of extension to an urbanism of transformation, dealing with a specific type of urban organization that we call the Garden Metropolis. Neither the centre nor the periphery, it refers to the major residential urban growth that occurred in the last hundred years as a direct extension of traditional city centres. Through the main example of Bordeaux we will discuss the importance of a common horizon and how the merging of architecture and landscape play a crucial role in a “piece by piece” transformation of the territory

Papers by
Slobodan Velevski, Marija Velevska, Elena Andonova, Irena Milojeska |

Tommaso Pietropolli

discussion with
Marcel Smets, Susanne Eliasson, Andrea Jany, Alexandra Würz-Stalder, Julia Fröhlich
Chair: Sandra Guinand

Lunch Break



How to deal with transformation?
Our contemporary settings are faced with increasingly disruptive phenomena creating extensive uncertainty. These episodes have a strong impact on our urban environments - leading to the obsolescence of infrastructures, housing, factories, public spaces, etc., sometimes demanding a radical shift in their contemporary uses or functions. Which attitude should we implement to approach these infrastructures differently? What positive role could these urban elements play in connecting urban territories rather than exacerbating their fragmentations? How could they become strategic locations for territorial urbanism?

Can obsolescence inspire a renewal of the discipline?
Keynote by Stefan Rettich Universität Kassel - Fachgebiet Städtebau

A foresight on the recycling of land and houses - a strategy of the circular city - is becoming increasingly essential in the face of climate change. While the aspects of the circular economy are already being discussed at length, a theory of obsolescence and reuse at the level of the district or even of the entire city has not yet been developed. On what rules is the phenomenon of obsolescence in architecture based, are there systemic connections and what does that mean for the current situation?

Papers by
Johannes Bernsteiner | Beatrice Galimberti

discussion with
Han Meyer, Stefan Rettich, Maik Novotny, Anselm Wagner, Anna-Maria Jäger
Chair: Radostina Radulover-Stahmer


Coffee Break


How to repair the territory?
Urban settlements and their extensions have produced degraded and contaminated areas, informal settlements, anonymous commercial zones as well as plain new housing developments. These landscapes require actions to repair them and turn them into places of possibility and habitability by unravelling their potentials. How can we envision environmental and social approaches to the territory to create alternative paths to the traditional urbanization processes and urbanism practices? What could be these innovative approaches?

Unbuild environment. Why is it relevant now?
Keynote by Eva Pfannes OOZE Architects and Urbanists

After a long era of unprecedented economic growth generating an over-expansion of build space, now is the time to protect and reconstruct nature, in other words, to reorient the future of the profession as a matter of urgency towards the production of nature as a long-term objective. The talk will explore and illustrate, through examples of OOZE’s work, how understanding and deploying natural processes could be a methodology and a strategy to heal and repair our immediate and wider environment. 

Papers by
Julio de la Fuente & Natalia Gutiérrez | Ward Verbakel

discussion with
Marcel Smets, Eva Pfannes, Karl Steininger, Andreas Lichtblau, Isabel Stumfol
Chair: Anna Bagarić


Urbanism Fellow Graz - Award Ceremony


16th September | Day 2


How to negotiate common visions?
Our urban territories are composed of a multitude of actors with various profiles, faced with diverse conditions and issues, as well as holding different values and objectives. This diversity can be a real challenge for planning and co-constructing territorial urbanism. How can we share and build a common vision for our urban territories and our environment at large? How can we override conflicts and oppositions for co-construction?

How to create the territorial turn?
Keynote by Paola Viganò EPFL Lausanne, IUAV Venice

The Territorial Turn is here and now. The impact of socio-ecological transition on urban and territorial design is immense. The hypothesis here is that one fundamental shift concerns the way we look and conceive the territory. The shift to the idea of the territory as a subject and not only an object or pure resource has some important epistemological and ontological implications, as well as profound ethical and political ones. Some experiences will bring those questions to the fore and to the public debate.

Papers by
Stefan Devoldere |
Lilli Lička, Hannes Gröblacher

discussion with
Han Meyer, Paola Viganò, Kaye Geipel, Günter Getzinger, Oskar May
Chair: Eva Schwab


Coffee Break

Territorial Turn!

Closing Plenary
Paola Viganò, Juliette Bekkering, Han Meyer, Marcel Smets, Judith Schwentner, Bertram Werle, Günther Riegler
Chair: Aglaée Degros


Lunch Break



How to work with existing urban qualities to secure territorial continuities?

Learning from?
Historical practices guided walk with Sophia Walk

Our walk takes us to an urban typology that, in a broader sense, represents a territorial turn that takes us back in the past. The Gruenderzeit perimeter block in Graz is outstanding in terms of its greenness and density, in particular its width. We will reflect on this historic urban structure of late 19th/early 20th century and take a look on possible causes for their enduring popularity.Anticipating the future, as it is the profession of architects and urban planners, needs to go along with looking at existing buildings and the question how can we learn from these buildings? Which social qualities and ecological values can be detected within them, taken from them and visioned for the future? How can we work with them in the future? In our tour, we will grasp aspects of the history and memories around these buildings along with their tools and policies from the past to draw guiding elements for today and the future.

Caring for? Territorial Practices
Territorial practices talk | EUROPAN by Socrates Stratis

Care is about recognizing the vulnerability of our living milieu. It is about figuring new design ways to pay attention to the marginalized, hurt, or ignored and help to repair them. Europan is a truly European network of biennial competitions for young practitioners of architecture, urban design and landscape architecture. The author investigates how Europan, and the development of the theme of Living Cities, for its 16th session, address the challenges of care in the context of the territorial transformations due to climate change. The author argues that the Europan institution thanks to its complex and collective mechanisms of accompanying the formulation of questions and briefs, contributes in the debate regarding the need for architecture and urban design to adopt a territorial geographic repair approach.