Professor Astrid Ley and Franziska Schreiber will be contributing to the Webinar on “Rethinking Public Spaces: Exploring the interplay of the analogue and virtual realm and its effect on public and social life in cities.” The discussion (16 July 2020 / 14.30 – 16.00h CET) addresses the role and impact of the hybridization of the digital and analogue realm on community-building, resilience, participation and democracy during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond.

The webinar takes place in the context of the initiative ‘2020: A Year without Public Space under the COVID-19 Pandemic‘ jointly promoted by City Space Architecture and The Chinese University of Hong Kong, School of Architecture. The webinar is free of charge and will be held in English.

This event is part of the second phase of the programme of activities which consists of five phases: (1) engagement, (2) discussion, (3) publication, (4) follow-up learning, and (5) long term learning, stretching well into next year. The discussion phase itself is structured into four series, with this webinar being the third event of the Series 3.

Focus of the webinar and guiding questions:
Social media and digital communication are nowadays closely embedded into everyday practices and rapidly transform social and public life. This is particularly true for urban life which increasingly takes place in “hybrid spaces”, where face-to-face and virtual interaction blend: Neighbours who initially met analogue now also use messenger services for communication and organizational purposes, while community groups and local social movements often emerge on digital social networks before establishing new forms of collaboration and appropriating space in the analogue realm.
However, little is known about the role and implications of ‘hybrid spaces’ for social and public life in times of crisis and beyond. This webinar will critically engage with this phenomenon and explore its effects on community-building, community resilience, participation and democracy.

The webinar will address the following questions:
• Which digital tools and platforms played a prominent role during the COVID-19 pandemic? For what purpose were they used and by whom? What might be their role in the future?
• How do digital spaces affect community-building, participation and democracy in the analogue realm and vice versa?
• What are the wider challenges and potential problems associated with the hybridization of the digital and analogue realm?
• What does it mean for urban planning, community organization and decision-makers?

Agenda and speakers of the webinar

• Hendrik Tieben, School of Architecture, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong
• Luisa Bravo, City Space Architecture & The Journal of Public Space, Italy

• Prof. Dr. Astrid Ley, Department of International Urbanism, University of Stuttgart, Germany

• Dr. Carlos Smaniotto Costa, CeiED Interdisciplinary Research Centre for Education and Development, Universidade Lusófona, Lisbon, Portugal
• Franziska Turber, Foresight Consultant, Z_Punkt, Germany
• Federico Bastiani, Social Street, Bologna, Italy
• Franziska Schreiber, Department of International Urbanism, University of Stuttgart, Germany
• Dr. Tat Lam, School of Architecture, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong / Founder, CEO, Shanzhai City
• Jessica Cheung, School of Architecture, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong

• Melissa Permezel, Innovation Unit, UN-Habitat

Date: 16 July 2020

Time: 14:30-16:00 CET

Registration link