Colloquium: Why to Invest in Urban Landscape? The Impact of Research About Urban Issues on the Future of Our Cities

  • Date: Thursday 2 November 2017
  • Time: 16:00 - 17:00
  • Venue: The Cyprus Institute – Guy Ourisson Building, Seminar Room, 1st Floor, Athalassa Campus
  • Speaker: Dr Carlos Smaniotto Costa, CeiED, Universidade Lusófona - Interdisciplinary Research Centre for Education and Development, Portugal

* The colloquium will be in English, the event is open to the public, light refreshments will be served after the talk.

Abstract 
This lecture focuses on how research on urban space can contribute to shaping the future of cities. Series of research projects will be presented that fall under two main categories: (1) Projects that deal with the environment, green spaces, water bodies and natural ecosystems: these projects (URGE, GreenKeys, Bio-HOW) focus on the development of approaches and strategies to mitigate the loss of open spaces, its consequences for the urban environment, and contribute practices for the improvement of the quality of green spaces. The results of this research offer new arguments for investing in natural capital, public open spaces and their benefit for the welfare and long-term survival of urban societies. (2) Projects in the second category study people, and how multi-stakeholders’ cooperation is essential to fill gaps on meeting people’s needs in the urban fabric. This research investigates transformation strategies to better shape, and guide, our cities towards social sustainability, well-being and the prosperity of their citizens. Digital technologies play a central role in this research, as these projects aim to foster greater knowledge about the relationship between information and communication technologies (ICTs), public spaces and people (CyberParks, C3PLACES, CyberTEENS).

ICTs have greatly changed society and the way people communicate and interact, and this transformation will continue to proliferate as the digital realm is more and more pervasive in people’s lives. This new condition of urban life necessitates the advancement of our knowledge not only on the use of public spaces (i.e., an ethnographic perspective), but also about digital technologies and their impact on the research techniques and methodologies we practise (i.e., a technological perspective). Finally, the lecture will consider ICTs’ ability to engage with our cities’ inhabitants in order to transform the production of public open spaces into an interactive process, to enable creative community participation and empowerment, as well as to conceptualise urban spaces that will be better tailored to their prospective users (i.e., teenagers). 

About the Speaker
Carlos Smaniotto Costa (PhD) is a Landscape Architect and Landscape Planner, and holds a PhD in Urban and Environmental Planning from the University of Hanover/Germany.

He is Professor of Urban Landscape and Urban Ecology, and teaches in Masters and PhD programmes in Urban Planning and Architecture at the Lusófona University in Lisbon, Portugal, and a member of the Interdisciplinary Research Centre on Education and Development of the same University, where he is the coordinator of the research unit on Territory, Capacity and Memory.

He has been involved in several research projects and has several publications in journals in Portuguese, English, German and Italian.