Spatial Cultures – A one-day workshop exploring the relationship of urban and architectural built form to movement, rest, encounter and social interaction past and present

  •  A one day workshop at UCL, Thursday, September 19th, 2013, 10:00-17:00
  • Principal contact: Dr Sam Griffiths
  • Convenors: Dr Sam Griffiths (UCL Bartlett), Frederik Weissenborn (UCL Bartlett), Lasse Liebst  (University of Copenhagen)
  • 3000 word papers for pre-circulation to Sam Griffiths by Friday, 6th September 2013
  • Papers will be pre-circulated to speakers through a password-protected page of this site
  • Papers are considered to be ‘drafts’ because it is anticipated that they will be further developed following the workshop.


Scholarly interest in the relationship of society, space and place that has been a significant characteristic of the ‘spatial turn’ has always acknowledged the importance of movement in this context. However, its dominant concern with decoding spatial representations has tended to render movement-through-space in similarly representational terms, to the detriment of a more dynamic, temporalized notion of the spatiality of built environments.  The aim of this one day symposium is to explore the theoretical and methodological implications of approaching modes of movement, rest and encounter as constituting distinctive ‘spatial cultures’. Its contributors aim to articulate what often appears as the missing link between the description of the materialized infrastructures of social life in different times and places, and accounts of the practice and experience of everyday social life.


Spatial cultures do not only imply human movement. John Urry’s definition of the ‘mobilities paradigm’ offers a powerful way of addressing the increasingly sterile opposition of ‘space’ and ‘place’ by showing how the mobility of people, objects and information that is enabled by infrastructural networks calls the value of any inflexible distinction into question. Urry’s emphasis on network dynamics as socially formative raises important questions, both for more hermeneutically inclined perspectives that consider the material conditions of social life as secondary to – and certainly distinct from – their primary concern with subjectivities, and  for organicist notions of social interaction as an integrative function of the social totality.  It suggests the need for a fuller realization of what Bill Hillier refers to as the allocentric dimension of social experience – that is those qualities of life-in-society that extend beyond the individual body-subject  –  while remaining alert to the dangers of materialist determinism and cognitive reductionism. It requires the interdisciplinary development of concepts and analytical techniques able to address how different spatial cultures have emerged and been displaced.


Research in this field might choose as its starting point a particular example of a spatial culture or the work of those social theorists with a broadly-defined interest in social morphology, a diverse field that includes such figures such as Durkheim, Simmel, Lefebvre, Foucault, Giddens and Deleuze. In this case it should certainly involve demonstrating the value of theory in elucidating the qualities of spatial cultures in a range of socio-historical contexts, not least by informing the development of appropriate analytical concepts and methods in relation to the source material. Research in this mode would be unlikely to entail cartographic analysis in isolation but contextualize such ‘mappings’ socially and historically by considering mobilities infrastructures as agents in the production of time-space affordances that fashion the possibilities of particular spatial cultures.

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Urban Issues in Central & South America and the Caribbean – Call for papers

Urban Issues in Central & South America and the Caribbean

Central and South America, along with the Caribbean Islands, face unique urban challenges. From being
the center of “economic miracles” in the 1950’s through the so-called “lost decade” in the 1980s, this
global region is now showing signs of economic recovery. Politically, it has faced challenges, from
mainly dictator regimes mid last century to more democratic regimes at the beginning of the twenty-first century. Severe poverty has been a persistent concern as well as unequal income distribution.
Urbanization patterns have exacerbated these problems.
As primate, mega cities grow, low income settlements multiply on the urban fringe, making evident
the divided lives that modernization has fostered among urban populations. To address these issues, several policies have been implemented with mixed results, from a “quasi” formalization of the informal sector, like incremental construction, to microbusiness development, and strategies for active political participation. At the same time, in the last decades, there has been a proliferation of NGOs working with local communities in need, with diverse results within countries in the region. Government officials, policy makers, planners, and NGOs have encountered political, fiscal, social and cultural barriers in the struggle to improve living conditions for the majority within urban areas. In response to these challenges, innovative policies and experiments have been launched in metropolitan governance, coordinated urban-rural development, regional planning, new town development, sustainable and carbon-neutral urbanization, and other proposed solutions to urban problems. The lessons and outcomes of these initiatives are of critical importance to the people and leaders of these regions, but equally of interest and concern to the rest of the global policy community.
The Urban Affairs Association (UAA) is North America’s leading urban policy research association engaged in understanding emerging issues and looking for feasible solutions from a multidisciplinary perspective. For more than forty years the UAA has brought together social scientists, public administrators, planners, and others interested in urban affairs to exchange information, experiences, and ideas on the most important urban issues. In light of the growing importance of Central/South America and the Caribbean Islands, and the proximity of the conference location in San Antonio, the 2014 UAA conference will include a Special Track on Urban Issues in Central/South America & the Caribbean Islands.

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Annual Meeting of the Urban Affairs Association – San Antonio TX – March 2014 – Call for Papers

Annual Meeting of the Urban Affairs Association
San Antonio, TX, USA
March 19-22, 2014

1) Cities and Urban Regions in the Americas
2) International Institutions and/or International Urban and Planning Issues.

Organizers: Joel Outtes, GEST- Group for the Study of Societies and Territories, Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil – Betty Smith, Eastern Illinois University, USA –

Deadline for proposal to our session: August 08, 2013.

We invite paper proposals for a session on urban topics in the Americas and/or international institutions to take place at the annual meeting of the UAA ( ) in San Antonio, TX, USA, March 19-22, 2014. Papers might explore, but not be limited to:

Economic restructuring and its spatial impacts Changing urban morphology Transnational linkages Urban hierarchies Historic city centers Urban historical geography Ethnic neighborhoods City planning in the Americas Criminality, urban gangs and the Geography of illegal territories The informal sector Intra-metropolitan mobility The politics of urban environmental problems Population Issues Informal transportation and social conflicts Participatory budget and urban social movements Urban social geography The International Planning Movement The Urban International: the spatiality of international institutions such as the IFHP-International Federation for Housing and Planning, UCLG-United Cities and Local Governments, IULA-International Union of Local Authorities and IHA-International Housing Association alone or in Comparative Perspective

Please remember that participants must register and pay fees by February 01, 2014. Please only apply to be in the session (five papers maximum) if you are sure you will make the conference.

Joel Outtes
GEST- Group for the Study of Societies and Territories Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil

Betty Smith
Eastern Illinois University

1er Seminario de Investigación Urbana: Espacio Publico – 27 al 29 de Noviembre 2013 – FAD/LUZ Maracaibo

La Facultad de Arquitectura y Diseño de la Universidad del Zulia te invitan al:

1er Seminario de Investigación Urbana:
27 al 29 de Noviembre de 2013

La Facultad de Arquitectura y Diseño de la Universidad del Zulia, en el marco de sus 50 años y el Comité Organizador del 1er Seminario de Investigación Urbana, tienen el agrado de invitar a presentar propuestas de ponencias, enviando sus resúmenes antes del 31 de julio del 2013
El llamado a presentación de ponencias abarca los siguientes tópicos:
1.- El espacio público:
1. Espacios públicos, identidades y ciudadanías.
2. Nuevas tipologías de espacios públicos.
3. El espacio público: un indicador de la calidad de vida
4. Espacios públicos, cuerpo y arquitectura de la ciudad.
2. La participación ciudadana
• Participación en la gestión de políticas públicas y la toma de decisiones políticas al ciudadano en los desarrollos urbanos
• Niveles y perspectivas de participación ciudadana en el Espacio público
• Modalidades de participación ciudadana en la creación y/o conservación de espacios públicos
• Consejos Comunales y el espacio público: metodologías y experiencias de participación
• Participación ciudadana en la movilidad urbana
3. La sostenibilidad
El espacio público como elemento clave de propuestas o actuaciones urbanas sostenibles, donde la noción de lo público abarque paisajes capaces de plantear y desencadenar procesos de regeneración, rehabilitación, reestructuración y reconciliación, en tres [3] grandes temas focales, que abarcan cuatro [4] ámbitos
• Paisajes Rehabilitados en Centros urbanos/históricos;
• Paisajes Regenerados en Zonas portuarias/ Frentes de agua;
• Paisajes Reestructurados en Suburbios / periferia urbana;
• Paisajes que reconcilian áreas rur-urbanas
4. La movilidad urbana
• Planeamiento y economía del transporte público
• Sistemas de transportes no motorizados
• Experiencias exitosas sobre procesos de regeneración de espacios para la movilidad urbana.
• Acciones para forzar el cambio al transporte público y otros tipos de transportes (bici, moto, andando).
• Eficiencia social del espacio urbano: Un espacio para cada modo de transporte. Gestión de la movilidad.
• Accesibilidad y movilidad.

Información sobre el evento en la pág. web

GLOBALIZING ARCHITECTURE / Flows and Disruptions – Call for Papers

April 10-12, 2014, Miami Beach, FL
Host School: Florida International University
Co-chairs: John Stuart, Florida International University & Mabel Wilson, Columbia University

ACSA invites paper submissions under the following 22 thematic session topics + additional open sessionsAuthors may submit only one paper per session topic. The same paper may not be submitted to multiple topics.

– See more at:

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Cities in Europe, Cities in the World – Call for papers – 12th International Conference in Urban History

You are warmly invited to take part in the 12th International Conference on Urban History in Lisbon, Portugal.

The sessions of the Conference will take place in the Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities of the Universidade Nova de Lisboa.

The official languages of the conference are French and English.

EAUH 2014 welcomes presentations to conference sessions (see conference sessions)

Presentations will be arranged within the following session types:

  • Main Sessions (up to 8 papers);
  • Specialist Sessions (up to 4 papers);
  • Round Tables.

Paper proposal

To submit a paper proposal, registration is required (here). If you have already create an account in this website, please log in (here) and add a new submission.

A paper proposal for presentation at the conference should be submitted in the form of an abstract only (not to exceed 300 words).

Start of paper proposals submission: May 15, 2013
Deadline for paper proposals submission: October 15, 2013
Notification of paper acceptance: December 15, 2013

Important: Paper proposals and full texts can only by submitted online, via the EAUH2014 website. If sent by post or email will not be accepted.

Paper submission

The authors of the paper proposals that have been accepted by the session organisers will be invited to submit the full text (appr.7-14 pages), for inclusion on the USB stick distributed to all the participants of the conference.

Deadline for full text submissions: July 1, 2014

Important: Full texts can only by submitted online, via the EAUH2014 website, if sent by post or email will not be accepted