The Chair of Sociology explores the connection between the built environment and social development. It establishes an analytical and empirical basis for teaching and research and provides a wide range of expertise in urban and spatial theory as well as a broad palette of social science methods. Its theoretical and methodological approach is transdisciplinary and praxis oriented, and geared toward the requirements specific to architecture and urban design.
The sociology courses are designed to instill students with an understanding of architecture and urban design within the broader social context, while also familiarizing them with social science methods. They accompany both the bachelor's and master's degree programs in architecture as well as several Masters of Advanced Studies (MAS).
The chair's main research focus lies in the transdisciplinary exploration of urbanization processes in comparative perspective. Studies are currently being conducted on the metropolitan regions of Zurich and Havana. A comparative urban studies project is being carried out in the framework of the Future Cities Laboratory in Singapore on urbanization processes in Tokyo, the Pearl River Delta, Singapore, Kolkata, Lagos, Istanbul, Paris, Mexico City, and Los Angeles.
The Chair of Sociology is part of NSL – Network City and Landscape.
Fünf Jahre nach der Verkehrsberuhigung und Umgestaltung
Die Zeitung «Die neue Weststrasse» setzt sich mit den laufenden Aufwertungs- und Verdrängungsprozessen entlang der Weststrasse in Zürich auseinander. Sie entstand im Wahlfach des Frühlingssemesters 2017. Die Studierenden führten zahlreiche Interviews mit unterschiedlichen Menschen im Quartier. Zwei Gastbeiträge weiten den Blick über die Weststrasse hinaus.
Urbane Qualitäten: Ein Handbuch am Beispiel der Metropolitanregion Zürich.
Kretz, Simon; Kueng, Lukas (Hrsg.): Urbane Qualitäten: Ein Handbuch am Beispiel der Metropolitanregion Zürich. Edition Hochparterre. Zürich, 2016.
160 Seiten, rund 70 Bilder und Pläne, mit Kopiervorlagen.
Neil Brenner and Christian Schmid, “Towards a new epistemology of the urban?”
CITY, 19, 2-3, 2015, 151-182.
New forms of urbanization are unfolding around the world that challenge inherited conceptions of the urban as a fixed, bounded and universally generalizable settlement type. Meanwhile, debates on the urban question continue to proliferate and intensify within the social sciences, the planning and design disciplines, and in everyday political struggles. Against this background, this paper revisits the question of the epistemology of the urban: through what categories, methods and cartographies should urban life be understood? After surveying some of the major contemporary mainstream and critical responses to this question, we argue for a radical rethinking of inherited epistemological assumptions regarding the urban and urbanization. Building upon reflexive approaches to critical social theory and our own ongoing research on planetary urbanization, we present a new epistemology of the urban in a series of seven theses. This epistemological framework is intended to clarify the intellectual and political stakes of contemporary debates on the urban question and to offer an analytical basis for deciphering the rapidly changing geographies of urbanization and urban struggle under early 21st-century capitalism. Our arguments are intended to ignite and advance further debate on the epistemological foundations for critical urban theory and practice today.