Enabling the City : Interdisciplinary and Transdisciplinary Encounters in Research and Practice book cover
1st Edition

Enabling the City
Interdisciplinary and Transdisciplinary Encounters in Research and Practice

  • Available for pre-order. Item will ship after May 6, 2021
ISBN 9780367277390
May 6, 2021 Forthcoming by Routledge
320 Pages

SAVE ~ $13.49
was $44.95
USD $31.47

Prices & shipping based on shipping country


Book Description

Enabling the City is a collaborative book that focuses on how interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary processes of knowledge production may contribute to urban transformation at a local level, striking a balance between enthusiastic support for such transformational potential and a cautious note regarding the persistent challenges to the ethos as well as the practice of inter- and transdisciplinarity.

The rich stories reflect on different research and local practice cultures, exploring issues such as ageing, community, health and dementia, public space, energy, mobility cultures, heritage, housing, re-use, and renewal, as well as more universal questions about urban sustainability and perhaps most important, education. Against this backdrop, aspirations for the 21st century are related to the international, national and local agendas expressed in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and in the New Urban Agenda (NUA), raising fundamental questions of how to facilitate development.

Lessons learned from these studies are translated into a framework of conditions and qualities crucial to collaborative processes, highlighting aspects of transformative learning, competences and dispositions and ways of knowing, critical in any collaborative and participatory process.

Table of Contents

PART I: Setting the Scene

Setting the stage

Josefine Fokdal, Olivia Bina, Prue Chiles, Liis Ojamäe and Katrin Paadam

Enabling conditions for inter- and transdisciplinary urban research and practice

Olivia Bina, Josefine Fokdal, Prue Chiles, Katrin Paadam and Liis Ojamäe

Words matter: A shared baseline vocabulary

Julie Mennes

PART II: Urban Stories Beyond Disciplines

The Place and Space of Power: Mess, uncertainty and change over time

Prue Chiles, Anna Krzywoszynska, Helen Holmes, Alastair Buckley, Nicky Gregson, Jose Mawyin

A Creative ‘NanoTown’ – framing sustainable development scenarios with local people in Calabria

Giulio Verdini, Olivia Bina, Prue Chiles, Maria Pilar Guerrieri, Etra Connie Occhialini, Alan Mace, Christian Nolf, Anna Paola Pola, Paola Raffa

Explorations on Residential Resilience – BRF Viva 2011-2019

Sten Gromark, Björn Andersson and Anna Braide

Swimming free – The Citizen-Driven Transformation of Neubad Lucerne

Patricia Wolf, Christian Lars Schuchert, Sibylla Amstutz, Bettina Minder, Alex Willener

Real-world laboratories as catalysts for urban change – The example of CASA Schützenplatz in Stuttgart, Germany

Raphael Dietz, Josefine Fokdal, Marius Gantert, Astrid Ley, Jesús Martínez Zárate, Antje Stokman

A step towards an enjoyable city – Joining expertise in redesigning public space around the ‘Main Street’

Katrin Paadam and Liis Ojamäe

Partnerships for urban regeneration in Bulgaria – Who needs academic research?

Elena Dimitrova

Barriers and potentials in interdisciplinary planning – Creating care homes for people with dementia

Hans Thor Andersen and Inge-Mette Kirkeby

Together on the Platform – Common action and reviving the central open public space in Ruski car (Russian Tsar) in Ljubljana

Matej Nikšič

PART III: Short Stories from Practice


Julie Heslop


Michael LaFond, Prue Chiles and Alice Grant

Sheffield-Portland Works

Cristina Cerulli

Gagliato – Calabria, Italy

Rob Wills, James Anderson, Emma Kingman and Prue Chiles

Paris and China

Francoise Ged


Raul Järg


Matej Nikšič, Marko Peterlin, Prue Chiles

PART IV: Lessons Learned – Beyond Context

Transdisciplinarity revisited: Transformative potential of lessons we might learn

Christoph Woiwode and Olivia Bina

Characteristics of inter- and transdisciplinarity integration in urban research

Erik Weber and Julie Mennes

Enabling the City: Learning for Transformational Change

Josefine Fokdal, Olivia Bina and Giulio Verdini

View More



Josefine Fokdal is Senior Researcher and Lecturer at the Department of International Urbanism at University of Stuttgart. Her research focus is on co-production in urban development, governance and informal dynamics. Josefine was involved in the Realworld Laboratory for Sustainable Mobility Culture as the interim chair of the department (2015-2016).

Olivia Bina is a Principal Researcher at the Institute of Social Sciences University of Lisbon and Fellow of the World Academy of Art and Science. She has a degree in Political Sciences and PhD in Geography. Through interdisciplinarity Olivia searches for pathways that balance ever-smarter growth and technology with a recovery of the unlimited potential of human-nature connectedness. Olivia was the Chair of the COST Action Intrepid.

Prue Chiles is Professor of Architectural Design Research at Newcastle and part of the practice Chiles, Evans and Care Architects CE+CA. Prue works to strengthen connections between people, place, teaching, imagination and architectural design. Recent academic projects include looking at alternative site processes and time and collaborative urban development work in the Uk, Africa and Italy.

Liis Ojamäe is Associate Professor at School of Business and Governance at Tallinn University of Technology and also at the School of Governance, Law and Society, Tallinn University. Her research interests are related to urban housing: residential culture, housing policy and markets, housing re- construction and sustainability.

Katrin Paadam is Professor of Sociology in the School of Business and Governance, Tallinn University of Technology. Katrin has an integrated approach towards urban and residential dynamics and her research focuses on transforming actors’ practices and cultures on different scales of city space in the interplay of material structures and larger socio-spatial processes.


This intellectually and visually attractive book offers an invaluable guide to the innovative inter- and transdisciplinary ideas, vocabularies and tools for crafting more sustainable urban futures. Applied case studies from Newcastle to Ljubljana and Tallinn to Calabria, by authors from diverse communities of practice demonstrate the transformative power of combining different knowledges in co-productive collaborations. This is sure to become a landmark in its field.

David Simon, Professor of Development Geography, Royal Holloway, University of London

Transpositional knowledge has the power to ignite innovation and enrich collaboration when applied across the complex urban contexts that define the cities of today. The multi-regional and multi-scalar ethnographic accounts offered in this book illustrate the agency inter and in particular transdisciplinary approaches offer diverse stakeholders, at a time when the imperative for fostering cooperation couldn't be more acute.

Harriet Harriss, Dean of the School of Architecture, Pratt Institute