Webinar – “Learning from crises: towards inclusive and sustainable cities”

10th July 2020, 5.30 pm CEST

Objective of the Webinar

Discussing the spatial impact of socio-economic segregation and environmental and health crises in the era of the “Urban Planet”.

 Expected outcomes

Clarifying the necessity to establish the translation of spatial analyses into multi-stakeholder based integrated urban development projects.

 Target audience

Academia (applied research), practice, policy experts, subnational governments


Main contents In the 21th century, the cities of the “Urban Planet” peaked in ecologic and economic damage initiated by industrialization and modernization. At the same time, cities are the hotspots of political power and intellectual thinking. The question arises: can spatially operating professions give answers to crucial societal issues such as pandemics, economic crises, political populism, social segregation and climate change? How can the collaboration with real-world stakeholders: citizens, academics, experts, media, governmental and non-governmental organizations be enhanced? How to convert social, human and ecological challenges into potentials towards creating innovative and resilient urban strategies? What have we learned new from the COVID-19 crisis?

The first step critical observation of the actions, processes, and policies are necessary to perceive the diversity and instability as a necessity for a wholistic understanding of forces that have shaped the contemporary city. This includes the influence of political, cultural and societal forces on their physical and programmatic transformation. This type of applied research reveals the basis to examine the complexity of urban mechanisms, the interrelations with actors and protagonists that are often insufficiently understood or represented through qualitative and quantitative methods.

These findings form a basis for strategic tools and scenario-based proposals to produce spaces of inclusion, safety, coexistence and interaction. Micro-stories from “urban laboratories“ in the Rust Belt, China, South Africa, Balkans, China, Eastern and Southern Europe, Latin America, among others, will offer a glimpse into the possibilities to derive, extract and explain fundamental societal and, therefore, urban transformation processes in the mission to realize integrated, cross-sectorial and multidisciplinary urban solutions.

Speaker bio 

Dr. Haris Piplas is author and collaborator of several urban, landscape and architectural projects Germany, Switzerland, Denmark, Morocco, Eastern and Western Europe, Latin America, China and other regions. He is co-author of the book “Global Urban Toolbox”, which highlights spatial and infrastructural challenges under the influence of economic-social, geopolitical and cultural aspects in cities. Dr. Piplas was the editor-in-chief of two issues of the Journal of the European Federation of Landscape Architects (IFLA), entitled “Adaptability of Cities” and “Political Implications for the Urban Landscape”.
He figured as was pavilion curator of the 15th Architecture Biennale in Venice, the initiator of the “Reactivate Sarajevo” project, as well as keynote speaker at numerous international conferences. He is also a member of ISOCARP (International Society of City and Regional Planners), the former Young Leader Chairman of the Urban Land Institute, nominator of the Aga Khan Prize for Architecture and member of the Advisory Board for Building Culture of the European Forum Alpbach.
Dr. Piplas holds a Master of Urban Design from the Technical University of Berlin and a PhD from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich, Department of Architecture. In addition to external teaching and expert activities, he has been active, among others, at the Politecnico di Milano, ETH in the conception of the Urban Simulation Game and institutional development of the ISTP (Institute of Science Technology and Policy).Since 2020 he co-directs the development of the Blue City: Integrated Urban Solutions sector of Drees&Sommer Switzerland.


The webinar is free of charge for both THA members and non-members

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