Feb 3–Apr 3, 2022

Territorial Turn

Plea for a Paradigm Shift in Urbanism
Mariahilferstrasse 2, Graz 8020 Map
Tue–Sun 10 am–6 pm

Urbanism is the art, science and technology of developing human settlements. It is less about the buildings themselves than about their arrangement, relationship to each other, and connection to the environment. Crises have influenced the discipline of urbanism as much as they have had an impact on the development of various urbanist movements. Currently, the pandemic, as well as the challenges posed by climate change, such as increased severe weather events, confront us with the fragility of the building environment and calls for a rethinking of the goals and means of urbanism. In the face of immense environmental and social challenges, a paradigm shift in planning and design approaches is needed.

The exhibition Territorial Turn conceived by the Institute of Urbanism, Graz University of Technology, under the direction of Prof. Aglaée Degros, describes the essential change in fundamental framework conditions and values in urbanism. This paradigm shift stands for a holistic, cross-sectoral and networked understanding of space as well as for a close connection of the built environment with living systems – an approach that replaces the predominantly building-oriented attitude in spatial development in favour of an increased appreciation of public space. Here, the space between buildings is understood as essential to environmental and social change.

Projects should not be defined by property boundaries, but require planning that is situated in a larger context and integrates existing socio-ecological systems and cycles. This results in large, interconnected urban systems that gain greater resilience through interconnected structures and transcend the goals of economic progress, modernity, and technology. Territorial Turn follows the notion of an overarching spatial vision of a just and ecological city with a high quality of life for people and the environment.

The exhibition introduces bold concepts, presents pioneering solutions, and describes fundamental urban design concepts that contribute to actively thinking, planning, designing, and implementing an ecological and equitable urban future on a territorial scale. Seven selected practical examples from Nantes, Leipzig, Amsterdam, Leuven, Vienna, Péronnes-lez-Antoing and Trofaiach are used to demonstrate a forward-looking approach to urban design.

As a collaborative extension of the exhibition, Graz residents are invited to identify and submit spatial situations in need of action in their city in order to jointly develop new spatial proposals for redesign in the sense of the Territorial Turn.

The contents of the exhibition are based on the publication "Basics of Urbanism – 12 concepts of territorial transformation" by the Institute of Urban Design, TU Graz, published by Park Books.

"Territorial Turn – Plea for a Paradigm Shift in Urbanism" is an exhibition of the Institute of Urbanism in cooperation with Haus der Architektur.
Curator team: Prof. Aglaée Degros, Radostina Radulova-Stahmer, Carina Mazelle (Institute of Urbanism, TU Graz)