Social space & social planning

  • We will see how different conceptual understandings of space evolved and gained importance within the social sciences during the last one hundred years. In particular we will focus on developments since the 1970s, often described as a "spatial turn" within the social sciences.
    We will learn how these theoretical debates changed Social Work in practice by leading to the rise of a more spatial approach within the discipline. During this process concepts such as community organizing, "Gemeinwesenarbeit" and neighbourhood management gained importance. We will be introduced to these concepts and see how they are put into practice.
    For a better understanding of current socio-spatial developments in different social spaces, such as inner city neighbourhoods, suburban areas or rural areas we will be given a quick overview on recent more general societal shifts and related spacial reconfigurations.
    We will get to know different planning levels and the institutional environment within which Social Work with a socio-spatial orientation is put into practice.
    By practicing a set of methods designed to foster effective and creative forms of participation we will learn how varying agents can be integrated in different processes. We will also work on a set of skills professionals needs during such processes, including project management, moderation techniques, conflict management and different negotiation strategies with varying agents.
    Moreover we will look at socio-spatial approaches from a gender and diversity perspective. We will also discuss the societal role and political responsibility of Social Work with a socio-spatial approach.