City Debates 2018 explores how architecture is re-conceptualizing its modes of engagement with the city, making itself relevant to the numerous challenges brought forward by the new millennium. It identifies five parallel agendas: the formal, the social, the digital, the ecological, and the pedagogical, assessing global practices in terms of their regional and local relevance.
2017 - Sous les pavés, la plage... Itineraries of Urban Social Movements
City Debates 2017 explores the emergence of urban-based political movements in various national contexts where “the city” and/or some of its ingredients (e.g. housing, public space, services, livelihoods) have been serving as the basis for new forms of claims.
2016 - Urban Policy Mobilities and International Aid
City Debates 2016 stems from a relational and multi-scalar understanding of urban policy as an assemblage of ideas and tools that circulate and transform.
2015 - Other Gentrifications
In the 2015 edition of City Debates, we are planning to explore the processes of urban change associated with gentrification. The conference will set the debate within the international field of gentrification research, but in urban contexts facing issues of (post) conflict and (post) crisis reconstructions, foreign and domestic investment and dis-investment, communal and political tensions, and regional insecurities.
2014 - The Politics of Property in Planning
City Debates 2014 investigates how contemporary critical discourses on property can inform the way planners and designers approach the natural and built environments. Conference panels investigate historical transformations in the conceptualization of property, particularly in the Middle-East, as well as strategies to strengthen the public, communal, and shared values of the natural and built landscapes through innovative forms of property holding as well as through taxation systems.
2013 - Rethinking Informality: Design Tactics/Planning Strategies
City Debates 2013 addresses the theme of informal spatial production as it materializes in different scalar levels and within multiple contexts of the Middle-East and beyond. Case studies are taken from Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Palestine, Egypt, but also India, Colombia, Germany, France, the United States, and more, to draw parallels across national contexts and articulate a critical discourse about planning and design that goes beyond the traditional/professional understandings of these disciplines.
2012 - Reconceptualizing Boundaries Urban Design in the Arab World
City Debates 2012 takes on four aspects of urban design thinking in the Arab world: the regional, the holistic, the operational, and the visionary. Through an understanding of its geographic and cultural particularities, the conference explores how the Arab World becomes a prime territory for questioning urban design as a discipline in flux, due to the abundance of sites of globalization, sites of worship, sites of conflict, and sites of contestation.