DIAGNOSE! Interview with

#7 – Sabine Knierbein

By: Johanna Westermann & Edouard Barthen

DIAGNOSE! Interview Series

Published on November 11, 2020

Prof. Sabine Knierbein // Interdisciplinary Centre for Urban Culture and Public Space, Technical University of Vienna 

Prof. Sabine Knierbein is head of the Interdisciplinary Centre for Urban Culture and Public Space and Associate Professor for Urban Culture and Public Space at the Faculty of Architecture and Planning at the Technical University of Vienna. Her research is focussed on the political role of public spaces and their potential for urban emancipation in an age of shrinking democracy. Her most recent works include “City Unsilenced: Urban Resistance and Public Space in the Age of Shrinking Democracy”, “Public Space Unbound. Urban Emancipation and the Post-Political Condition”, and “Public Space, Civic Dignity and Urban Resistance in the Age of Shrinking Democracy”. 

In our interview with Sabine Knierbein, we link the debate over public space to recent debates on social infrastructure and infrastructures of everyday life. Throughout the interview, we discuss various case studies, connecting both civic resistance movements and physical spaces.

The first part of the interview discusses the city as a driver for societal transformation, reflecting on the linkages between urban resistance movements and public space in the context of a neoliberalized city. We then discuss public space as an infrastructure for alter-politics and relate the work of Sabine Knierbein to urban scholars like Lefebvre and more recent positions like Asef Bayat. 

Finally, we try to link the public space debate and infrastructures of everyday life to the Berlin-Brandenburg metropolitan region, in order to reflect on urban-rural dialectics. 

Length: 60:00 min

[00:01:12] The City as a Driver for Societal Transformation 
[00:10:54] Defining Public Space as an Infrastructure for Alter-Politics 
[00:53:10] Urban Struggles and the Rural Divide 



[EN]   Berlin Brandenburg 2040 was initiated by the Habitat Unit in cooperation with Projekte International and provides an open stage and platform for multiple contributions of departments and students of the Technical University Berlin and beyond. The project is funded by the Robert Bosch Foundation.

[DE]   Berlin Brandenburg 2040 wurde initiiert von der Habitat Unit in Kooperation mit Projekte International und bietet eine offene Plattform für Beiträge von Fachgebieten und Studierenden der Technischen Universität Berlin und darüberhinaus. Das Projekt wird von der Robert Bosch Stiftung gefördert.

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