Claiming the Public Space

“Claiming the public space: Urban interventions and the shift from vertical to horizontal urban planning” (2016-2018)

Main goal of the research project “Claiming the public space: Urban interventions and the shift from vertical to horizontal urban planning “ is the analysis of conflicts around and in urban public spaces based on an empirical research of “urban interventions” developed and implemented by organized groups of activists and professionals (artists, historians, sociologists, etc.) in St. Petersburg and Berlin. In the framework of this project urban interventions are understood as tools of a new approach to urban development. Urban interventions mean a challenge both for the practice and for the agents of vertical urban planning, and they entail an approach for horizontal urban planning.

Urban interventions imply the multiplication and fragmentation of agents claiming access to the urban public space. New forms of urban action performed by multiple agents not only can lead to a resolution of classical conflicts rooted in the hierarchical forms of urban planning and design, but they can also bring about a horizontal urban development, which is characterized by increasingly liquefying structures. Thus, a further aim of this project is to investigate the potential, power and effect of urban interventions in the process of urban development, moreover to study their impact on the classical hierarchical forms of urban planning and design in various European and non-European cities.

This project is a cooperation project of the GSZ (Georg-Simmel Center for Metropolitan Studies), TACT (International Research on Art and City) and CISR (Centre for independent social research).

Project leaders: Dr. Eszter Gantner (Department of Ethnology HU Berlin, GSZ); Dr. Oleg Pachenkov (Centre for independent social research, Alexander von Humboldt-Foundation Alumni)

Project coordinators: Juli Székely and Lilia Voronkova

Research group members: Ayse Erek, Eszter Gantner, Anisya Khokhlova, Heike Oevermann, Oleg Pachenkov, Juli Székely, Elena Tykanova, Lilia Voronkova and Oksana Zaporozhets.

The project is supported by the Alexander von Humboldt-Foundation, Research Group Linkage Programme, between 2016 – 2018.

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