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univie: summer school in Urban Studies 2016
Understanding Public Spaces: Unravelling Complexities

“The grounds for utopia are to be found not in some ideal version of urban space but in the re-making of existing places whose capacities are unrealized and whose sources of value are overlooked.” (Tonkiss 2013: 321)

Public spaces are places where the complexities of urban development manifest themselves. There are various functions ascribed to public space, from political representation and its economic utilisation, to activism and protest, with various actors claiming a stake in its development, including the authorities, private companies, civil society and citizens. The new complexity in the network of actors with a claim on public space calls for an interdisciplinary approach as well as a diversity of methods to empirically study the city.

With the Vienna Summer School in Urban Studies 2016 we aim to address the challenge of analysing the fragmented needs and practices of a heterogeneous urban society, including those groups affected by exclusion from city life and public space:

How can complex processes which constitute and describe public space and the approaches of different actors be contextualised and how can we handle this complexity?

If you want to explore the analysis and understanding of public space through different approaches and new methods with lecturers such as Suzanne Hall (LSE), Joseph Heathcott (New School NY) and Sabine Knierbein (TU Vienna), and in joint workshops and field trips with a group of international Master- and PhD-students, apply now!

We invite Master and PhD students to apply and participate. 
Participants will receive a certificate from the University of Vienna that confirms 5 ECTS points as equivalent to the amount of work at the Summer School.

The deadline for applications is April 1st, 2016.

Where: In the lecture rooms of the Department of Geography and Regional Research at University of Vienna, Universitätsstraße 7/5th floor, 1010 Vienna

For further information see “Application and Fees”.


This summer school is supported by a research grant provided by the Austrian Academy of Sciences and Magistratsabteilung 7 Wien Kultur of the City of Vienna.

Have a look at some of the output of 2014’s Urban Studies Summer School:


derive - Radio für Stadtforschung
6. Januar 2015, 17.30 Uhr, 9 Uhr  
Oeffentlicher Raum - Sprache und Sound
Ingo Warnke und Susana Zapke ueber Wahrnehmungszugaenge zum oeffentlichen Raum

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