Previous editions

2020 marks the already eighth edition of CityLAB. Urban studies have always been the central theme, mixed with other related topics. Here you can get an impression of the last couple of editions:

2019: The Sustainable City

Would this subject be right up your alley? Then find out more about the new summer school The Sustainable City (August 2020).

The CityLAB VII summer school aims to address the sustainable city from an interdisciplinary perspective. We assess how the introduction of technology can transform contemporary cities towards more sustainability. The focus is however not only technology driven innovation, but addresses also socio-economic and political issues, spatial planning and social justice, etc. All this is moreover put in historical perspective.


  • Mobility
  • Air
  • Water
  • Urban metabolism
  • Social justice and engagement

CityLAB summer school participants having fun at the closing reception
Summer school participants having fun at the closing reception.

CityLAB summer school lecture by historian Greet De Block
Lecture by historian Greet De Block: “The socio-political and historical dimension of mobility”

2018: City Aesthetics and Citizenship

How does the aesthetic imagination influence the shape of our cities, social interactions, and the (self)image of citizens? Literature, film, the visual and performing arts, computer games―they all shape the urban imagination. They can have palpable effects in reality, whether intended or unintended, direct or indirect. How do such distinctions help us understand the changing landscape and social fabric of our cities, and where do they disintegrate?

Bart Eeckhout Pascal Gielen CityLAB summer school UAntwerp
Introduction to City Aesthetics and Citizenship by Bart Eeckhout

Saskia Sassen guest lecture at CityLAB summer school UAntwerp
Saskia Sassen's guest lecture: “When We All Become Urban Subjects. Cultural City Imprints of the Powerless”

2017: The Smart City: An Interdisciplinary Approach

This summer school approaches the smart city from an interdisciplinary perspective.  What is a smart city? Is it a historically new phenomenon? Does a smart city require smart citizens? How does it impact dynamics of inclusion and exclusion in cities? What are the political and economic drivers of the smart city? The summer school combines lectures by a range of distinguished external speakers and local staff from the Antwerp Urban Studies Institute with field trips and discussion sessions.

2016: The City as a Market Place

This interdisciplinary summer school on ‘The City as a Market Place’ aims to discuss a wide range of issues related to retail in cities today and in the past. Participants are taken on a journey through a selection of topics including retail accessibility, ethnic entrepreneurship and urban design. The historical focus ensures that discussions take into account the wider context, and two field trips link theory to practice. This summer school offers a truly interdisciplinary look at the important topic of urban retail and its many facets.


  • Retail geography
  • Ethnic entrepreneurs
  • Illicit and alternative trade

2015: The Productive city

This summer school on the productive city aims to discuss the productive role of cities from an interdisciplinary perspective. We set out to analyze how and why urban material production disappeared and what the consequences are. Subsequently, we will examine and discuss if material production should keep its place in the city. Inevitably, new forms of sustainable production as urban food production, urban small industrial production, and urban craftsmanship will be addressed. In addition, we will examine and discuss new ideas about the relationship between working and living and modes of transport, and related concepts and practices of urban planning.


  • Urban farming
  • Urban craftmanship
  • Urban recycling
  • Urban development