Pt.Talks Events


For the Summer Term 2021 we invited Darren Sharp, Matthias Wanner, Dr. Meike Levin-Keitel as speakers at Pt.Talks. Registration

Wednesday, May 19 2021, 12:00pm (CEST)

Dr. Darren Sharp

Urban planning by experiment: net zero precincts.

Monash Precinct Copyright: © Darren Sharp

Experimentation through urban living labs brings together academic, government, civil society and private sector actors to trial alternative city futures, transition governance approaches and new modes of urban planning. Net Zero Precincts is a 4-year ARC Linkage project that is leveraging Monash University's main campus as a living lab to undertake experiments in net zero energy, mobility and the built environment to accelerate precinct-scale decarbonisation. In this talk Dr Darren Sharp will provide an overview of the project and discuss some emerging opportunities and challenges for urban planning by experiment at precinct scale.


Wednesday, June 16 2021, 5:30pm (CEST)

Matthias Wanner

Transformative and transdisciplinary research in a real-world lab: the example of co-productive city-making in the neighbourhood Mirke, Wuppertal

Top view workshop table Copyright: © Wolf Sondermann

Matthias Wanner, research fellow at the Wuppertal Institute for climate, the environment and energy, presents his long-standing research in a neighbourhood in Wuppertal. He will give a theoretical introduction into the concepts of transdisciplinary and transformative research and the application to the local case. Processes and results of co-productive city-making in a collaboration between science and a local practitioner will be shown and critically discussed.


Wednesday, July 7 2021, 5:30pm (CEST)

Dr. Meike Levin-Keitel

Transformation from a spatial perspective – introducing the concept of spatial transformation

Spatial Transformation Copyright: © Meike Levin-Keitel

One of the germinal future societal tasks is how to deal with transformation processes such as climate change and resulting socio-ecological transitions. These transitions take all place in our landscapes, cities and neighbourhoods, high time to take a decidedly spatial perspective on these processes. Presented is the conceptual framework of spatial transformation to begin with the basic question why space matters especially in transformation research. Then, as entry point for a planning theoretical reflection, the relatively recent approach of transformative planning is introduced.


For the Winter Term 20/21 we invited Dr. Kristof Van Assche, Dr. Lukas Gilliard, Dr. Agnes Katharina Müller as speakers at Pt.Talks. Registration


Tuesday, November 10, 2020, 5:30pm

Dr. Kristof Van Assche

Land use tools and broader strategies for mitigating boom & bust cycles in communities

industrial monument in landscape Copyright: © Kristof Van Assche

Kristof Van Assche presents a framework to analyze the effects of dramatic ups and downs on communities. The aim of this framework is to identify the potential of land use tools to mitigate the effects of these cycles. It entails a deep analysis of the development path of the community, or its governance path. Kristof makes the argument that such analysis can help to get a precise picture of the effects of boom and bust and at the same time help find ways of moving forward and identify coordination tools that could work in the context of that particular governance path. He argues that land use tools are more effective when they are part of a cohesive strategy for long-term development, yet that such linking and embedding is not always possible.


Tuesday, December 01, 2020, 5:30pm

Dr. Lukas Gilliard

The Academic Third Space. Impact of Interdisciplinary Higher Education on Socio-technical Innovation.

network representation Copyright: © © Lukas Gilliard

Cities are at the center of attention for experts and policymakers to resolve pressing economic, social, and environmental challenges. New forms of urban governance emerge to meet increasing expectations towards sustainable urban development. Lukas Gilliard investigates how interdisciplinarity in higher education can contribute to more innovative and transformative practices, since established forms of higher education are not suitable for systemic urban complexities. He developed the theory of the academic third space that encompasses new collaborative learning formats for interdisciplinary students.


Tuesday, January 12, 2021, 5:30pm

Dr. Agnes Katharina Müller

Flexible Workspaces: Coworking in Cities

coworking space Copyright: © Jaquelinze Schulze

Coworking Spaces are increasingly popular proposals for commercial use both in urban design competitions and in student projects. Coworkers work flexibly – only equipped with a laptop and mobile phone – wherever they want and independently of their company´s location or customers. That makes this type of office interesting for planners theoretically at any location. However, comprehensive knowledge is missing under which urban circumstances Coworking Spaces are successful and how they interact with the city. The lecture will highlight the phenomenon of coworking and its effects on the city.


For the Summer Term 2020 we invited Boris Bachmann, Estelle Evrard and Emilia Smeds as speakers at Pt.Talks.
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Tuesday, June 9 2020

Boris Bachmann

Strategic action fields in urban development. The transformative power of „city makers“ in the city of Wuppertal


Foto: Wolf Sondermann Copyright: © © Wolf Sondermann

In the face of the challenges of future-proof sustainable urban development “city makers” and “space entrepreneurs” are ascribed a potentially transformative role and the ability to mobilize local “Eigenart” – the characteristic potentials and intrinsic logics of specific cities. From a transition perspective, these groups can be understood as niche actors piloting alternative logics of urban development. Bachmann investigates this role from a political science perspective, focussing on Utopiastadt (“Utopia City”) in Wuppertal. His central research question is: How do “city makers” influence the governance of urban development beyond their specific projects?


Tuesday, June 30 2020

Estelle Evrard

Analysing cross-border spatial planning with planning games

Foto: Estelle Evrard Copyright: © © Estelle Evrard

Planning is at the heart of cross-border cooperation: cross-border planning schemes are under negotiation and infrastructure projects under development. Yet the notion ofcross-border spatial planning remains difficult to grasp: how to define it, how does it coexist with domestic planning? Drawing upon the concept of planning culture, Dr. Evrard uses the planning game method to observe how planners from different national backgrounds 1) mobilise key planning concepts; 2) negotiate their respective visions with one another and 3) relate to the border.


Tuesday, July 7 2020

Emilia Smeds

Urban mobility transitions: governing through experimentation in Bristol and New York

Foto: Emilia Smeds Copyright: © © Emilia Smeds

In recent years, urban researchers and practitioners have intensely discussed and explored the potential of experiments to offer opportunities for collaborative innovation and even result in transformative change within the city. However, there is still little empirical evidence on the extent to which experiments actually scale up to generate city-wide, institutional or structural impact. Smed’s research has compared how municipal governments in Bristol and New York have sought to govern urban mobility through experimentation. Tracing the impacts over 60 experiments in time, the research has found that the degree of upscaling has been high.


In the Winter Term 2019 / 2020 we invited Robin A. Chang, Bjoern Hekmati and Maddalena Iovene as speakers at Pt.Talks.


Tuesday, November 19 2019

Robin A. Chang

An Epistemological Exploration of Temporary Use in Scholarship: One Example of Discursive Institutionalization and Meaning Production in Urban Studies

Foto: Robin A. Chang Copyright: © © Robin A. Chang

Despite the strong orientation towards long-term and strategic planning through urban planning and policies, interest for temporally undefined and tactical interventions grows. Temporary Use (TU) is the focus of Robin A. Chang’s work that seeks to pursue a critical understanding of how such initiatives are developing in scholarship and in reality. This presentation will share initial insights in the institutionalization of and meaning production through TU in urban studies using classic literature review and bibliometric methods.


Tuesday, December 10 2019

Dr.-Ing. Bjoern Hekmati

Mobility Mushroom: Accessiblity and the Mycological Metaphor

Foto: Bjoern Hekmati Copyright: © © joern Hekmati

The growing demand for mobility in line with the more and more differentiated range of modes of transportation pose a new challenge to existing infrastructures. The existing multimodal nodes originally were designed neither for present frequencies nor diversity of services. Bjoern Hekmati describes infrastructure as a part of a mycelium, permeating western industrial nations. The mycel forms a symbiotic relationship with the (post)industrial society, with the inhabitants of the living environment within its range. He views accessibility as the capacity of the membrane between system boundaries and describes hubs that can only be designed using integrative strategies and methods borrowed from design thinking.


Tuesday, January 14 2020

Dr. Maddalena Iovene

Using big data to understand which public places people want to be in and why

Foto: Maddalena Iovene Copyright: © © Maddalena Iovene

What turns space that is public into a public space? Why are some streets and squares valued, yet others shunned? Why do people tend to prefer some places rather than others? How does this affect their behaviour? This study summarises existing research into why people like some squares and streets and avoid others. It sets out new primary research with a review of 18,966 streets and squares in six British cities. Using this evidence, Maddalena Iovene proposes Ten Steps for developers, architects, planning authorities and landowners to follow to design beautiful and popular public spaces.


In the Summer Term 2019, we invited Olivia Kummel, Yasemine Moustanjidi and Verena Balz as speakers at Pt.Talks.


Tuesday, May 5 2019

Olivia Kummel, ILS Dortmund

Local Governance practices in 'Informal' Urban Neighbourhoods – Comparative investigation in Cairo, Kathmandu and Ulaanbaatar

Foto: Olivia Kummel. Area mapping in the settlement Amgalan, Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia Copyright: © © Olivia Kummel

Many people in urban areas around the globe, especially in countries of the South, still live under abject conditions. The inhabitants of these ‘underserved’ settlements fight for improve­ments in their living conditions and organize themselves when the public institutions cannot fulfill their responsibility. Olivia Kummels work deals with the development of self-provisioning neighbourhoods in Cairo, Kathmandu and Ulaanbaatar in general, and the actors and their constellations in detail, examining the actors’ influences in improvement of living standards in self-provisioning neighbourhoods.


Tuesday, June 4 2019

Yasemine Moustanjidi, University of Stuttgart

Cross Border Urban Governance and the Informal Mechanisms of Space Production

Cross-Border Urban Governance Copyright: © © Yassine Moustanjidi

The increasing permeability of political boundaries to the thick­ening flows of goods, people and resources has pushed beyond the very notions of space, place, city and governance as we know them. Yassine Mosutanjidi presents a case study of the SIJORI Growth Triangle, a term that refers to the strategic interweaving of the comparative advantages between the city state of Singapore, the Province of Johor (Malaysia), and the Province of Riau islands (Indonesia). His research investigates the role of non-state actors in shaping the geography of the extended urban region in the absence of a state-driven territorial agenda.


Tuesday, May 14, 2019, 5:00pm

Verena Balz, TU Delft

Regional Design as a Discretionary Approach to Regional Planning in the Netherlands in the Context of Decentralization and Deregulation

Regional Design Copyright: © © Cornelis van Eesteren

In recent decades, The Netherlands has seen an increase in the use of regional design-led practices in national indicative planning. Despite this, the interrelations between design and planning decision making are not well understood, and attempts to involve the expertise and ambition of designers in planning have had unclear outcomes. Verena Balz’ analysis reveals forms of discretional control that shape the creative design practice. Her work contributes to the discussion of how design can contribute to an understanding of the multiple planning experiments emerging in this post-regulative era.