Hub 4 - Cities, spaces and mobilities
In line with the UN and EU urban agendas, CIVIS Hub 4 - “Cities, Spaces and Mobilities” (CSM) - addresses the challenges and opportunities related to urbanisation and mobility/migration, environmental and societal transformation issues, socio-economic inequalities, and health from a spatial perspective. These challenges have significant implications for the environment, climate, and well-being of people not only in Europe but also globally. Our world today is connected as complex webs as it historically has been. To address these, a collaborative and interdisciplinary approach is needed, involving fields such as urban planning, geography, transportation engineering, environmental science, sociology, economics, architecture, public health, political science, history, and gender studies.
Pluri- and interdisciplinary approaches by cities, spaces, or mobility scopes provide added educational value by encouraging critical thinking, creativity, and collaboration among students from different fields of studies and disciplines. This entails critical, decolonial self-reflections on the hitherto mode of knowledge production, which has undoubtedly been Eurocentric. With our CIVIS African partners on board, we promote a translocal and systems-level understanding of urban and spatial development, mobility, transportation, and socio-ecological sustainability from a global outlook. It provides unique opportunities for students to reflexively engage in real-world problem-solving, working with stakeholders from different sectors and disciplines to develop innovative solutions.
By creating sustainable and inclusive cities, territories, and mobilities, our Hub wants to contribute to enhancing social and environmental justice and well-being, supporting alternative and sustainable economic growth and innovation, and ensuring more liveable and sustainable cities for all.
HUB 4 has organised a wide range of activities aimed at promoting interdisciplinary collaboration and innovation in urban and spatial development, migration/mobilities, and environmental management. So far, we have built a community of academics, practitioners, and policymakers who are interested in these topics, and have facilitated discussions and collaborations through workshops, seminars, and conferences. We have also developed several educational activities, including courses, which encourage students to actively engage with real-world challenges and develop innovative solutions.
In the short and medium term, we plan to expand our activities by fostering more trans-university collaborations within the CIVIS alliance and engaging with stakeholders in the public and private sectors. In addition, we are developing new courses and student-led projects, which focus on emerging topics in urban and spatial development not only in European cities but also in European “inner-peripheries” and in selected regions of Africa and Asia. These include smart cities, digital technologies, circular economy, translocal mobility, and regional development. The Hub also pays attention to the formalisation, capitalisation, and decolonisation of knowledge by way of participatory methods of citizen science (or convivial methodology), which we consider key in our fields of research.
Our long-term aim is to create a vibrant and sustainable network of academics, practitioners, policymakers, and students who are committed to addressing the challenges and opportunities presented by urbanization and mobility in a collaborative and interdisciplinary manner.
We complement our educational activities through collaborative research projects with actors from both within and outside the CIVIS Alliance. These research collaborations aim to produce and strengthen knowledge and insights which can inform policy and practices in the field of urban and spatial development and mobility management.
Hub 4 is governed by a Hub Council consisting of representatives from each CIVIS member university and student representatives within the CIVIS Alliance. The Council is responsible for setting the strategic direction of the Hub, organising activities, and overseeing the implementation of its objectives. The Council meets regularly (four times a year) to discuss ongoing initiatives and plan new activities, and it works closely with the CIVIS Alliance leadership to ensure that the Hub's activities align with the overall goals of the Alliance. The Council also ensures regular exchanges in the field through work and visits organised on a rotating basis by the different members.
Get involved and learn more
Academics who are interested in getting involved with the Cities, Spaces, and Mobilities Hub can do so by attending our events, joining our online community, and contributing to our educational activities. We welcome academics and students from all disciplines who are interested in urban and spatial development, migration/mobility, and environment to get involved and help shape the future of our hub. To learn more, please visit our website or contact our Hub Coordinator:
Hub Council Chairs
Benjamin Wayens, Dr. Sc., EBxl, ULB Brussels Studies Network, Université libre de Bruxelles (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Stefan Lang, Assoz. Prof. Dr., Department of Geoinformatik, Paris Lodron University of Salzburg, (email@example.com)
Hub Council Vice-Chair
Dženeta Karabegović, Ph.D., Department of Sociology and Human Geography, Paris Lodron University of Salzburg, (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Rózsa Tóthné Magasföldi, Paris Lodron University of Salzburg, (email@example.com)
Robin Lebrun, Dr., Université libre de Bruxelles, (firstname.lastname@example.org)