City Space Architecture meets the 10th World Urban Forum in Abu Dhabi

February 7, 2020
By City Space Architecture


City Space Architecture has been selected to be an exhibitor at the 10th World Urban Forum that will take place on 8-13 February 2020 in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, convened by UN-Habitat, the United Nations Human Settlements Programme. The World Urban Forum (WUF) was established in 2001 by the United Nations to address one of the most pressing issues facing the world today: rapid urbanization and its impact on communities, cities, economies, climate change and policies. The Forum is a high level, open and inclusive platform. This is the first time that an Arab country hosts the world’s most important conference on cities and human settlements. The theme of WUF10 in Abu Dhabi is 'Cities of Opportunities: Connecting Culture and Innovation'.

City Space Architecture is partnering with 16 global institutions to promote the UN Sustainable Development Goal 11 - Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable, with a specific interest on target 11.7 - By 2030, provide universal access to safe, inclusive and accessible, green and public spaces, in particular for women and children, older persons and persons with disabilities

Our participation at the 10th World Urban Forum is the result of the global campaign we started in August 2019 to support public space, inviting global stakeholders to join forces and work together.

Our partner organizations at WUF10 are: The Chinese University of Hong Kong  /  Healthbridge Foundation of Canada  /  Block by Block  /  Project for Public Spaces  /  University of Auckland  /  Columbia University  /  Federal University of Rio de Janeiro  /  Auckland City Council  /  KTH Centre for the the Future of Places  /  IHC Global  /   Consortium for Sustainable Urbanization  /  Sustasis Foundation  /  Global Utmaning  /  Public Space Research Group (PSRG)  /  Ukrainian City and Regional Planning Research Center  /  General Assembly of Partners (GAP) Older Persons.

The title of our exhibition is: PUBLIC SPACE IS VITAL FOR AN EQUITABLE FUTURE.  We are highlighting the following keywords, in regard to public space: care, belonging, inclusion, diversity, innovation, culture, safety, prosperity, health, well-being, universal accessibility, entrepreneurship. 

With our exhibition we want to have an impact on local governments and policy makers, we want to push them to include public space as a priority in their urban agenda.

The official opening of our exhibition space is on Saturday February 8 at 12pm.


Follow daily updates of activities at our exhibition space on our Facebook event.


In addition, our President Luisa Bravo will coordinate a side event at the Urban Library, promoted in collaboration with UN-Habitat, RMIT University and KTH Center for the Future of Places, to present our successful The Journal of Public Space. In less than five years, and with more than ten already published issues, The Journal of Public Space has attracted global interest, engaging more than 200 authors from more than 30 countries, selected after a highly qualified double blind peer review process. The side event is intended to discuss the complexity of public space by presenting several published special issues and to give an overview on future directions, in terms of planned strategies to improve quality, inclusivity and impact, together with partnerships with Universities and Institutions for special issues. Follow the side event on Facebook.

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Support public space for WUF10!

August 16, 2019
By City Space Architecture


On 8-13 February 2020 the 10th World Urban Forum (WUF10) will take place in Abu Dhabi. WUF10 will be convened by UN-Habitat and jointly organized with the Abu Dhabi Department of Urban Planning and Municipalities.

Abu Dhabi will be the first Arab city to host the WUF, and the forum's theme will be "Cities of Opportunities: Connecting Culture and Innovation".

Maimunah Mohd Sharif, Executive Director of UN-Habitat, said the WUF10 will take the sustainable urbanization debate to a new level in what promises to be an event that will have an impact for years to come.
Mohamed Al Khadar, Executive Director of strategic affairs at Abu Dhabi Department of Urban Planning and Municipalities, said the UAE is aligning the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) with the development strategy to support WUF10. 

UN-Habitat is currently revising the Concept Note of WUF10, a draft is available here.

Since City Space Architecture is a partner of UN-Habitat, we received a request for a feedback. While reviewing the Concept Note and other documents, we realized that public space is poorly mentioned, and not clearly addressed, as it was in WUF9 in Kuala Lumpur.

We think that the Concept Note should clearly include public space as one of the topics of WUF10.

Our President Luisa Bravo submitted a feedback to UN-Habitat last week, explaining the reasons why public space should be included in the Forum.


Join our global campaign, send us your statement on why public space matters.

Read more here.


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City Space Architecture meets the first UN-Habitat Assembly in Nairobi

May 28, 2019
By City Space Architecture

Public space in Nairobi.


We are very proud to be part of the first UN-Habitat Assembly, to be held on 27-31 May 2019, at the headquarters of UN-Habitat in Nairobi. Our President Luisa Bravo has been accredited to attend through an invitation letter signed by Ms Maimunah Mohd Sharif, Executive Director of UN-Habitat. The invitation included also the participation to the first Global Stakeholders Forum and the Business Leaders Dialogue on May 25-26.


The General Assembly of the United Nations in its resolution A/RES/73/239, on 20 December 2018, decided to dissolve the Governing Council of the United Nations Human Settlements Programme and to replace it with a United Nations Habitat Assembly of the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat Assembly). UN-Habitat Assembly is a universal body composed of the 193 member states of the United Nations and convenes every four years (A/RES/73/239).

The responsibilities of the UN-Habitat Assembly are:

i) Identify key issues and areas of focus for the normative and policy work of UN-Habitat;

ii) Review major trends related to human settlements and urbanisation;

iii) Examine global norms and standards in human settlements and sustainable urbanisation;

iv) Adopt resolutions, declarations, recommendations, formal decisions, reports and other documents pertaining to strategic vision and political guidance in accordance with its mandate;

v) Recommend strategies for coherent implementation of urban and human settlements dimensions of the 2030 Agenda, the New Urban Agenda and other global agendas, including of the work of the United Nations System;

vi) Examine and approve UN-Habitat’s strategic plan, to be prepared by the Executive Board;

vii) Review the Secretary-General’s quadrennial report on the implementation of the New Urban Agenda.

In addition, the Assembly should also ensure the active engagement of local authorities and other stakeholders in the Assembly, in its subsidiary bodies and in intersessional meetings.

The special theme for the Assembly is “Innovation for Better Quality of Life in Cities and Communities”, with sub theme “Accelerated implementation of the New Urban Agenda towards achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals”. During the first session, the Assembly is expected to establish the Executive Board of UN-Habitat and to elect its members, to review and approve the UN-Habitat Strategic Plan 2020-2025, aimed at repositioning UN-Habitat as a major global entity, a centre of excellence and innovation, and also review the progress in implementation of the New Urban Agenda adopted at the Habitat III conference in Quito (2016).
Member States of the United Nations are expected to participate in the deliberations, the Assembly will also be attended by United Nations Agencies, Local authorities and non-state actors including civil society, youth and women group representatives, the private sector and the Academia.
The Assembly will be the opportunity to officially announce that City Space Architecture has signed the Letter of Agreement with UN-Habitat for the cooperation in developing The Journal of Public Space, during a side event that will take place on Wednesday May 29 at the City Stage, 1.15-2.00pm, which is included in the official program of the Assembly.


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Amazing end of 2018!

December 30, 2018
By City Space Architecture

Skyline of Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.


After our successul 'Past Present and Future of Public Space. Knowledge sharing toward implementation of the New Urban Agenda' international symposium and workshop held at the Venice Architecture Biennale on September 22-23, attended by 100 participants from more than 25 international University and Institutions, we spent the last three months of the 2018 in expanding our knowledge on public space, through engagement and participation in networking and research events, and in consolidating our projects and initiatives.
Our President Luisa Bravo was engaged in several activities:
- she was invited to participate in the Expert Group Meeting on 'City-wide Public Space Strategies', promoted by UN-Habitat, the United Nations Human Settlements Programme, in collaboration with KTH Centre for the Future of Places, that took place in Stockholm and Angelsberg, Sweden, on September 24-26;
- she was invited to serve as keynote speaker at the 2nd Saudi Urban Forum, promoted by the Ministry of Municipal and Rural Affairs of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (MOMRA), in collaboration with UN-Habitat, within the framework of the technical cooperation of the “Future Saudi Cities Program", that took place in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, on October 15-17. The 2nd Saudi Urban Forum was opened by a speech from the UN-Habitat's Executive Director Maimunah Mohd Sharif;
- she was invited to participate in the SkypeLab SympoLab, a symposium and laboratory dialogue between a multidisciplinary group of academics, artists, PhD candidates and urban thinkers on the impact of digital screen mediation on contemporary identity and spatial knowledge, promoted by RMIT Europe, that took place at the Media-TIC located in the 22@ Innovation District in Barcelona, on November 21-22;
- she was invited to teach the course 'Advanced Urbanism Studio' in the Master's Programme in Urbanism Studies at KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm (October 2018 - January 2019). For the first week of the studio she organized the workshop 'Everyday geographies of public space. Imaginations and practices in Florence', that took place in Florence, in collaboration with the Master Programme in Geography, Spatial Management, Heritage for International Cooperation and the LaGeS Laboratory of the University of Florence, on November 5-8, followed by a public seminar on November 9 (the poster and the programme are available here). The workshop and the public seminar engaged several renowned academic scholars, such as Richard Ingersoll from Syracuse University in Florence (USA), Eamonn Canniffe from Manchester School of Architecture (UK), Orla McKeever from Cork Center for Architectural Education (Ireland), Sabine Knierbein from TU Vienna (Austria), and engaged also the free lance architect Chiara Fanigliulo, architect Rossella Ferorelli from SMALL Soft Metropolitan Architecture and Landscape Lab (Italy) and Toby Neve from The Florence Academy of Arts (Italy);
- she was invited to participate in 'Le Giornate del Territorio' promoted by Ecomuseo Casilino, that took place in Rome on November 10-11, where she presented our proposal for the regeneration of the abandoned butcher shop known as 'Centro Carni' in the Porto-Saragozza neighbourhood in Bologna;
- she was invited to serve as keynote speaker at the International Conference on Urban Conservation promoted by Centre for Built Environment, a registered non-profit professional society in India, that took place in Kolkata on November 26-27 (she could not attend but she sent a pdf presentation that was displayed during the conference).


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City Space Architecture meets Venice Architecture Biennale 2018

September 15, 2018
By City Space Architecture

We are very glad to announce that City Space Architecture has signed an agreement with La Biennale di Venezia for the 16th International Architecture Exhibition - titled FREESPACE, curated by Yvonne Farrell and Shelley McNamara - in order to be included in the 'Biennale Sessions', a special program for Universities and Higher Education Institutions. This collaboration is intended as a continutation of the successful 'Biennale Session' we promoted in 2016, where we announced our participation at the Habitat III conference in Quito and officially launched 'The Journal of Public Space', in collaboration with the Queensland University of Technology and in partnership with UN-Habitat, the United Nations Human Settlements Programme.

The 3-day event this year, ‘Past Present and Future of Public Space. Knowledge sharing toward implementation of the New Urban Agenda’, on September 21-22-23, is willing to strengthen our efforts around the implementation of the New Urban Agenda adopted at the Habitat III conference and to continue the discussion on the importance of public space in cities.
In addition to the visit to the Architecture exhibition, the 3-day event includes:

- a one-day international symposium

- an international workshop for students

- three collateral events: the visit at the Cyprus pavilion 'I'm where you are' with the curator Yiorgos Hadjichristou, the visit at the Irish pavilion 'Free Market' with the curator Tara Kennedy and the visit at the Dutch pavilion ‘Work, Body, Leisure’ with Marieke Berkers, on the occasion of the launch of the book ‘Dream your own future’. 

The 3-day event is curated by our President Luisa Bravo.


The full programme of the 3-day event can be dowloaded here


The international symposium will take place on Saturday September 22 at Arsenale, Sale d’Armi G. It is promoted by City Space Architecture and will engage professors, researchers and students from:

The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong / The Graduate Centre, City University of New York, USA  / Hunan University, China / IUAV University, Italy  /  Keio University, Japan / KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Sweden / KTH Centre for the Future of Places, Sweden / Lodz University of Technology, Poland / Manchester School of Architecture, United Kingdom / Meiji University, Japan  /  Politecnico di Milano, Italy  /  Pratt Institute, USA / Shanghai University, China  / Stanford University, USA  /  Syracuse University in Florence, Italy  /  Tsinghua University, China / TU Vienna, Austria / Universidad Espíritu Santo, Ecuador / Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya, Spain / University of Auckland, New Zealand / University of Bologna, Italy / University of Cambridge, United Kingdom / University College Cork, Ireland / University of Florence, Italy / University of Nicosia, Cyprus  / University of Palermo, Italy 

and will also have representatives from:

ISOCARP – the International Society of City and Regional Planners / UN-Habitat.


The symposium includes a session entirely dedicated to students’ research and activities on public space. Using the format of speed presentations, participants will have an in-depth overview of students' research about public space from a various of topics and contexts, such as Italy, USA, Spain, Ecuador, Sweden, Japan, Poland. The students' session will be moderated by our co-founder Valerio Francia.

The international workshop will take place on Sunday September 23 at Arsenale, Sale d’Armi G. It is promoted by City Space Architecture in collaboration with University of Auckland, Hunan University and Shanghai University and will engage students in lectures, presentations and a roundtable discussion. The international workshop will be coordinated by Manfredo Manfredini.


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