International Study Week 2024

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Over the course of a week, more than 150 students devoted themselves to the topic "Who owns the space? Perspectives on critical spatial development.

The contributions of the week showed the different levels and interpretations of space, which is not only a physical but also a social structure that is shaped by social processes. The week’s content provided insights into the diverse perspectives and challenges associated with spatial justice and social participation.

The demands of social movements around the world against gentrification, rent increases and the privatization of public spaces emphasize the common right of all citizens to liveable, inclusive and democratically designed spaces. However, different interests and alliances influence the design of spaces and can have a restrictive effect on the scope for action of those involved.

The study week included presentations by students and contributions from Germany and abroad, who presented their research approaches and practices in the field of upgrading dynamics, social space orientation and entrepreneurial spatial policies. Local neighborhood initiatives and tenant movements presented their work and discussed it with the students.

The active involvement of the students, who had already participated in the organization and preparation of the study week in advance, was pleasing. Their contributions made a significant contribution to the success of the study week and ensured a lively and inspiring atmosphere for discussion and learning.

The discussions between the students and experts during the study week clearly showed how important it is to address the issues of spatial justice and social participation.
The approaches and insights gained will hopefully make a valuable contribution to the further development of a critical approach among students when it comes to issues of spatial development: at local, cantonal, national and international level.