The main objective of the Zagreb Thematic Seminar is to create a platform of knowledge on the topic of urban growth and its connections with the practices and policies of social inclusion. This Seminar aims to create an open hub where experts and citizens can actively participate and interact with decision makers for better understanding how the inclusive patterns of collective behavior work. The open hub should enable different stakeholders to work together on the construction of new models of social inclusion in the process of urban development, according to different approaches: political studies on urban government and participation, technical tools oriented to inclusive practices, public communication and debates on urban transformations. The expected outcome of the Seminar will be a collection of statements and proposals to address the strategies through which individual citizens can contribute to new European and more inclusive society. The seminar will be organized in working sessions with presentations of accepted projects and research and full papers will be published.

The working language of the Seminar is English. Looking to encourage an informed dialogue, we welcome presentations and papers by scholars and professionals from any discipline including architecture, urban planning, urban management, transport, environment, sociology, information science, education, media, liberal arts and cultural studies. PhD students are also encouraged to take part. Maximum 300 word abstracts about the project or research should be submitted by email to Abstracts should be written in Word formats, font Arial size 10, following this order: author(s), affiliation, email address, title of abstract, body of abstract, 5 key words. A short biography (up to 100 words) is also required. Accepted abstracts will be prepared for the presentation at the seminar and the full papers will be published in an international publication after the seminar. SINERGI project will cover all costs for editing and publishing. No fees will be granted to the authors. There is no participation fee for the Zagreb Thematic Seminar, and the registration includes free lunch and coffee breaks.

The focus of the Zagreb Thematic Seminar is encompassed around three specific areas:

URBAN PROJECTS FOR CITIZENS - How can we conceal the need for economic development, sustainability and citizen's expectations and needs through new approaches and tools in urban planning and management? What are the challenges of social change and growing social and cultural differentiation of population facing the urban development? Which models of urban development’s ensure the diversity of facilities, reconciliation of social differences and harmonious cohabitation of different social groups? Taking into consideration social transformations, social differences, unemployment, population aging, care for the youth and market instability – how to provide for affordable urban development and how can their planning be considered economically and socially sustainable?

NEW INDUSTRIES IN THE CITIES - Can the new articulation of the original purpose restore the function to run-down spaces? Taking into consideration the current processes of moving the industry to the outskirts of the city, can the citizens and entrepreneurs (small and medium enterprises) enhance the development of the economy in the city centre through clean and creative industries? What is the role of city administrations? How can the formation of creative clusters generate the development of complementary branches and stimulate urban growth? We are interested in research and projects addressing the issue of urban development of cities in crisis and after the crisis, discussing new models of urban renewal, novel models of acting in existing urban fabric and evaluation of the urban changes.

NEW PUBLIC SPACES IN THE CITIES - How does the quality of public areas influence the vitality of cities? Can the expansion of modern public areas change citizens' habits and improve the sustainable mobility in cities? Can modern urban interventions in capital centers reconnect a man with the nature and erase a sharp line between the private and public life through modern transformations of public areas? The on-going debate about the definition of the public space and what it means in the scope of civic rights and activities could produce better and comprehensive understanding of the novel way of using our cities. It is well-known how citizen’s participation can be reduced to a mere supply for correcting lacking policies, rather than a proactive strategy that can provide new knowledge of the urban complexity in a more holistic perspective.