top of page

Welcome to



How do cities authorities learn co-production in



How do urban professionals emancipate methods and tools for urban



How can 

underrepresented  people 

get empowered through urban




How can co-productive approaches towards the social production of urban space and knowledge contribute to socially just forms of urban transformation,  amplifying the voices of the unheard and the marginalized?

The traditional approaches of city-making do not offer sufficient opportunities to include non-expert and non-technical 'knowledge' in local decision-making. As a result, the needs and expectations of those urban actors

- who do not have political or institutional representation - are not taken into account. However, we believe that the “knowledge” emerging from the lived experiences and practices should play an important role in shaping local planning and policy formulation and driving socio-urban innovation. Therefore, unless city-making processes are socially transformed, different results cannot be expected compared with the results of today. 


Adding more voices and references to city-making processes may be the hope of changing today’s multiple crises to achieve more plural, inclusive, and sustainable urban societies. The co-production practices in processes of city-making, therefore, can open up a space for knowledge production with and among the so-called urban “subaltern”. Including the subalterns in the city-making process connects to a central issue in the proposed research, "power distribution". 

How can knowledge circulate among and between the actors of city-making processes (policymakers, urban professionals and the local community) in more socially just ways?

By focusing on the distribution of power in city-making processes, this research aims at shedding light on the voices of the unheard,  thereby decolonizing the urban production process by bringing more and more pluralistic (marginalized) voices to it.  Therefore, the overall goal is to understand how the lessons from practices of

co-production of knowledge and spaces -  that have the distribution of power as a central aspect

– can be translated and reconfigured in exchanging with new actors who are seeking to develop, use and implement similar practices. Also, our post-disciplinary approach to urban studies, conceptualised around the research problematics, aims at establishing a mutual learning flow among traditionally separated dimensions of city-making.

Our joint research includes studies at three spatial and agency dimensions: policymakers, urban professionals, and local communities. The projects will identify the circulation of knowledge amongst these three sets of actors and seek opportunities for a pedagogical moment in the co-production of knowledge and spaces. Treated by our individual projects, these processes of co-production will be critically examined and observed from three different dimensions via a case study in Lisbon (Portugal) on public policies addressing the policymakers community; a case study in Vienna (Austria) and Berlin (Germany) on actions, methods and tools; addressing the urban professional community and a case study in Belgrade (Serbia) practices and sensibilities; addressing the local community.

By which epistemological and methodological concerns can a plural, fairer city-making process be conceived in order to develop an overarching set of instruments to transfer concepts and theories into professional urban design practice?


It is from the field of critical urban theory and critical urban pedagogy, informed by feminist research methodologies based in the social sciences, approaches towards social justice and the Southern ethic of enquiring in urban studies that we derive our intersectional methodology for examining the power dynamics of urban co-production processes. Directed to the critical inquiry of power, we set our enquiring tools around the “power cube" method. This method provides a framework for empirical analysis of different forms, spaces and levels of power.

DOC TEAM METHODOLOGYepistemology-36.jpg

There is no change without dream,

as there is no dream without hope.

/ Paulo Freire


Screenshot 2020-04-12 at 23.19.15.png

Laura Sobral

Laura Sobral is a social designer and insurgent planner from São Paulo, being active in movements for the right to the city and one of the initiators of the “A Batata Precisa de Você”. She is a co-founder of the CSO The City Needs You, a German Chancellor Fellow and author of the book 'Doing it Together – cooperation tools for the city co-governance (Berlin: ZKU Press, 2019)

Screenshot 2020-04-12 at 23.19.30.png

Burcu Ateş

Burcu Ateş is an architect and urban researcher from Ankara, working majorly on the intersection of politics, urban studies and social production of space. She actively participated in the Gezi Uprising and is still participating in many other urban movements for right to the city, right to shelter and also gender rights. She was on the execuitve board of Chamber of Architects Ankara Branch and one of the coordinators of the EU-funded research project shortly entitled “Rethink 100. Yıl”. 

Screenshot 2020-04-12 at 23.18.58.png

Predrag Milić

Predrag Milić is an urban researcher and practitioner working between urban development and critical pedagogy, and particularly the oppressed, silenced, and the poor people of Belgrade's urban periphery. He is an active member of Škograd and Who Builds the City collectives from Belgrade. He is co-author of the book Political Space Matters (Belgrade: PSM, 2016) and co-editor of the book How we build Skograd: anatomy of the Infrastructure of Hope (Belgrade: Institute of Pedagogy and Andragogy, Faculty of Philosophy, Goethe Institute, 2019).

who are we
bottom of page