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international conference | 8&9 october 2021

The Research Unit for South European Cities of the School of Architecture at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki will host the next meeting of the AESOP Thematic Group on Public Spaces and Urban Cultures (AESOP TG PSUC) in Thessaloniki, Greece.

The meeting is entitled “Between the home and the square: bridging the boundaries of public space”. It is structured around the concept of boundaries of public space and the relation between public space and more private spheres of urban life, like the home. By taking an interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary approach, the meeting will discuss, challenge and rethink traditional boundaries between public and private, legal and illegal, planned and unplanned, formal and informal, natural and social, digital and material, familiar and uncanny. Moreover, the meeting will reflect on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the making and unmaking of boundaries within the public space as well as between public space and home.

The meeting is organised as a two-day event, which will be preceded by a seven-day workshop. The two-day event will combine keynote speeches, the contributions to the Call for Papers, fieldtrips and roundtables. The workshop will be an international, urban teaching, action research and design workshop that will investigate transformations of housing and public space in sites of major importance in Thessaloniki. It will provide the opportunity for participants to discuss, exchange views, and propose ideas around the topic of boundaries between public and private spaces in Thessaloniki and beyond.

Call for papers

Cities around the world change rapidly in response to processes of financial crises, international migration, climate change, globalisation and the recent COVID-19 pandemic. Public spaces are essential ingredients of the urban experience and play a crucial role in this transition (Madanipour et al., 2014). Seeking to understand the ways in which public space can operate as a key component for the creation of ‘inclusive, connected, safe and accessible’ cities (UN Habitat, 2016), the meeting is structured around the concept of boundaries of public space and the relation between public space and more private spheres of urban life, like the home.

Marxist understandings of relational space have already emphasized the need to deconstruct dichotomies between public and private (Lefebvre, 1991). Gender studies have early enough challenged the dichotomy of public and private space (Massey 1984), while more recently, feminist approaches to public space foreground affective care practices, everyday lived experiences and bodily encounters as crucial elements that transcend fixed boundaries in public space (Viderman & Knierbein, 2018). The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has shed new light to interrelations of homes, neighbourhoods and public open space accessibility in pragmatic terms of real life, democracy, and its policing. Thus, a critical exploration of the ways in which the boundaries of public space are challenged, and new conceptualisations emerge is nowadays increasingly timely and salient.

The meeting articulates its theme in a way to encourage approaches that:

1. bridge the traditional analytical categories, such as home and public space, public and private, digital and material;
2. bridge the different disciplinary divisions that divide current research and practice and encourage cross-fertilisations and hybrid understandings;
3. bridge the boundaries between research, policy and practice focusing on the ways these three can inform and transform each other;
4. negotiate divisions in public space; age, gender, social, cultural, ethnic, religious and political dimensions as well as issues of social and environmental justice for improving inclusiveness, promoting social and environmental justice and meeting complexity in the public space changing terrain;
5. reflect on new typologies of emerging practices and agents of change that reconstitute lived homes and public spaces.

We invite contributions that address, but are not limited, to one or more of the following themes:

1. Inhabiting the square: exclusionary practices, repression, homelessness, refugees, dissent, participatory / performative appropriation.
2. Housing and public space: spaces of the everyday, neighbourhood spaces, inconspicuous parks, design considerations, everyday routines, psychoanalytic approaches to the public, divided spaces.
3. The limits of publicness: management, authorities, ownership, appropriation, affective, performative and artistic practices, digital contestations and cross-overs.
4. Νegotiating ownership: housing and public space production ‘from below’, housing coops, collective habitation, squats, gated communities, suburban houses, institutional change.


Lefebvre, H. (1991) The production of space. Oxford: Basil Blackwell.
Madanipour, A., Knierbein, S. & Degros, A. (2014) A Moment of Transformation. In: Madanipour, A., Knierbein, S. & Degros, A. (eds.) Public Space and the Challenges of Urban Transformation in Europe? New York: Routledge.
Massey, D. (1984) Space, Place and Gender. Cambridge: Polity Press
Viderman, T. & Knierbein, S. (2018) Reconnecting public space and housing research through affective practice. Journal of Urban Design, 1-16.

Organising Committee

Evie Athanassiou, School of Architecture, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki (Local host)
Charis Christodoulou, School of Architecture, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki
Athina Vitopoulou, School of Architecture, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki
Matina Kapsali, School of Architecture, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki
Maria Karagianni, School of Spatial Planning and Development, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki

Scientific Committee

Evie Athanassiou, Professor, School of Architecture, Faculty of Engineering, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece
Nadia Charalambous, Associate Professor of Architecture, University of Cyprus, Nicosia, Cyprus
Charis Christodoulou, Associate Professor, School of Architecture, Faculty of Engineering, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece
Αlex Deffner, Professor of Urban and Leisure Planning, Department of Planning and Regional Development, School of Engineering, University of Thessaly (UTH), Greece
Gabriella Esposito De Vita, Senior Researcher, National Research Council of Italy (CNR), Italy
Jeff Hou, ASLA, Professor of Landscape Architecture, Adjunct Professor of Architecture and Urban Design & Planning, College of Built Environments, University of Washington, U.S.A.
Sandra Huning,  City and regional sociology,  Faculty of spatial planning, TU Dortmund, Germany
Ares Kalandides, Professor of Place Management, Berlin und Umgebung, Germany
Matina Kapsali, Postdoctoral Researcher, School of Architecture, Faculty of Engineering, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece & Adjunct Lecturer, School of Architecture, University of Ioannina, Greece
Maria Karagianni, Adjunct Lecturer, School of Spatial Planning and Development, Faculty of Engineering Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece
Garyfallia Katsavounidou, Assistant Professor of Urban Design and Planning, School of Spatial Planning and Development, Faculty of Engineering, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece
Sabine Knierbein, Professor for Urban Culture and Public Space, Faculty of Architecture and Planning/ Future Lab, Interdisciplinary Centre for Urban Culture and Public Space, TU Wien, Austria
Penny Koutrolikou, Associate Professor, School of Architecture, National Technical University of Athens, Greece
Marilena Kourniati, Assistant Professor, Ecole Nationale Supérieure d'Architecture Paris-La Villette, France
Sasa Lada, Emeritus Professor, School of Architecture, Faculty of Engineering, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece
Christine Mady, Associate Professor, Department of Architecture, Ramez Chagoury Faculty of Architecture, Art and Design, Notre Dame University, Louaize, Lebanon
Ali Madanipour, Professor of Urban Design, School of Architecture Planning and Landscape, Newcastle University
Irini Micha, Associate Professor, School of Architecture, National Technical University of Athens, Greece
Stefania Ragozino, Researcher, Institute for Research on Innovation and Services for Development (IRISS), National Research Council Italy (CNR)
Sara Santos Cruz, Assistant Professor, Senior Researcher of CITTA, Spatial Planning and Environment Division, Faculty of Engineering, University of Porto, Portugal
Ceren Sezer, Research Associate, Faculty of Architecture, Chair of Urban Design,  Institute for Urban Design and European Urbanism RWTH, Aachen University, Germany
Dimitra Siatitsa, Adjunct Lecturer, School of Architecture, Faculty of Engineering, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece
Socrates Stratis, Associate Professor, Associate Professor, Department of Architecture, University of Cyprus, Nicosia, Cyprus
Burcu Yigit Turan, Senior Lecturer, Department of Urban and Rural Development, Division of Landscape Architecture, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Uppsala, Sweden
Tihomir Viderman, Research Associate, Chair of Urban Management, Faculty of Architecture, Civil Engineering and Urban Planning, BTU Cottbus-Senftenberg, Germany
Athina Vitopoulou, Assistant Professor, School of Architecture, Faculty of Engineering, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece
Athena Yiannakou, Professor of Urban Planning and Development, School of Spatial Planning and Development, Faculty of Engineering, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece

Abstract submission

You are invited to submit abstracts to a maximum of 500 words addressing at least one of the topics outlined in the Call for Papers. We seek to receive contributions that are based on innovative research, which breaks with existing explanatory frameworks so as to address afresh empirical problems. Innovation may also come from controversial theoretical approaches as well as from novel methodological frameworks. Abstracts should also include 3-5 keywords. References (if necessary) should not exceed 100 words.

Submission will ONLY be accepted online through easy chair where participants may register and instantly submit their abstracts using the provided template. Authors will be notified of acceptance by the Organising Committee.

Conference contributions will be considered for publication as part of a Special Issue to be published in a leading journal in the fields of urban studies or an edited volume to be published by an internationally leading academic publisher.

Please submit your abstracts via easy chair in the following link:


Participation in all AESOP TG PSUC events is free. We do however ask you to confirm your participation by registering for the meeting.
In this registration form, authors have the opportunity to update their abstract taking into consideration the reviewers' comments. Please upload the final version of your title, abstract and keywords in the appropriate fields of the form.

The registration deadline has been extended:

for authors: until 15 September
for participants: until 10 October

Register here

Keynote Speakers

Isabelle Anguelovski

Isabelle is the director of BCNUEJ, an ICREA Research Professor, a Senior Researcher and Principal Investigator at ICTA and former coordinator of the research group Healthy Cities and Environmental Justice at IMIM. She obtained a PhD in Urban Studies and Planning from MIT before returning to Europe in 2011 with a Marie Curie International Incoming Fellowship. Situated at the intersection of urban planning and policy, social inequality and development studies, her research examines the extent to which urban plans and policy decisions contribute to more just, resilient, healthy, and sustainable cities, and how community groups in distressed neighborhoods contest the existence, creation, or exacerbation of environmental inequities as a result of urban (re)development processes and policies. Since 2016, she is the PI of a five-year ERC-funded project called GreenLULUs which examines green inequalities in 40 cities in Europe, the US, and Canada.

Claudio de Magalhães

Claudio de Magalhães is Professor in Urban Regeneration and Management and currently Head of the Bartlett School of Planning, UCL, with a background in architecture and urban planning. In the early stages of his career, he worked for 12 years as a planner in local and regional government in Brazil, acquiring considerable experience in urban governance and in the management of urban investment programmes for urban and regional development.  From the mid-1990s he has worked as an academic in the UK, first at Newcastle University and since 1999 at UCL. His interests have been in planning and the governance of the built environment at various levels, looking at property development processes and urban regeneration policy, the management of urban quarters, and the provision and governance of public space. Claudio has conducted research for Research Councils, professional bodies such as the RICS, CABE, UK government departments and local authorities and published widely on property markets and globalisation, capacity building for urban governance, the relationship between urban governance, the built environment and property markets, business improvement districts and the provision and management of public spaces. His most recent research looks at the relationship between planning policies and perceptions of risk in the housebuilding industry. His books include: Design Governance, The CABE Experiment, Planning, Risk and Property Development: Urban Regeneration in England, France and the Netherlands and Public Space: The Management Dimension. He is currently working in a new book comparing the governance and management regimes for public spaces in London and Hong Kong.

Anastasia-Sasa Lada

Anastasia-Sasa Lada studied architecture in the School of Architecture, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki and postgraduate studies in London in the field of Health Facility Planning and Design. She was professor of Architectural Design and now she is Professor Emerita, School of Architecture, AUTH. She has an extended, published and awarded architectural, teaching and research work, which is in a constant dialogue with the conceptual and social dimensions of architecture and the urban space.   Her main teaching and research interests, since 1985, focused on the multiple shifts that appear in the intersection of gender, sexuality, architecture and urban space. She has published a number of books and many articles in scientific magazines in the topics of habitation, the urban space, restoration of listed buildings, gender and sexuality.

She published mainly in the topics mentioned above. She is the editor of the following collective volumes:  (1)  «Scientist in the picture Greece, 1900-1980: situated identities - identities of sites “, Thessaloniki Museum of Photography, 2007 , (2)  «Teaching Gender, Diversity and Urban Space : An Intersectional Approach between Gender Studies and Spatial Disciplines” Zuidam Uithof Drukkerijen, Utrecht 2009, (3) “Shifts: Gender, Difference and Urban Space” (in Greek), Futura, 2009, (4) “Habitation: Design, construct, think. On the teaching and design of home”.(in Greek) , University Studio Press, 2015. Finally co-editor with   Hastaoglou - Martinides Vilma of the project “ The Theological School of Halki, The building and its restoration” (In Greek) Theological School of Halki,2016.


You can see and download the programme of the international meeting from the link below.

* Due to continuing public health restrictions, the conference will be held online through Zoom platform.
* All times are in CET+1.

In order to attend sessions, please use the following login details:

Between the Home & the Square Digital Room A
Webinar Passcode: 534433

Between the Home & the Square Digital Room B
Webinar Passcode: 193716

Book of Abstracts


The international meeting will be hosted at the premises of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki.


For further information on AESOP TG PSUC Thessaloniki meeting please contact: Evie Athanassiou (Local host Thessaloniki)