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Thomas Stellmach – Vertretungsprofessur an der BTU Cottbus-Senftenberg

Wir freuen uns, verkünden zu können, dass TSPA-Gründer und Geschäftsführer, Thomas Stellmach, eine neue Stelle als Vertretungsprofessor an der Brandenburgischen Technischen Universität Cottbus-Senftenberg antritt.

Zusammen mit Julia Binder wird Thomas Stellmach den Lehrstuhl für Urban Design and Urban Studies an der Fakultät für Architektur, Bauingenieurwesen und Stadtplanung übernehmen.

Nature Based Solutions in the context of Data-Driven Urbanism

Leider ist der Eintrag nur auf Amerikanisches Englisch verfügbar.

Last Week, Thomas Stellmach presented in the Annual National Planning Conference Highlights in Chengdu the presentation Nature-Based Solutions in the context of Data-Driven Urbanism invited by Isocarp. We parted from two main premises:

Climate hazards around the world during 2021

With all its effects, climate change is so familiar, from flooding, heat waves, melting polar caps caused by the man-made transformation of our surroundings. It has become the number one issue of our time. While we face this challenge, we see another big change happening, the shift towards big data and its automated analysis, affecting all realms of our life.

What does this mean for sustainable urban development?

Thomas Stellmach took part in the opening of Arch Moscow 2021

Today Thomas Stellmach took part of the XXVI International Exhibition of Architecture and Design Arch Moscow 2021.

In a hybrid conversation (presence and zoom call) he exchanged points on the meaning of future mobility for urban development for Moscow.

Invited by Spectrum, TSPA shared the floor with participants from Arch Bureau «Strelka» (Russia), UN-Studio (Netherlands) and Atelier PRO (Netherlands).

„The City as a Renewable resource“ TSPA’s intervention in the Masterclass at the University of Venice

Leider ist der Eintrag nur auf Amerikanisches Englisch verfügbar.

Last Friday March 26th, Thomas Stellmach took part of the discussion in the Masterclass The City as a Renewable Resource in the session Project, organised by the University of Venice.

After the presentations by Paola Viganò and Günter Vogt, Thomas Stellmach shared the virtual floor with the speakers, Aristide Athanassiadis and Margherita Manfra for a discussion.

The Masterclass explored the unsustainable and unfeasible models of urban growth, expansion and consumption contrasted with a paradigm shift that proposes the role of urban space as a renewable resource. It interprets the city-territory as a stratification of actions, practices, projects and policies.

Thomas Stellmach started by presenting the bridge between global challenges, such as rapid population growth, resource consumption and climate change, and the added layer of „the unexpected“ when it comes to city planning. Exemplifying with his work together with UN-Habitat, he concluded that we are still looking at the city as an answer to complex social problems. He considered that the nuance is to shape the city in a way that it becomes renewable is the way urbanisation is developed.

Thomas Stellmach wird jetzt als Beiratsmitglied die Smart City-Strategie für Berlin begleiten.

Der von dem Regierende Bürgermeister von Berlin, Michael Müller, initiierte Smart-City-Strategiebeirat, wird zukünftig die vom Bundesinnenministerium im Rahmen des Smart City-Calls geförderte Strategieentwicklung unterstützen und beraten. 

Wir fühlen uns geehrt, gemeinsam mit 15 weiteren Mitgliedern aus Wissenschaft, Wirtschaft und Verwaltung der Stadt an diesem Prozess beteiligt zu sein, und würdigen dies als „einen ersten Schritt zur Einbindung der städtischen Gemeinschaft in die zukünftige Entwicklung der digitalen Infrastruktur und beispielhafter Pilotprojekte“. 

TSPA-Forschungsstipendiat der Humboldt-Stiftung präsentiert in TEDx-Veranstaltung: Kooperation in der Stadtentwicklung

Zusammenarbeit ist eine Möglichkeit, mit komplexen städtischen Fragen umzugehen. Als Humboldt-Stiftungs Sti­pen­di­a­tin und Gastwissenschaftlerin bei TSPA wird Aleksandra Katasonova einige ihrer Ergebnisse der Untersuchungen zu Formen und Auswirkungen von Kooperation in der Stadtentwicklung vorstellen. Die Online-Veranstaltung von Tedx findet am kommenden Dienstag, 29. September, um 11 Uhr statt.

Anmeldung unter:

Aleksandra ist eine Stadtplanerin aus Russland. Sie konzentriert sich auf die Verbindung von Top-down- und Bottom-up-Ansätzen in der Stadtentwicklung. In den letzten 7 Jahren hat sie als Projektmanagerin und Projektleiterin mit öffentlichen Behörden und privaten Unternehmen zusammengearbeitet. Und 2019 war sie Mitbegründerin einer nicht-kommerziellen Organisation, die die Regeneration öffentlicher Räume in ihrer Region fördern soll.

Another Academy Berlin Blog III: How to work together instead of against each other in city-making?

Leider ist der Eintrag nur auf Amerikanisches Englisch verfügbar.

It’s common for city actors to compete for the same flows, instead, could there be a model towards a joint action aiming for solutions that would benefit everyone? This is the third post of the series about cooperation in city-making which describes insights learned from the Berlin-based grassroots initiatives. We will continue to observe city-making practice from different angles within Autumn Another Academy Berlin.

Authored by our guest researcher Aleksandra Katasonova. 

Autumn Academy Berlin Blog II: Cooperation, Self-organization, Self-governing

Leider ist der Eintrag nur auf Amerikanisches Englisch verfügbar.

This is the second post of a series exploring how different city actors could act together towards a good city in the organization of an Autumn Academy in Berlin. Follow us for more updates.

Issues that modern cities are facing today are too big and complex for one actor or one sector to effectively manage. New capabilities are needed to help people think and act differently to adapt to rapid change. At present, across Europe city residents are engaged and motivated to demonstrate their ability in creating innovative solutions for important social issues. In this context cooperation between diverse partners from public, private, and community- based organizations is needed to foster equal footing to impact the city. Working together actors could empower each other with knowledge and expertise creating a better city.

Autumn Academy Berlin: How Will We Act Together?

Leider ist der Eintrag nur auf Amerikanisches Englisch verfügbar.

In June 2019 the appointed Curator of the 17th Venice Architecture Biennale Hashim Sarkis introduced the theme of the next year’s event “How will we live together?” where architects were invited to think of a new spatial contract in the context of widening political divides and growing economic inequalities. Today, the main premise remains the same, yet the context now involves the consequences of a pandemic. So we at TSPA now ask ourselves “How Will We Act Together?” This is a relevant moment to think of the role of cooperation, self-organization and knowledge exchange to deal with long term crises.

Students of HPI School of Design Thinking visit TSPA

Leider ist der Eintrag nur auf Amerikanisches Englisch verfügbar.

On December 6th five students of the HPI School of Design Thinking in Potsdam visited our office in Kreuzberg.

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Leider ist der Eintrag nur auf Amerikanisches Englisch verfügbar.

TSPA architecture intern Sophie has won the Van Hove Award with her graduation “Adaptive architecture and flood permitting cities – urban flooding as incentive for positive incremental change”. The prize is awarded by the UPA-BUA (Royal Professional Union of Architects in Belgium) to a graduating design and is open to all students who obtain a degree in architecture or architecture-engineering at a Belgian faculty of architecture, during the academic year of the prize. The proclamation took place at the Architects’ House in Brussels on November 20.

Thomas Stellmach gave a lecture in BTU Cottbus on making cities

Leider ist der Eintrag nur auf Amerikanisches Englisch verfügbar.

Thomas was invited to give a lecture in BTU Cottbus, where he shared his insights about establishing a successful urban planning office. The discussion with students focused on key questions in the beginning of one’s professional life, while Thomas also showed key projects and discussed the processes behind their development.

To read more about the lecture, visit the link below:

From Knowledge Places to Knowledge Spaces

The results of out studio on creating a knowledge campus in Riga have been published in Dreams and Seeds – The role of campuses in sustainable urban development. Thanks to the European Union and Interreg Central Baltic for their support of the Live Baltic Campus project.

Below an excerpt of the project text.
Knowledge Mile Riga: Co-designing four universities into a collaborative network

The proposal to create a Knowledge Mile stems from an architectural design studio at the RISEBA Faculty of Architecture and Design, Riga. During the spring 2017, ten students and three tutors explored the future of academic campuses by researching global, regional and local case studies as they pertain to education, research and innovation. The chosen territory falls within the geographical scope of the Live Baltic Campus project activities in Riga and that of the prospective development of the main national academic campuses. Imaginative spatial scenarios in the proposal were meant to be reflexive and alternative rather than in line with formal planning policies. The proposal rethinks the development plans of existing academic campuses – the University of Latvia, Riga Technical University, RISEBA and Riga Stradins University – into a more coherent, dynamic knowledge network.

Refugee City: Greening Camps – Midterm Reviews

Thomas is invited as guest critic to the Midterm Presentation of the Design Studio (October 2016 to February 2017) organised at the Technische Universität Berlin (TUB) and the University of Petra (UoP) in Amman. The Presentation will take place on January 6, 2017 from 10am to 1pm at Technische Universität Berlin (TUB).

The aim of the workshop is to support the CBOs to develop designs for their green spaces in a participatory and innovative way; and to develop and implement small-scale interventions that contribute to sustainable resource management and greening strategies in refugee camps.

Final presentation will be held on February 17, 2017.


  • Prof. Dr. Philipp Misselwitz
  • Prof. Jochen Rabe
  • Dip.-Ing. Nina Pawlicki
  • M.A. Ayham Dalal

More info at Technische Universität Berlin – Habitat Unit


Thomas Stellmach appointed Guest Chair for Urbanism at RISEBA, Riga

Thomas has been appointed for the Guest Chair for Urban Space, Planning and Urban Regeneration at RISEBA Faculty of Architecture and Design in Riga, Latvia starting from February 2017.

We’ll start off working on the new Tornakalns University Campus in the heart of Riga. The research-by-design project is part of the Live Baltic Campus initiative.

We’ll be testing new design and education methods, immersing the students in a real-world process and developing cooperative work approaches. We’re excited to work with them and the great RISEBA team.

Live Baltic Campus aims at developing campuses as innovation hubs by creating better urban environment for businesses and residents. The idea is to create a working method for participative urban planning which is adopted by the cities involved as part of their normal work.
In practice, the project brings together city planners, government representatives, campus developers and stakeholders to utilize the campuses as labs with an aim to develop plans for better integrated urban management of the Central Baltic region. The project creates a network of practitioners ensuring knowledge transfer between the northern and southern parts of the Central Baltic region. Pilot implementations conducted in each area explore participative urban planning in its different phases, from preceding the official planning, to activities supplementing the official planning and following the official process.
As the main result, project creates integrated campus development plans, as well as service concepts and implementation plans for each partner region via pilot cases co-developed with the city government and stakeholders. In addition, the project creates a platform for discussing policy objectives, exchanging best practices and improving the quality of life indicators. By sharing the experiences from the regional pilots and comparing pilots’ results the project aims for better urban planning in which different stakeholders – residents as well businesses – are being taking into account. And by creating better urban environment the project results in creating new jobs and having positive impacts on the local economy.
The lead partner of Live Baltic Campus is Metropolia University of Applied Sciences. Other partners are City of Helsinki (Executive Office, Economic Development), Riga Planning Region, Stockholm University, University of Latvia, University of Tartu, University of Turku and Uppsala University. Associated partners are City of Turku and Helsinki-Uusimaa Regional Council. The project is funded by Central Baltic Programme and the project operates from October 2015 until March 2018.

RISEBA Riga Guest Crit

From 15 to 16 December 2016 Thomas will be guest critic at RISEBA Faculty of Architecture and Design in Riga, Latvia.

Riga’s built environment features different urban paradigms. While some of its parts seem like Scandinavian villages, some parts remind of Berlin’s Gründerzeit, and – not surprisingly – large parts resemble typical Eastern Bloc suburbs. This enables the city to cater to a variety of generations, users and tastes.

The Faculty of Architecture and Design (FAD) currently realises a unique, international and competitive architecture study programme in Latvia, between European and Russian heritage. Since its foundation in 2011, faculty has combined the best architecture education standards and teaching experiences within Europe becoming the architecture school of the regional importance. FAD offers the education at the highest standards with the curriculum that combines its main study fields, architecture, urban planning and design, with the understanding of the business skills and social sciences.

The Passenger City Workshop Report

The report of The Passenger City workshop held at Augsburg University of Applied Sciences‘ International Design Week last year has been released.

CANactions STUDIO#1 results released

CANactions – An Interdisciplinary School for Urban Studies, based in Kyiv, Ukraine has just finished their final report on STUDIO #1 were Thomas was leading a 5-day workshop.

CANactions aims at the exploration of Ukrainian cities, identifying concepts and defining actions for their strategic development. The first Studio, held from August 25 – December 18, 2015, called “From General Plan to Guiding Plan: Strategic Tools for Contemporary Cities Development” was focused on urban development of Ukraine’s historical cities. The purpose of the study is to understand the specificity and strengths of this urban typology – on the local, regional, state and even global level.

To read the STUDIO#1 results please see here.


How will we move through our future cities? What comes after the superhighway and the failed predictions of jetpacks and moving sidewalks? Benjamin of TSPA will lead the three-day workshop “The Passenger City” at Augsburg University of Applied Sciences from November 11th to 13th, where students will speculate about the future of urban mobility and its impact on both street and city.

The International Design Week offers a wide programme of workshops, lectures, talks and an exhibition to reveal future trends on design and its related disciplines.

Kiev Workshop: Art Zavod Platforma & CANactions Results

TSPA’s workshop at Kiev’s CANactions School for Urban Studies in Kiev reimagined a former industrial area as a creative cluster. The motto of the workshop — ‚from research to proposal‘ — turned out to be very real: The site’s owner was sufficiently impressed by the results that he committed to continue the cooperation and to jointly develop the student’s ideas further to turn them into reality.

Have a look at the workshop results here [pdf, 44MB].
Update: the workshop results will be released publicly on 18 December.

Read more about the workshop in the press here [Ukrainian: Пространство для творчества и развития должно быть комфортным] and here [Ukrainian: В Киеве состоялся совместный воркшоп школы CANactions и Арт-завода Платформа].

Many thanks to the Goethe Institute for support and to the CANactions team for organising, and especially to the participants for their great work!

CANactions School for Urban Studies: Studio with TSPA

Thomas of TSPA will lead the project-simulation workshop “From research to project proposal“ at CANactions school in Kiev, Ukraine. Students will explore a former factory area in the city and develop solutions to turn it into a creative zone and a catalyst for development of the neighbourhood. The interdisciplinary workshop will take place from 27 September to 3 October 2015, and will rapidly develop a project from analysis to idea and proposal in only a single week to then discuss the proposals with lokal stakeholders.

The CANactions School for Urban Studies is a socially-oriented interdisciplinary educational project that emerged from CANactions International Architecture Festival. It is aimed at the study and strategic development of Ukrainian cities.

More information here: CANactions Brochure [800 KB].

This workshop was made possible with the support of Goethe-Institure Ukraine.

Urban Design in the Arab World

„Aleppo 2025 City Development Strategy: A Critical Reflection“ published

Uberbau (from which TSPA emerged) conceived a spatial development strategy for the City of Aleppo commissioned by the German development agency GIZ in 2011. The goal was to develop spatially-driven solutions to guide long-term sustainable development. Thomas Stellmach’s (TSPA) and Ali Saad’s (Bureau Ali Saad) critical reflections on the planning process and the limitations of traditional planning methods in Aleppo and their call to acknowledge existing dynamics as the base for defining future qualities and for steering urban development, have now been published in Ashgate’s Urban Design in the Arab World, edited by Robert Saliba.

Housing vs City – Talk in London

Thomas is going to give a talk at Syracuse, London, next week Monday 13th April at 2pm. See you there!

As communication networks and financial instruments manipulate the social and economic relationships toward unstable and immaterial conditions, the housing crisis is redefining the political and spatial relationship between city, architecture and housing as alternative models of urbanization.
Syracuse Architecture (London Program) invites Brett Steele and five emerging European practices to reflect on how a new generation of architects is facing the challenges of this paradoxical conditions through the construction of a project for architecture and the city..

More at

‚Vitalize it‘ International Winter School in El Gouna

Thomas Stellmach was invited by the TU Berlin Campus El Gouna (Egypt) to lecture on ‚Public Space in the Arab Domain‘ within the framework of the ‚Vitalize it‘ International Winter School 2014.

Download the lecture slides here.

Re-Conceptualizing Boundaries @ AUB, Beirut

On 3-5 May Thomas presents the Aleppo Diverse | Open City project at the City Debates 2012. Re-Conceptualizing Boundaries: Urban Design in the Arab World conference at the AUB in Beirut.

The project will be part of a publication on the conference to be released in 2015.

Capita Selecta

On 12 April at 8pm Thomas talks about recent work experiences in Africa, Asia and Europe at Capita Selecta: ‚Giant Steps: Urbanism Around the World‘ hosted by the Academie von Bouwkunst in Amsterdam.