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Urban Matters

15. April 2015




How can we develop new visions for urban and regional matters and introduce new social and societal values as intrinsic aspect for urban development? Which role can art and artistic strategies play in the context of urban issues and urban development? How can art maintain its autonomy? Which conditions are needed?


The project based website www.urban-matters.org is a major element of the artistic research project PLANNING UNPLANNED, which Barbara Holub conducted at the Institute for Art and Design/ Prof.Christine Hohenbüchler at the Faculty of Architecture/ Vienna University of Technology. It offers a growing survey of (public)art projects, organizations and institutions of diverse cultural and geo-political backgrounds worldwide for locating and connecting urgent urban issues and discussing innovative approaches, artistic tools and methods at the intersection of art, urban planning, critical political involvement and theory engaged in urban issues. The displayed elements underpin the relevance of the listed questions. “Planning” seems no more an adequate response to today’s challenges of a multilayered society permanently on the move. Yet, critical projects developed during the last decade by architects, urbanists and artists continue to be a parallel production to the conventional planning methods, which are predominantly investor-orientated. Therefore urban-matters.org particularly investigates the potential of “unplanning” as a possible new strategy for dealing with today’s urban challenges, as well as discussing the new fluid role of the “urban practitioner”. How can this role be acknowledged on an equal status to other experts in charge of planning? The urban practitioner advocates responsible sociopolitical activity in the urban context that counteracts the principles of decision-making currently dictated by hegemonic political acting and neoliberal economic interests.


For an into-depth discussion of the proposed questions see the publication „Planning Unplanned_Darf Kunst eine Funktion haben? Towards a New Function of Art in Society“ (eds. Barbara Holub and Christine Hohenbüchler), Verlag für moderne Kunst, 2015 (forthcoming in April 2015).


Eingereicht von Univ. Ass. DI. Barbara Holub, DI Dr. techn. Karin Reisinger und Univ. Prof. Mag. art. Christine Hohenbüchler

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