HomeBecoming Local. Transforming Spaces, Redifining Localities

Becoming Local. Transforming Spaces, Redifining Localities

International Conference and Workshop AESOP / LAA-LAVUE

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Published on Thursday, October 09, 2014 by Céline Guilleux


Becoming Local Paris is a three days gathering dedicated to questioning the conflict between the local and global scale in the production of contemporary spaces, by proposing a reflection on the notions and categories used to describe local identities in the context of urban transformation. Through a "talk, walk and work" meeting, researchers, scholars and practitioners, will develop a comparative approach on the meaning of "local" in different case studies around the world.



The International Conference and Workshop "Becoming Local. Transforming Spaces, Redifining Localities" will take place from the 23rd to the 25th of October 2014 in Paris, hosted by the Faculty of Architecture Paris la Villette and organized by the Laboratoire Architecture Anthropologie in cooperation with the AESOP Thematic Group "Public Spaces and Urban Cultures".

The event is kindly supported by  LAA, LAVUE,  ENSAPLV and the Doctoral Unit MCSPP of the University Paris Ouest Nanterre La Défense.

Becoming Local Paris is a three days gathering dedicated to questioning the conflict between the local and global scale in the production of contemporary spaces, by proposing a reflection on the notions and categories used to describe local identities in the context of urban transformation. Through a "talk, walk and work" meeting, researchers, scholars and practitioners, will develop a comparative approach on the meaning of "local" in different case studies around the world.

Urban public space is an arena of social conflict and collective strategies. What happens when places are under transformation and conflicts of uses, representations, and legitimacy emerge? Questioning what the locality is and who the locals are, is a way to challenge the notion of “commons” in contemporary cities. Which local identities are we talking about? What is the scale of locality? How do we name the inhabitants of a street/neighborhood/city? To what extent terms applied to describe ‘target groups’ of urban projects, are problematic? With whom do experts and politicians "negotiate" their visions of the future? For whom are public spaces designed? Which names are used to describe the future users of a space? Who is at the same time excluded? To answer these questions, the use of apparently neutral categories such as inhabitants, dwellers, users, citizens need to be reassessed and the role of public spaces in the redefinition of identities and belongings urges to be questioned. This workshop intends to be a moment of shared reflection between planners, designers, researchers and the civil society, at the intersection of different disciplines and between theory and practice.

The three days are organised as follows:  

  • An International Conference the first day, where case studies will be presented and theoretical input sheared.
  • The « In the Field » second day, that will elucidate the ongoing process of Paris metropolisation and directly explore some examples that can be used as fertile collective and comparative case-studies for our common work.
  • The final day, which consists in a collective workshop revisiting definitions and notions we use to describe and analyze urban transformation and the production of locality as processes.

Participants and organizers will be challenged to experiment with methodological tools in approaching debate, translation, and description.


  • 9h00 - 9h15 Welcoming Words by Caroline Lecourtois (ENSAPLV Assistant- director) and Alessia De Biase (LAA Director, LAVUE UMR 7218 CNRS, ENSAPLV, France)
  • 9h15 - 9h30 Introduction by Organisational Committee
  • 9h30 - 10h15 Keyspeech by Ali Madanipour (GURU Director, Newcastle University, United Kingdom)

PANEL 1 : Urban scales translations: how to readdress the global-local dichotomy through urban transformation.

Moderator: Ferdinando Fava (LAA-LAVUE UMR 7218 CNRS, ENSAPLV, France / DISSGEA, Università degli Studi di Padova, Italy)

  • 10h15 - 10h30 Meike Wolf: “Global threats, local plans: Locating spaces and the public within pandemic planning
  • 10h30 -10h45 Sophie Chevalier and Emmanuelle Lallement: “Becoming a Parisian : the secondary urban residence phenomena
  • 10h45 - 11h00 Nina Gribat: “The workings of ‘local’ and ‘global’ in contexts of urban conflicts
  • 11h00 - 11h15 Monika Salzbrunn, Barbara Dellwo, Serjara Aleman: “Urban Events as Localized Performances of Global Belonging: the Case of “La Grande Table” in Morges (CH)”

11h15 - 11h45 Panel debate

11h45 - 12h00 Coffee Break

PANEL 2 : Acting locally? Practices as fieldwork.

Moderator: Carlo Cellamare (DICEA, Università della Sapienza, Rome, Italy)

  • 12h00 - 12h15 Nancy Ottaviano and Ruben Salvador: “Bricking a new wall”
  • 12h15 - 12h30 Thierry Payet: “Sensitive cartography and urban actions”
  • 12h30 - 12h45 Zac Taylor: “The Local in Practice: Insights from North America”
  • 12h45 - 13h00 Daniela Patti and Levente Polyak: “Emerging public spaces: communities and policies for reusing empty urban spaces

13h00 - 13h30 Panel debate

13h30 - 14h30 Lunch break

PANEL 3 : Locality as urban discourse: when local policies shape the urban transformation process.

Moderator: Sylvie Tissot (CRU-CRESPPA, Université Paris VIII Vincennes Saint-Denis, France)

  • 14h30 - 14h45 Carolina Mudan Marelli: “Salvific localism?  Problems and issues from a fieldwork.
  • 14h45 - 15h00 Reza Kheyroddin, Ahmad Ali Namdarian, Somaye Kani:  ““Every Day Life” as the Intermediary of “Becoming Local and Global”: The Transformation of Valiasr Intersection in Tehran, Iran
  • 15h00 - 15h15 Philip Cartelli: “Becoming Mediterranean: Transforming and asserting local identity in Marseille
  • 15h15 - 15h30 Cristina Ampatzidou: “Commodifying ‘Locality’ a Trojan horse to the enclosure of the commons
  • 15h30 - 15h45 Christina Besmer: “The “Quartier“ as interlocutor in participatory processes. Or: who is to be involved in urban development?

15h45 - 16h15 Panel debate

PANEL 4 : Contested urban areas: what happens when urban transformation becomes the battlefield between local and global dynamics?

Moderator: Massimo Bricocoli (DASTU, Politecnico di Milano, Italy)

  • 16h15 - 16H30 Ygit Turan: “Public Space at the Margins of the City of Big Projects’ Istanbul”
  • 16h30 - 16h45 Wing Shing Tang and Jackie Kwok: “Becoming ‘Local’ in High-density Development in Hong Kong
  • 16h45 - 17h00 Carlos León-Xjiménez: “Artistic and activist strategies as critical space practice: when a historical city center confronts neoliberal heritage protection process through social and cultural protest
  • 17h00 - 17h15 Orna Rosenfeld: “Engineering Conflict? The case study of road design process in a Bedouin Village in Israel
  • 17h15 - 17h45 Panel debate
  • 17h45 - 18h15 Concluding remarks by Ali Madanipour (GURU Director, Newcastle University, United Kingdom)
  • 18h15 - 19h00 Plenary Debate


Please Note that Participation in the international conference is free and open to all, with registration ahead of time. Please confirm your attendance by sending an e-mail with your name, institution, and position to blp2014inscriptions@gmail.com

Subscriptions to the walking tours and the workshop will take place during the first day of the conference, subject to availability.

Organizational Committee

  • Federica Gatta,
  • Maria Anita Palumbo,
  • Véronique Zamant


  • ENSAPLV - École Nationale Supérieure d’Architecture de Paris La Villette - 144 Avenue de Flandres
    Paris, France (75019)


  • Thursday, October 23, 2014


  • City, locality, global, urban transformation, participatory process, belonging, urban policy, city scale, user, inhabitant


  • Maria Anita Palumbo
    courriel : becominglocalparis2014 [at] gmail [dot] com

Information source

  • Maria Anita Palumbo
    courriel : becominglocalparis2014 [at] gmail [dot] com

To cite this announcement

« Becoming Local. Transforming Spaces, Redifining Localities », Conference, symposium, Calenda, Published on Thursday, October 09, 2014, https://calenda.org/302909

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