Day 1 – 4.06.2015 

The first day will be dedicated to the theme The Power of Places and will focus on answering the question:Why does the knowledge on how to create good, successful urban places so rarely translate in the built product? We will try to reflect on the impact of the current economic climate for the practice of city building, considering the fact that even through the years of economic boom, debatable results have been seen in Scotland, throughout the UK and in Europe

9:00 – 9:30     Registration and Coffee

9:30 – 10:00   Welcome and introduction by organisers Ceren Sezer & Georgiana Varna

10:00 – 10:45 Presentation by Prof Lehtovuori, Q&A

1o:45 – 12:15  Presentations and Q&A: The Western World perspective on places of power

(15 minutes presentation and 15 minutes Q&A for each slot)

10:45  11:15 Has Public Space Become An Empty Signifier?, Rianne Van Melik, Radboud University Nijmegen & Michael Merry, University Of Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

11:15 – 11:45 The need for public spaces, Maria V Gomez, University of Glasgow, UK.

11:45 – 12:15 Playing, Eating, Talking. Producing Counter Public Spaces, Juan Arana, Ceu San Pablo University, Spain.

12:00 – 13:00 Lunch

13:00 – 15:00 Presentations and Q&A: The international perspective on places of power

 (15 minutes presentation and 15 minutes Q&A for each slot)

13:00 – 13:30 An Abundance of Hats and a Shortage of Heads’. Radical Urbanism and Practices of Resistance in Present-day Latin America, Antonio di Campli, Universidad Técnica Particular de Loja, Ecuador.

13:30  – 14:00 Gezi Park Protests. How a Neglected Space was transformed into a Living Urban Public Space, Basak Tanulku, independent researcher, Istanbul, Turkey.

14:00 – 14:30 Daily Life in a ‘Branded Housing Project’: Control, Mediation, And Commodification, Bilge Serin, Royal Academy of Engineering, Heriot Watt University, Edinburgh, UK.

14:30 – 15:00 Manufacturing Identity through Urban Space: Two Projects, Evren Aysev Deneçİstanbul Bilgi University Department of Architecture, Turkey.

15:00 – 15:30 Coffee Break

15:30 – 17:30 The experience of well-being in public spaces 

 (15 minutes presentation and 15 minutes Q&A for each slot)

15:30  – 16:00 Comfort Urban Places: a proposal for designing unique places that provide welfare. Practical Cases, Itziar Aspuru, TECNALIA – Energy & Environment, Derio-Bizkaia, Spain.

16:00 – 16:30 Older people at the local High Street: the power of place and urban meaning in Well-being promotion for an ageing population, Luca Brunelli, School of Energy Geoscience Infrastructure and Society, Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh, United Kingdom.

16:30 – 17:00 Sound and urban planning: a literature review and conceptual framework to inform the integration of acoustic considerations in the design of public spaces, Edda Bild, University of Amsterdam & INCAS, The Netherlands.

17:00 – 17:15 Break

17:15 – 17:45 Open floor discussion and  brainstorming: Reflections on the day – main themes, key messages. 

Meet at 19:00 for dinner at Glasgow’s best restaurant Mother India Cafe . See more at:

Day 2 – 5.06.2015

The second day will be focused on the theme Places of Power and will explore the general issue of the play of power among the different actors involved in placemaking. The focus will lie on trying to answer:

How can urban scholars walk the corridors of power and influence urban development towards the creation of more liveable and inclusive environments?

9:00 – 9:30      Coffee

9:30 – 10:15   Presentation by Prof Carmona: The Place-shaping continuum: A theory of urban design process, Q&A

10:15 – 12:15  Presentations and Q&A: the UK perspective on power relations and place.

10:15 – 10:45 Future Directions in Urban Design as Public Policy: Reassessing best practice principles for design review and development management,  James T. White, University of Glasgow, Scotland, UK.

10:45 – 11:15 ‘Action Without Vision is a Nightmare’ Why Can so Many Public Realm Schemes be Characterised in this Way?, Catherine Hammant, Faculty of Architecture and the Built Environment, University of Westminster, UK.

11:15 – 11:45 Critical Spatial Practice, Carl Fraser, University of Sheffield, UK.

11:45 – 12:15 Power and agency in current waterfront regeneration in ScotlandHarry Smith, School of Energy, Geoscience, Infrastructure and Society, Heriot-Watt University and Soledad Garcia-Ferrari, Edinburgh School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture, University of Edinburgh, Scotland, UK.

12:15 – 13:00 Lunch

13:00 – 13:45  Presentation by Dr Pietro Garau, Q&A

13:45 – 15:45 Presentations and Q&A: the international perspective on power relations and place

13:45 – 14:15 Learning From Squats: The influence of occupied social centers on local planning issues in Rome, Clara Archibugi &  Clemens Nocker, La Sapienza University of Rome, Italy.

14:15 – 14:45 Power and participation in urban design practices. The case study of an urban gardening project in Lund Sweden. Feb-Nov 2014, Alexandru Seltea, Lund, Sweden

14:45 – 15:15  Negotiating the Public Space Project: Challenges and Opportunities in post-revolution Egypt, Maye Yehia, Arab Academy for Science, Technology & Maritime Transport, Alexandria, Egypt.

15:15 – 15:45 Where and for who to develop? New Capital Cairo: A Critical Review, Ahmed Abdeldayem, Sr. Manager Architect, DEC Dynamic Engineering Consultants, Dubai, UAE.

(possibly through Skype The flexibility of urban squares design considering the change of urban rhythms between modernity and identity in the city Algiers, 2o29, Dounia Cherfaoui, Polytechnic School of Architecture and Urbanism, Algiers, Algeria).

15:45 – 16:15 Coffee break

16:15 – 17:00 Open floor discussion and brainstorming: Reflections on the two days: Where to next in public space research?

17:00 – 18:00 Presentation of next day field trip

17:00 – 17: 20 Using Archaeology to Create Value and Enhance Significance: Exploiting Govan’s Early Medieval Royal Past, Stephen Driscoll (University of Glasgow) and Susan Hanlin (Central Govan Action Plan), United Kingdom.

17:20 – 17:40 Glasgow’s waterfront regeneration and the creation of public space, Dr Georgiana Varna, University of Glasgow, United Kingdom

17: 40 – 18:00 Presentation of the itinerary and key practical details of the field trip, Stephen Driscoll and Georgiana Varna, University of Glasgow, Scotland, UK.

Meet at 19:00 for Dinner at Lung Fung, the best cantonese restaurant in town. See more at: 

Day 3 – 6.06.2015

The third day is optional and it is focused on the practical application of the concepts discussed in the first two days. A fieldtrip along the banks of the ‘regenerated’ waterfront of the Clyde in Glasgow will be followed by a workshop.

The field trip is planned between 10:00 am and 13:00 pm. We will then grab some lunch and head to the Lighthouse where we will hold a 2h workshop from 13:00 – 15:00. We will discuss the key issues of the two days embedded in the local context of Glasgow’s waterfront regeneration (see pictures below).

Figure 5.6 colAerial WERP34, GAP 200210


The event is meant to be an opportunity for sharing ideas and experiences and building new research partnerships. More, we hope that by the end of the second day some (or all) of us can draw a sketch of a joint publication, with the key problems regarding placemaking today and solutions to address them to be circulated around the academic and public sector in UK and Europe.


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