Special session:



 Dr. Konstantinos Moraitis

Professor Emeritus N.T.U.A.



We conventionally use the term ‘sustainability’ to refer to the natural or environmental qualities of a given context. An essential  precondition for the sustainability of our communities, however, is the well-being of their cultural and political conscience, the possible knowledge of the historic past and the critical evaluation of their present state and future.

For centuries, urban public spaces and landscape formations have served as repositories of symbolism and mnemonic references; in green urban networks and peripheral urban parks, ‘green’ imagery has flourished while the ‘flowers’ of social, cultural, and political expression, of social, cultural, and political criticism responding to the collective conditions of living, have bloomed in the denser  urbanity of the inner city. 19th and early 20th century public parks and garden cities, or contemporary ‘landscape urbanism’ may express our past and nowadays green visions, while urban public spaces have been, for centuries, the par excellence political landscape of social coexistence or social demand in peaceful or confrontational context – the par excellence ‘medium’ of social communication till the recent explosion of digital technology.

How can we address the relationship between both intra-urban contexts – the landscape and inner city, correlating them with formations of real space or virtual, digitally presented alternatives? Can they be understood together, as a hybridization of spatial possibilities?

Participants of the proposed session will present analogous landscape and urban public space formations, or hybrid space itineraries, or refer to possible important cultural and political commentary, which could be presented through the previously described ways. 

Key Words: Cultural landscape, cultural sustainability, political sustainability, urban public space, real space social contact, virtual space guidance.


Special session:


Ilaria Mariotti
Associate Professor of Urban and Regional Economics, DAStU-Politecnico di Milano, Milan,
Roido Mitoula
Professor, Harokopio University of Athens
Carles Mendez-Ortega
Assistant Professor of Economics, Faculty of Economics and Business, Open Univesity of
Catalonia, Barcelona,


Recent literature has focused on the effects of collaborative spaces on the socio-economic development of rural areas. It has become standard practise to offer various forms of collaborative spaces to aid in job creation and regeneration in a range of geographic locations, from prosperous cities to more stagnant economies. However, these places must support the growth of community welfare, particularly in rural areas.
In a number of ways, collaborative spaces can improve local and regional sustainable development. They may contribute to the near-working strategies aiming to reduce commuting, congestion, and out-migration. They can concentrate on attracting, training, and retaining younger, more highly skilled workers in rural areas and supporting young start-ups and entrepreneurs to increase social inclusion. They link the local (entrepreneurial and innovation) ecosystem’s users and its external players, assisting local ecosystems by offering support, mentoring, and a network of industry experts. Additionally, they might create and/or oversee welfare programmes and solidarity initiatives and collaborate with neighbourhood communities to implement social innovation.
The special session, proposed within the framework of the Cost Action CA18214, aims to collect papers exploring the effects of collaborative spaces on rural areas’ sustainable development worldwide.

Keywords: collaborative spaces, sustainable development, rural areas


Special session:


Konstantinos Lalenis

Professor, Department of Planning and Regional Development, University of Thessaly



The concept of resilience has been one of the dominant in recent years in the formulation of strategies for spatial planning. The relationships and interaction of resilience with sustainability have occupied a significant body of research and theoretical approaches, as well as the related question of whether resilience is always beneficial for the system1 under consideration, or under certain circumstances may be negative, due to limitation of its ability to adapt (Zolli & Haly 2012, Walker 2011, Janssen et al 2011). However, it seems that in recent years resilience has enriched its conceptual content and is combined with other characteristics such as adaptability, innovation and transformation. It is now an indispensable and often institutionalized element of spatial planning, while related programs such as the 100 Resilient Cities (100 Resilient Cities: The Rockefeller Foundation 2014, 2015, 2018) have spread across the globe with significant success.

But the concept of resilience is not recent. It has roots in various fields and has evolved over time. In ecology, it began to appear in the 1960s and 1970s, as researchers noticed that some ecosystems were able to recover from disturbances, while others were not. Ecologists began studying the characteristics of resilient ecosystems and developing theories of resilience, including the idea that ecosystems have the ability to self-organize and adapt in response to changing conditions. In the 1970s, the term “resilience” began to be used in psychology to describe the ability of individuals to adapt to stress and adversity. Psychologists began studying the factors that contribute to resilience, including social support, coping skills, and personality traits. In the 1990s, the concept of resilience began to be applied to social and economic systems. Researchers began studying the resilience of communities and organizations in the face of economic shocks, natural disasters and other disruptions. This work led to the development of theories about the characteristics of resilient communities and organizations, including the importance of social capital and the ability to build adaptive capacity. In recent years, the concept of resilience has been applied more widely, including in cities, neighborhoods, but also in non-urban space. Urban resilience, especially, has become an increasingly important topic as cities face an increasing number of challenges related to climate change, economic uncertainty, social unrest and other factors.

This session will focus on an introduction to the concepts of resilience and its two components, spatial and especially urban. Urban resilience acquires an important specificity due to the complex urban environment that constitutes the main framework for cultural reproduction (Lalenis and Beriatos, 2006; Lalenis, 2022). Presentations will cover the following main sub-sessions: Theoretical Approaches to Resilience, Resilience in Urban and Rural Space, Policies and Measures, Selected Implementations, and Teaching – Training – Participation Concerning Resilience of Urban and non-Urban Space.


Janssen, M.A., Anderies, J.M., & Cardenas, J.C. (2011). Resilience: A Trojan Horse for a New Way of Governing Socio-Ecological Systems. PLoS ONE, 6(6), e20827. Also in: https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0020827.

Lalenis, K., Beriatos, E. (2006). Housing the Refugees: the Greek Experience and its Political Pitfalls. 46th Congress of the European Regional Science Association: “Enlargement, Southern Europe and the Mediterranean”, August 30th – September 3rd, 2006, Volos, Greece, publisher Econstor, European Regional Science Association (ERSA), Louvain-la-Neuve. Also in http://hdl.handle.net/10419/118423.

Lalenis, K. (2022). The gate in Pomakochoria, Greece: memories of underdevelopment? In Boundaries and Restricted Places, eds Yapicioglu B. and Lalenis K., Geography, Planning and Tourism 2022, Elgaronline.

The Rockefeller Foundation (2014). 100 Resilient Cities. Retrieved from https://www.100resilientcities.org/

The Rockefeller Foundation (2015). City resilience framework. Retrieved from https://www.rockefellerfoundation.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/City-Resilience-Framework.pdf and https://www.100resilientcities.org/city-resilience-framework/.

The Rockefeller Foundation (2018). City resilience index. Retrieved from https://100resilientcities.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/100RC_City-Resilience-Index-2018-1.pdf

Walker, B. (2011). The Limitations of Resilience. Ecology and Society, 16(1), 13. Also in: https://www.ecologyandsociety.org/vol16/iss1/art13/.

Zolli, A. & Healy, A.M. (2012). The Dark Side of Resilience. Harvard Business Review. Also in: https://hbr.org/2012/04/the-dark-side-of-resilience

1“System” in definition can be an individual, or a collective object such as an ecosystem, a company, a city or a region.

Special session:


Despina Dimelli

Associate Professor, School of Architecture, Technical University of Crete



Historic urban conservation has, for more than a century, been a major focus of planning, architectural debate, and public policy. Today, there is a growing consensus that the historic city should be viewed not only as a unity of architectural monuments and supporting fabric, but also as a complex layering of meanings, connected both to its natural environment and to its geological structure, as well as to its metropolitan hinterland. It is essential to address the issue of urban conservation in ways that reflect the great diversity of cultural traditions, to support new practices, and to define management systems aimed at preserving values within sustainable processes.

The current session will focus on the principles of historic urban conservation and the effectiveness of their application in historic centers.

It will analyze topics as

  • Good practices in historic centers urban conservation.
  • The evolution of historic urban conservation principles.
  • Overtourism as a threat in historic urban conservation.
  • Historic Urban Landscape principles.
  • Smart technologies for Historic Urban Conservation.