[CFP] Open Spaces In The Transformations Of Mediterranean Cities: Representations, Uses And Norms

Call for Papers


International Conference Rome, 24-25 September 2018

The goal of this conference is to analyze the role of open spaces in the transformations of Mediterranean metropolises.

In a context of urban growth, undeveloped spaces have long been considered empty, abandoned, or awaiting urbanization. With the rise of the sustainability paradigm and the strengthening of comprehensive land use planning at the metropolitan scale, perceptions have changed. In peri-urban areas, green spaces and subsequently agricultural lands have been promoted as multifunctional spaces that play a role in urban resilience. Within the city, the interstitial open spaces (parks, vacant lots) can support mixed uses, which are constitutive of the urbanity, and of a sustainable, livable city.

This reversal of representations prompts us to revisit the history of these open spaces, their specificities, and their relationships with built-up areas, in order to better understand management stakes and the diversity of roles such open spaces can play in the transformations of Mediterranean metropolises.

Papers are expected around the following topics:

  • Open spaces as places representative of the crises endured by Mediterranean metropolises. In which way are the metropolitan open spaces mundane—or even degraded, repulsive—landscapes? Are they legacies of poorly managed urban growth (for instance, of unfinished or suspended construction projects) or are they generated by deindustrialization or urban decline? What does this edge of the city reveal? How is it ignored or tackled by urban policies (social, cultural, land planning policies, )?
  • Open spaces as innovation labs to explore urban resilience. How do open spaces become sites of experimentation, where innovative responses to crises and new ways to build the post-modern metropolis are invented? How are they productive and creative landscapes? How do they constitute places of innovation for urban policies, or places where a fairer city is being invented? How do open spaces fit into the debates on the compact/sprawling city and on the city’s environmental efficiency? What uses are envisioned for these spaces without building on them? Are they recognized as legacies to preserve or instrumentalized as green infrastructures?

Papers are also invited to shed light on the evolution of representations, uses, and norms concerning metropolitan open spaces:

  • Evolution of representations. How have city dwellers’, public actors’, and researchers’ views on open spaces evolved? Which images are used to describe, utilize, or develop these spaces? How are these images built locally? How do they transfer from one place to another?
  • Evolution of places and uses. What are the origins and the evolutions in time of metropolitan open spaces? By whom and how are they utilized in practice? Have they been spaces of social relegation, deviance, and illegal practices? Are they places where social bonds and new ways of inhabiting metropolises develop? What are the physical and functional characteristics of metropolitan open spaces? How are mixed and multifunctional uses organized? Does this give rise to new forms of urban and peri- urban agriculture, or to strong social mobilizations or conflicts?
  • Evolution of norms. How do regulatory, institutional, and social norms articulate in the management of open spaces? Do norms forge the uses of these spaces? Do uses contribute to the production of norms? Are they included into urban policies?

Case studies are welcome whether based in Northern, Southern or Eastern areas of the Mediterranean. They may trace the history (trajectory) of emblematic open spaces and their transformations (social, spatial, or economic reconfigurations), as well as specify their role in relation to the city (especially regarding the dialectic process of marginalization/integration) and their place in various urban policies.

Beyond case studies, approaches combining several spatial and/or temporal scales may be useful for comparing open spaces, and for understanding their dynamics and how they are designed or managed at different scales.


Abstracts (1500-3000 characters) must be submitted by April 30th to: keti.lelo@uniroma3.it, coline.perrin@inra.fr. Replies by May 15th.

Registration is free but mandatory before September 10th. Languages of presentation/discussion: French, Italian and English.

Best contributions are anticipated to be published in “Città e Storia” and/or another international journal.


This conference is part of the EFR scientific program “Metropolises: crises and mutations in the Euro-Mediterranean space” (2017-2021), within the program’s fourth axis, which deals with the confrontation of norms and uses in the metropolitan open spaces of the Mediterranean. It is supported by LIA Méditerrapolis, EFR, CROMA (Roma Tre), ANR (JASMINN project) and Institut Français Italia.


École française de Rome (Piazza Navona)

Scientific committee

  • INRA: Coline Perrin, Christophe Soulard
  • CROMA: Keti Lelo, Anna Laura Palazzo, Carlo Maria Travaglini
  • TELEMMe: Jean-Noël Consalès
  • EFR: Fabrice Jesné

OpenEdition vous propose de citer ce billet de la manière suivante :
Delphine Cavallo (30 avril 2018). [CFP] Open Spaces In The Transformations Of Mediterranean Cities: Representations, Uses And Norms. MediterraPolis. Consulté le 15 juillet 2024 à l’adresse https://doi.org/10.58079/rcr5

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