Image created by Stephanie Potter Corwin.

Expert Group Discussion with the Audience

Thursday May 28, 2.00 - 3.00 pm CET
Series 1 (May) - Webinar 4

This webinar is part of the initiative '2020: A Year without Public Space under the COVID-19 Pandemic'.
>>> Read the summary of this webinar


This webinar is a follow up to the three previous webinars included in Series 1 (May). Speakers will answer to selected questions raised by the audience and will share reflections on the current situation of the pandemic related to their geographical areas.


Hosts & Moderators

Luisa Bravo, City Space Architecture & The Journal of Public Space, Bologna, Italy
Hendrik Tieben
, School of Architecture, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong

Event managers

Stephanie Cheung & Yin-Fen Chen, The Chinese University of Hong Kong



Lance Jay Brown, Consortium for Sustainable Urbanization, New York, USA
Miquel Marti Casanovas
, Escuela Técnica Superior de Arquitectura, Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya, Barcelona, Spain
Sharmila Jagadisan
, School of Architecture, Vellore Institute of Technology, Tamil Nadu, India


Questions from webinar #1: Reframing the Role of Public Space during and after the COVID-19 Pandemic
How we should consider redesigning public spaces, especially streets, parks, playgrounds and markets, in the post covid-19 world? And how will social distancing change public planning processes?
Public space is not only a place for socialising. For some deprived groups, for example the migrant domestic workers, it is a temporary dwelling space to rest and enjoy a much needed rest day. How would you suggest to include these groups in a participative post covid-19 strategy for public spaces?

Reflections from webinar #1: Reframing the Role of Public Space during and after the COVID-19 Pandemic
The pandemic and the need to establish physical distance is questioning the way public space is used in European countries.  We see now many cities adopting a "tactical urbanism" approach, taking advantage of the crisis to test urban design solutions that give less space to cars, and more to pedestrians and bicycles. This is initially presented as temporary measures, to be seen if it will allow for a more structural transformation of our relationship to public space.
- The virtual space is definitively more and more a public space, at least from the functional perspective (notably for shopping, making encounters, and more).  The implication of this is that public authorities shall probably be more proactive in regulating and enabling the virtual space as a common good.
It is interesting that many people and employers are beginning to rethink whether more people can continue to work at home after the lockdown is eased. This may change the demand for public transport fundamentally.

Questions from webinar #2: Innovative Approaches and Creative Practices in Response to the COVID-19 Pandemic
How will audiences have to re-adjust to the drastic changes imposed by the pandemic on art and culture experience in the future?
Technology is mostly for the privileged few. How can marginalised communities be engaged?

Questions from webinar #3: Health Disparity and Public Space in High Density Environments
I feel that this epidemic is a test of trust in people and trust in the government. I know that some medical experts have stated that this virus will survive with people normally. If we refer to Japan's approach to dealing with normal earthquakes, if we will deal with virus normalization in the future, what are the guidelines for future public space design or infrastructure design?
What is the role of urbanists in this crisis? And how will the design shift its main principles, especially that public places are the main sole of the design?

Q&A Session - engagement with the audience, managed by Yin-Fen Chen, The Chinese University of Hong Kong.


Lance Jay Brown, FAIA, DPACSA, architect, urban designer, educator, author. Lance is the president of the Consortium for Sustainable Urbanization based in New York. His 2014 American Institute of Architects NY Chapter Presidential theme: Civic Vision, Civic Spirit expressed his lifelong commitment to civic health and the importance of the public realm. He is ACSA Distinguished Professor, Bernard and Anne Spitzer School of Architecture, CCNY, CUNY, served as assistant director at the Design Arts Program at the NEA, as advisor to the World Trade Center Site 9/11 International Memorial Design Competition and Boston's 9/11 memorial Competition. Awards include: AIA New York State President’s Award for Excellence in Non-traditional Architecture and the most prestigious AIA/ACSA Topaz Medallion for Excellence in Architectural Education. He is Founding Co-Chair of the AIANY Design for Risk and Reconstruction Committee. As a Founding Board member of the Consortium for Sustainable Urbanization, he helped plan and participated in Habitat III in Quito. He holds an M.Arch and M.Arch in Urban Design from Harvard and was a Fulbright Fellow in Paris. Publications include: Beyond Zuccotti Park: Freedom of Assembly and the Occupation of Public Space, The Legacy Project: New Housing New York: Best Practices in Affordable, Sustainable, Replicable Housing Design, and the co-authored Urban Design for an Urban Century: Shaping More Livable Equitable, and Resilient Cities.
Read about the Consortium for Sustainable Urbanization:


Miquel Martí Casanovas has a PhD in Urbanism and he is assistant professor at the Department of Urbanism and Regional Planning of the Polytechnic University of Catalonia since 2001. Civil Engineer and Master in Political Sciences at Sciences Po Paris, his field of research is the contemporary public space (from its design to the experiences it generates, through the public policies transforming it). Expert in the evolution of public space in Barcelona, he has extended the scope of his research in this field to several European cities, as well as to some American and Asian experiences. He collaborates regularly with other Universities in these three continents through research stays (Harvard 2004, TU Delft 2007, Tongji 2010) and joint projects. He complements his academic career with a professional office dedicated to urban planning for several towns in Catalonia.
Read more about the Department of Urbanism and Regional Planning of the Polytechnic University of Catalonia:


Sharmila Jagadisan is an architect and planner with a interest to achieve positive outcomes for communities through interdisciplinary thinking. She is Associate Professor at the School of Architecture, Vellore Institute of Technology (VIT) in India. She holds a PhD in Planning from University of Auckland, New Zealand (2009). She is a Registered Architect, COA (Council of Architecture) in India since 2000, and she is a Member of WSE (World Society for Ekistics) since 2005. She has been involved in teaching and research in the areas of urban planning, housing and community development. Her Master’s thesis was on post-occupancy evaluation of low-income housing sectors in Chennai, India, obtained at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Kharagpur, India in 2001. Her PhD research in Ekistics includes Sociology, Environmental Behaviour Studies (EBS) and is intended to demonstrate how architects and planners need to approach urban design and planning decision-making in order to respond more effectively to community perceptions, values and aspirations. One of the outcomes of her PhD has been a suggested Research Agenda for the World Society for Ekistics. This includes integrating the Environment-Behaviour Research (EBR) of Prof Amos Rapoport (WSE member) into the broader body of ekistic theory and practice. She has been working with Dr Tom Fookes till 2013 on research summaries of her PhD to be published by the Ekistic Research Unit (ERU) - Auckland, which includes the EBR connection. She also co-ordinated the focus group for reviewing Master’s of Planning Practice programme for 2012.
Read the journal 'Ekistics and The New Habitat. The problems and science of human settlements':



>>> Recorded video of the webinar

All our webinars are recorded and are available on the Youtube channel of our publisher City Space Architecture.
Watch this one and our future videos on City Space Architecture's Youtube playlist '2020: A Year without Public Space under the COVID-19 Pandemic'.