Saturday, March 5, 2011

Open House International -- Call for Papers

Special Theme Issue
Urban Space Diversity: paradoxes and realities
Volume 37, Issue # 2, June 2012

Guest Editors:
Professor Ashraf M. Salama-Qatar University, Doha, Qatar.
Professor Alain Thierstein-Munich University of Technology, Munich, Germany.
E-mail:  &

With their socio-physical, socio-economic, socio-cultural, and sociopolitical presence cities have always been highly differentiated spaces expressive of heterogeneity, diversity of activities, entertainment, excitement, and pleasure. They have been (and still are) melting pots for the formulation of and experimentation with new philosophies and social practices. They produce, reproduce, represent, and convey much of what counts today as culture, knowledge, and politics. Urban spaces within cities are no exception; they are places for the pursuit of freedom, un-oppressed activities and desires, but also ones characterized by systematic power, oppression, domination, exclusion, and segregation. In dealing with these polar qualities diversity has become one of the new doctrines of city planners, urban designers, and architects. It continues to be at the center of recent urban debates. Little is known, however, on how urban space diversity can be achieved.

In recent rhetoric, diversity denotes in generic terms a mosaic of people who bring a variety of ethnic and cultural backgrounds, styles, perspectives, values and beliefs as assets to the groups and organizations with which they interact. However, in urban discourses it has been addressed as having multiple meanings that include mixing building types, mixing physical forms, and mixing people of different social classes, racial and ethnic backgrounds. While some theorists attribute diversity to the socio-physical aspects of homogeneity within heterogeneity, social differentiation without exclusion, variety, and publicity (Young, 1990), others associate it with socio-political aspects of assimilation, integration, and segregation (Grillo, 2005). While some of these meanings represent a concern for a specific group of professionals including architects and urban designers, urban planners, cultural analysts and abstract theorists, they all agree that each meaning or aspect of diversity is linked to the others; they all call for strategies for urban development that stimulate socio-physical heterogeneity.

This special issue of Open House International attempts to offer answers to these questions: Can planned public urban spaces produce social diversity? What are the aspects of genuine diversity that can be planned for and what are the others that can be attained only spontaneously? With the goal of unveiling lessons learned on urban diversity from the decision making processes and the resulting public urban spaces, the purpose of this issue encompasses several objectives. It aims at providing a conceptualization of urban diversity and elaborating its underlying contents and mechanisms by exploring the variety of meanings adopted in the urban literature. As well, it attempts to establish models for discerning urban space diversity while mapping such models on selected case studies.

Key Dates

Interested scholars, academics, and practitioners are invited to submit expression of interest to the guest editors.

February 15, 2011: Call for Papers
March 30, 2011: Expression of Interest and Submission of Extended Abstracts.
April 15, 2011: Notification of Selected Papers for Possible Inclusion
June 30, 2011: Submission of Full Papers
September 12, 2010: Notification of the Refereeing Process
December 1, 2011: Submission of Final Revised Papers
June 1, 2012: Publication Date

Open House International is covered by: EBSCO Publishing , the ELSEVIER Bibliographic database Scopus and all products of THOMSON ISI index bases. The journal is also listed on the following Architectural index lists: RIBA, ARCLIB, AVERY and EKISTICS.

Architecture-Urbanism is dedicated to a) those who are interested in creating livable and sustainable environments and buildings that meet socio-cultural and socio-behavioral needs of people, environments that are responsive to historical, traditional and physical constraints, b) to those who are interested in finding panacea for the ills of our globalized world, and c) to those who are interested in regaining what cultures and societies have lost by the acts of architects. ____________________________________________________________________________