Pre-Organised Special Sessions

To be competed with more special sessions soon...

Prof. D. Babalis & Prof. T. G. Townshend

Title: Urban Heritage in Times of  Uncertainty


Prof. Dimitra Babalis, Department of Architecture, University of Florence, Italy


Prof. Tim G. Townshend, Deputy Head of School and Director of Planning and Urban Design, Global Urban Research Unit, School of Architecture Planning and Landscape, Newcastle University, Newcastle upon Tyne


It seems that we live in an increasingly uncertain world. Reports of threats from pollution, climate change (and related extreme weather events), terrorism, extremist politics and nuclear annihilation fill the media every day. Set again this individual lives are inextricably intertwined with rapid changes in technology, which - while bringing undoubted benefits - also seem to result in increasingly fluid and ambiguous relationships, blending the physical and the virtual, the real and imagined, ever changing and potentially disquieting, even suggesting human obsolescence.

How should designers respond to these challenges? How can we ensure our urban heritage is protected and becomes more than a simple backdrop, a theatre set, against which our increasingly uncertain urban lives are played out? Can we create public spaces that provide a buffer against uncertainty, that increase urban quality, socialisation, allow for diversity and increase opportunities for understanding and reduce tensions within communities, maximise technological potential without dehumanising and retreat from environmental catastrophe?

This session invites papers that address these challenges, that explore how we transform our urban heritage in ways which increase urban quality, social connections and capital, improve safety and reduce threats, protect and enhance our cultural heritage, embrace technology without overriding humanity and reverse environmental damage.


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