Wageningen University and Research and the Foundation of Managing Public Space cordially invite you to the first International Academic symposium on Managing Public Space (I.A.M. Public Space) to explore ways forward for integrated and innovative management and maintenance of public space in an open academic dialogue.

Future-proof management of public space
Public space is the new frontier where future challenges will need to be met. As society calls for more livable, safe and sustainable environments, multiple spatial claims will collide in the public domain where ownership boundaries and different utility systems meet. Integrated and innovative management of public space is required to tackle upcoming challenges and accommodate energy transition, climate adaptation, circular economies, and mobility innovations. Moreover, there are upcoming windows of opportunities as many of these above ground and underground infrastructural systems and assets near the end of their lifecycle and require upgrading or maintenance. Future-proof public spaces necessitate a rethink of how their management and maintenance can become more innovative and adaptive in light of the expected and unexpected future transitions and challenges.

Join the debate and contribute to building an international academic network on managing public space and explore collaborations in joint publications and projects. We welcome contributions that address the management and maintenance of public spaces, infrastructures and assets – both urban and non-urban – at various levels of scales. Scholars from disciplines such as sociology, geography, spatial planning, urban design and landscape architecture, civil engineering, asset management, and other related fields are encouraged to participate and facilitate an interdisciplinary dialogue. We especially encourage early-career academics and PhD candidates to contribute actively and participate in the symposium!

We seek presentations of exploratory papers and empirical studies on future-proof management of public space in the following themes and their related variations:

  • Post-Anthropocene Public Space: Can existing public space be retrofitted for the future where the rebalancing of nature is the principal perspective for management or where potential smart ‘digital’ innovations (AI, digital twins, machine learning etc.) take a leading role?
  • The Learning Organizations: What theories and methods can help organizations in the public domain learn and prepare for uncertainties in the future? How can operators and stakeholders of public space adapt and innovate?
  • Perception and value as reality: How do users value and experience spatial quality in public spaces? How can the user experience better inform the planning, design and management of public space? What potential can social, cultural and cognition-based understandings help differentiate between sufficient and necessary conditions for optimal and desirable public space?

Abstract submission: 31 December 2021
Notification: 15 January 2022
Registration: 14 February 2022

Submit your contribution in the form of an abstract of 300 words (excl. references) to as a docx. or PDF. Abstracts should align with the call and will undergo a double-blind peer-review process. Registration and symposium fees are kindly sponsored by the Foundation of Managing Public Space (

See for more program and registration.