Track chair: Dr. Mariko Takagi, Academy of Visual Arts, Hong Kong Baptist University
Co-chair: Ms. Dina Baroud, FAAD, NDU
Description: Streets can be seen as a platform to read the traces of history and the identity of our cities. Geographic features, urban planning and architecture are the long-lasting attributes of a city, while graphical elements such as inscriptions, signages, wayfinding systems, advertising boards or even graffiti, are reflections of the ongoing change through time, power, trends and technologies. This graphical surface of a street can be seen as one medium of visual communication with various forms of appearances and a wide range of functions, such as to inform, to give orientation, to (re-) present, to warn, to remind, to advertise, or even to provoke etc.
This track is dedicated to research and practice based projects focusing on elements of visual communication within the context of a “Graphic Street-scape”: like typography and lettering, corporate communication and design, information graphics, wayfinding systems, urban art, among others. Contributions, looking at the research topic street/city from an interdisciplinary angle as communication design, information design, visual art, music, semiotics and perceptual psychology, are all welcome.
Keywords: signs, semiotics, signifier and signified, visual identity, information & communication design, wayfinding systems, typography.
T2: Reimagining City Street: The real and the virtual
Track chair: Professor Ognen Marina, Faculty of Architecture, Ss. Cyril and Methodius University
Co-chair: Professor Paul Jahshan, FHUM, NDU
Description: The dominant notion of world globalization has emphasized the horizontality of the process of diffusion of urbanity flattening the imagery in the contemporary urban landscape. We are witnesses of urbanization in which the categories of inside and outside disappear and there is no longer any clear "outside" or “inside” to the emergent urban fabric. The fading and re-emerging borders of these new urban conditions in the cities are redrawing the new and multidimensional Nolli’s map of contemporary cities. The inversion through which the public domain is privatized and the private realm emerges as a new public space, where civic activism is practiced with new digital and communication tools is urging for re-defining and re-imagining the domain of the commons.
The public realm of the streets is the space where everything is connected in a seamless whole. It is the place where the interior space of the buildings could be connected and re-functionalized due to its public and communal role. This position enables us to consider the urban street as one of the main devices for the diffusion of urbanity, while providing the cohesive and connective tissue of the horizontal and non-figurative city.
The current debate surrounding the imagery of city streets, the narratives and the virtuality behind it could be explored through architecture, planning, design, art, music, literature, fiction, philosophy, ICT and other disciplines by using insights and contributions dealing with the re-imagining of the reality and virtuality of city streets. This track encourages polemical research, insightful designs and projective mapping of narratives with new visions, imagery and concepts as an outcome that reflects the overarching and yet autonomous visions of the real and virtual urban spaces at the level of the city street.
Keywords: future cities/cultures, utopia/dystopia, private and collective domain; real and virtual, networks and social media, spaces and places, scenarios, narratives.
T3: Formal and In-Formal Street Art & Design: Interventions and innovations
Track chair: Dr. Feda Salah, German Jordanian University
Co-chair: Ms. Nadine Hindi, FAAD, NDU
Description: Streets constitute a major part of the urban tissue in cities concerning its physical existence, activities, and events. The transformative movement of the creative relationship of the individual and the physical city street in such public spaces will be the focus of this track addressing several key issues: - Interpreting and analyzing the energy and innovation found in city streets through the study of street art and design.
- Understanding and altering individual’s perception of city streets as public spaces for events and refining them.
- Learning from the formal and informal relationships created between individuals and their physical city streets by studying different types of spaces, dwellings and territories that the streets have generated.
- Studying the effect of Individual Street morphological objects and images on individual perception and behavior and vice versa.
- Considering the city streets as extensions of functional settings and the extension of those streets into such settings.
- Researching the effect of legislations on the interaction and actions of individuals within city streets.
- Investigating city street’s spectacles and their effect on the individual’s behavior, interaction and acceptance.
Therefore, several disciplines can participate in this track namely: arts, graphic and signage design, product design, furniture design, architecture, landscape, urban design, street theatre, music and performing arts.
Keywords: art, design, events, image, slums, street, territoriality.
T4: Street Mobility: Current and future trends
Track chair: Mr. Manfred Wacker, Stuttgart University
Co-chair: Dr. Dima Jawad, FE, NDU
Description: This track focuses on one of the major tasks of roads - to connect. To ensure mobility while disturbing adjacent land uses not more than really necessary is one of the most fostering tasks in urban road design. Motorized vehicles in private transport, public transport, bicycles and pedestrians compete for the given road space. On the one hand traffic, pollution and urban expansion become pressing issues affecting everyday life, and on the other hand we find worldwide solutions which at least calm down these conflicts. There is a need to address the complexity of transportation in relation to the social dimension in cities, and consequently the role of streets. How has the given space to be divided for the different modes of transport? How can the conflicts between the different modes be solved? Will new technologies like autonomous driving or the shift to non-motorized transport be the main drivers to reshape the urban roads?
Keywords: infrastructure, non-motorized mobility, transit, transport and land use, safety, energy and environment, technology, economics.
T5: Right to Street: Gender issues, contested spaces, and territorial transformations
Track chair: Dr. Heba Abou el Fadel, Alexandria University
Co-chair: Dr. Maya Anbar-Aghasi, FHUM, NDU
Description: The right to street can be looked at as a miniature representation of the right to the city, a continuous interplay between public and individual rights and empowering urban inhabitants. The track can be divided into three main categories: WHAT kind of rights, WHO it is addressed to and HOW it is regulated.
In the social sense, streets for urban inhabitants can be looked at as arenas for individual and group expression, a ground for dialogue, debate and exchange of ideas, spaces for leisure, performance and display, places for economic survival and refuge. How spaces for those rights are distributed along with the intersection of race, class and gender, is the main focus of the track. Different issues can be addressed: urban management (policies, regulations and legislations); controlling street functions, as trading and occupation (street vendors) along with imposed uses (homelessness); granting Safe access to different user groups (Gender issues), and regulating social conduct; social norms and expectations in this shared public space.
The right to street is a multi-disciplinary broad realm that can encompass, Architecture, urban planning, urban design, urban sociology, urban management, laws, and regulatory aspects.
Keywords: contested, diversity, gender, space, street, territory, transformations.
T6: Resilient Streets: Metabolism, cataclysm, and beyond
Track chair: Dr. Socrates Stratis, Cyprus University
Co-chair: Dr. Habib Melki, Arch. Dept, FAAD, NDU
Description: The aim of this track is to bring up an inter-disciplinary discussion on the need for resiliency of the commons during post-traumatic reconstruction processes confronting man-made or natural disasters. How practices such as architecture, planning and visual arts, hand in hand with humanitarian practices, give power to the civil society, and how they reclaim politics in confronting on the one hand laisser-faire enclaving urban developments based on clean slate approaches with neoliberal priorities, (Easterling, 2007). Clean slate approaches imply a freedom from constraints like program, context, regulation, and politics (Cuff, 2011, p. 77). On the other hand, to offer alternatives to inadaptable large scale homogeneous master plans imposed by third parties in the name of “renewal” projects exploiting post-catastrophic opportunities, unable however, to cope with a prevailing context of uncertainty, (Stratis, 2014).
Quite often, such reconstruction processes that take place after war or natural disasters operate in a state of exception, profiting from the inability of the local institutions to cope with the extraordinary conditions of such endeavor. The difficulty of the local institutions lies on their inertia against rapid adaptation to a post-traumatic era, as well as on the overwhelming scale of reconstruction. How could the characteristics of resilient systems such as diversity, redundancy, network connectivity, modularity and adaptability could be translated into the resilience of the Commons, with the street at the foreground?
Keywords: disaster, post-traumatic reconstruction, resilience, street, commons, design as politics.
Cuff, Dana, Tabula Futura Imperfecta: The Architecture of Disaster, in Cuff, D., Sherman, R. editors, Fast Forward Urbanism: rethinking architecture’s engagement with the City, Princenton Architectural Press, 2011, pp. 75-93
Easterling, Keller, Enduring Innocence: Global Architecture and Its Political Masquerades, MIT Press, 2007
Stratis, Socrates, Architecture-As-Urbanism For Uncertain Conditions, in Europan 12 Results: Adaptable City, Europan editions, Paris, 2014
T7: On Streets: Research tools and methodologies
Track chair: Dr. Joanna Saad-Sulonen, Aalto University
Co-chair: Dr. Maya Samaha-Rupert, FNAS, NDU
Description: The main purpose of this track is to bring together experts that use different methodologies and tools for investigating streets in various aspects and contexts, and who are interested in exploring possibilities for transdisciplinary approaches to research on streets. We welcome in particular contributions that address ethnographic and visual exploration of the spaces, economies and cultures of ‘city streets’, as well as contributions that bring forward methodological challenges in researching streets in the 21st century. These challenges may address researching streets in a ‘glocal’ context: from very local, small scale studies to larger comparative studies at the global level, and any combination of these. Other challenges may tackle the role of the wide range of digital technologies available for researching streets and how to deal with this abundance of tools ranging from researcher-driven GIS methods to citizen-driven explorations in documentation, mapping, and analysis of the urban context. We also aim for contributions highlighting interdisciplinary research tools and methods across urban planning, transport planning, information and communication technologies, architecture, social and environmental sciences, urban geographies, real estate, GIS, surveying and remote sensing, and more.
Keywords: streets and geographic information system (GIS), street modeling, social media and street studies, citizen science, street evaluations, trends, street design, street evaluation, comparative studies
T8: Streets and Urban Places: Urban transformations
Track chair: Dr. Miao Xu, Faculty of Architecture and Urban Planning, Campus B, Chongqing University
Co-chair: Dr. Wissam Mansour, FAAD, NDU
Description: This track discusses the street as a physical interface for urban transformations. The latter will be explored through interdisciplinary perspectives and through paradigmatic shifts, spatial manifestations in the context of design and planning. Castells once defined urban design as the symbolic attempt to express an accepted urban meaning in certain urban forms. Following this line, the track will explore the local street, a traditional and familiar urban form, which presents a highly visible face of local identity. As a multidimensional space of everyday diversity and incubator of cultural heritage, streets have embodied the recent shaping of the city through drastic transformation of de-industralization, globalization, gentrification, and immigration, as well as the rise of the symbolic economy based on cultural production and consumption. What is the accepted meaning of such urban transformation in local streets? Can the value of local streets be sustained in the 21st century? What we can learn from cross-national cases?
Keywords: urban transformations, metamorphosis, appropriation, alienation, planned/ unplanned.
T9: Social Dimensions of Streets: Collective memory-ies, migrant communities, performances, and events
Track chair: Professor Antoni Bettloch Remesar, University of Barcelona, Polis Research Centre, Art-City-Society
Co-chair: Dr. Colette Guldimann, FHUM, NDU
Description: the advents of the growing migrant and refugee communities, and the social dimension of corresponding street life are the focus of this track. The generation of niches and sub-communities to cope with a new context are manifested in different forms within different cultural and economic urban contexts. These manifestations reflect different social and spatial configurations. Contributions are invited targeting the integration of these communities that challenge the role of streets in social assimilation, public events, citizenship and other related problems. Furthermore, interdisciplinary research addressing issues related to collective memory and its role in the integration of new comers is invited to this track.
Keywords: collective memory, event, urban performance, spectacle, social assimilation, citizenship.
T10: Streets: Urban diversity and social justice
Track chair: Professor Ashraf Salama, Strathclyde University
Co-chair: Prof. Georges Labaki, FLPS, NDU
Description: This track calls for contributions from interested academics and professionals from different sectors and different disciplines within and beyond architecture and urbanism. The objective of the track is to bring participants’ expertise into both academic and strategic discussions that aim to: increase awareness about the value of adopting human-centred approaches in architecture and urban design; increase the flow and exchange of knowledge about exemplars of incorporating social and behavioural issues in design; enable the creation of a community of practitioners, including academics and practicing architects, designers, and others who are willing to promote the notion of urban diversity and social justice in the education and practice of architecture and urban design.
Social Justice signifies the fair and proper distribution and availability of opportunities, resources, and privileges within a society. The track therefore aims to build upon debates on people-environment design research and social justice in the city. These debates are currently generating lively worldwide discourse in academic and professional circles and in related disciplines including architecture, urban design, geography, planning, governance and law, and environmental psychology, and other.
Urban Diversity and Social Justice insinuate challenging injustice while valuing diversity and redressing the major inequities in societies today. The academic and professional communities have addressed social justice in various forms ranging from advocacy to theorization. For example, in architecture and urban design, theorists advocate the need for integrating knowledge on how to deal with problems and crises associated with special populations that form major segments of contemporary societies such as the children, the elderly, the disabled, the poor, and the underrepresented. In urban studies, geographers and urban sociologists call for considering the notion of ‘the right to the city’ and the socio-economic realities of the urban environment. While there has been a surge in theorizing social justice as it relates to the built environment, little attention has been paid to the root causes of the injustices that continue to characterize the contemporary urban context, their impact, and the ways in which such an important field can be addressed effectively in architectural and urban research, education, and practice.
The outcomes of the track will offer new insights into the current status of, and potential barriers to, integrating social justice in the process of creating built environments; a better understanding of urban diversity and social justice as they relate to the everyday built environment and their contribution to social sustainability in various contexts; ways in which they can be introduced in architectural and urban design curricula; and a clear examination of possible tools for the application into professional design practice. These insights will have important implications on how urban diversity and social justice-based built environment education and practice can contribute to enhancing equality while avoiding spatial injustices.
Keywords: urban diversity and social justice, sidewalks, arcades and shop fronts, mapping of urban diversity, democratic design, economic diversification.
T11: Dialectical Relations in The Street: Cultural, spatial, and socio-political
Track chair: Dr. Ceren Sezer, TU Delft
Co-chair: Dr. Christine Mady, FAAD, NDU
Description: Streets play an essential role in constituting public life in cities based on several aspects: On the one hand, streets accommodate the everyday life in the city: we rely on the street for our daily activities (e.g. travelling, social and business meetings) that offer an important framework for encounters between people from different social and cultural backgrounds. These encounters stimulate various levels of contacts between urban groups (e.g. seeing and being seen, conversations) that might either support social cohesion between communities or act as a source of conflict and contestation in the city. On the other hand, the street is not a passive background of these social relations; it rather plays an essential role in their production: the divergent characteristics of the streets in their publics, configurations and design shape the nature of social contacts in the city (e.g. seeing and being seen, long conversations). This can mark out certain areas as dead public spaces or set aside for certain functions, which welcome or problematize behavior and use patterns. This track tackles the role of the street in order to shape the public life in the city respectively from the given aspects through empirically rich and theoretically informed case studies in various disciplines.
Keywords: Politics of space, spatial relations, socio-spatial production, cultural patterns.
T12: Sustainable Streets: Meeting future needs
Track chair: Professor Ahmad Taki, De Montfort University
Co-chair: Dr. Jean-Pierre El Asmar, FAAD, NDU
Description: This track explores the prospective innovations and problematic aspects of the new sustainability paradigm in the urban realm of streets. Literature on the soundness of sustainability underpinned by its three main pillars, the social, economic, and environmental, as an approach to city planning and development is abundant. Apparently, there is a lack of understanding in relation to design of the outdoor environment and the complex range of factors influencing microclimate together with policies and users. Additionally, there is need to create a street system that supports communities and human interaction.
The track will foster research and collaboration between academia, users, and professional practice to discuss the multidisciplinary nature of the work and the latest research in the field that is required to deliver livable built environment. As such, this track will look at the challenge which built environment professionals and local authorities face in developing affordable, biodiverse, healthy, resource efficient urban design and street network that would support local communities.
Promoting the use of urban green space and biodiversity to enhance psycho-social benefits, together with the use of sustainable sources of energy to improve carbon efficiency are positive interventions. Exploring case studies and examining best practice together stakeholders’ participation in decision making that would help attain social sustainability and deliver livable community would be welcome.
This track invites abstracts leading to an oral or poster presentation that address the themes of this track.
Keywords:sustainable street network, urban street planning and management, landscape architecture and environmental design, outdoor comfort, urban green spaces, biodiversity, energy efficiency; social responsibilities, energy efficiency and policy, active transportation.