4. Urban design, public spaces and urban culture

This track brings together the themes of urban design, public space, and urban culture. Papers are invited to explore the nature and the relationship between these themes, and any of their subthemes. The processes of shaping, managing, and inhabiting the urban space have a direct relationship with the political, economic and cultural conditions of cities. Theoretical, methodological and empirical papers are invited to discuss any aspect of this interface between spatial development processes and the urban conditions in Europe and elsewhere.

What are the relationships between urban design and urban and regional planning, and in what ways are they responding to the conditions of globalisation, economic austerity, social inequality, cultural diversity, and climate change? How can they be theoretically, methodologically and empirically enhanced to address these challenges? What is the relationship between these diverse demands on cities, and are they being given the attention they need? What are the current approaches to the public space in Europe and in what ways can these approaches be assessed? How can spatial design and development, and the articulation of urban spaces, reconcile the rich cultural heritage of European cities with their rapidly changing circumstances? How can the research in urban design meet the needs of the EU Cohesion Policy 2014-2020 in terms of smart, sustainable and inclusive cities?