Radical Geography and Feminist Urbanism. International Experience and the Case of Athens

In the world of global economy, the sense of place has changed dramatically over the past decades affecting mostly the physiognomy of metropolitan areas. Socio-spatial inequalities are evident in different urban contexts and social exclusion refers to a wide range of population groups. From this point of view, radical geography and feminist urbanism offers a different perspective on socio-spatial interpretation and analysis, providing different alternatives for urban development, beyond the traditional patriarchic patterns. Combined with environmental concerns, eco-feminist approaches dare to differ from the norm, introducing a relatively new scientific field that attracts scholars from different disciplines. In light of all these, this course focuses on radical theories expressing the feminist view on the development of urban surroundings, analyzing socio-spatial inequalities. Exploring experimental examples as well as applied policies, students will familiarize with the basic theories on the field, elaborating critical thinking on the existing patterns of urban planning. They will comprehend the international experience on the field as well as the case of Greece. The course is suitable for students from different scientific fields as anthropologists, urban and regional planners, sociologists, ethnographers and architects. It includes in-classroom sessions and extended field work so as to study in depth the Greek case-study. Field work involves onsite classes in selected neighborhoods and also participant observation in open public spaces. Class visits are divided into two parts; the first part focuses on urban socio-spatial inequalities as analyzed by radical geography and the second emphasizes gender representation in public urban spaces. Class visits help students comprehend theoretical approaches discussed during the in-class lessons. Taking into account the fact that there are only a few Greek initiatives in the field of feminist urbanism, students are going to make their own suggestions so as to implement inclusive urban design. The ultimate purpose of the course is to widen students’ perspective on urban planning issues, offering new tools and strategies for further application and research.

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