Professorship for Open Space Development and Society

Professorship for Open Space Development and Society

Complex changes in our society, climate change and the abandonment of the powerful guiding principle of car-oriented cities, which had been in place for many decades, require nothing less than a new way of thinking of a “city”: as a healthy, fair and livable place for all.

The research and teaching activities of the Professorship for Open Space Development and Society concentrate on urban open space development on various levels of scale. We teach the theoretical principles and planning skills required for the design of dynamic and adaptable public spaces. We challenge students to think critically and be aware of the socio-spatial context of a planning task.

Particular attention is paid to the socio-cultural aspects of landscape architecture and the social performance of urban open spaces: its suitability for everyday use, the needs of different user groups, the relationship between design and use, its programming, as well as acquisition and participation processes. This also includes questions of contemporary aesthetics and the message that the constructed environment sends out to people with different social backgrounds. In addition, we focus on the future development of monument artwork and how to provide an artistic framework for the collective remembrance of different events.

Our research is both social science-oriented and interdisciplinary. It addresses urban open space development against the background of social change. In a current project, a graveyard is treated as a social space and we are challenging its design and structure in view of a changed funeral culture. Within the scope of our impact research, we evaluate the viability of planning principles and the long-term success of open space designs in residential areas. As part of a book project, we examine the dimensions of cultural diversity in urban open spaces and the environment.

Constanze Petrow
Prof. Dr. Constanze Petrow
Building 6701
Room 112
Phone +49 6722 502 750
Constanze.Petrow(at) Details


Creating vibrant public spaces (Sechseläuten Square, Zurich) © Constanze A. Petrow
Designing efficient open spaces for residential areas (Bruni-Kreisky-Park, Vienna) © Constanze A. Petrow
Building inclusive spaces, promoting ethnic-cultural diversity (Square Élisa-Mercœur, Nantes) © Constanze A. Petrow
Transforming remnants of the industrial era (High Line Park, New York) © Constanze A. Petrow
Turning graveyards into peaceful spaces for recreation (Assistens Kirkegard, Kopenhagen) © Constanze A. Petrow
Shaping transitions in urban mobility, reclaiming urban spaces (along the river Seine, Paris) © Constanze A. Petrow
Questioning governance structures (Bryant Park, New York) © Constanze A. Petrow
Providing space, facilitating participation (Tempelhof Airfield, Berlin) © Constanze A. Petrow