The recently-launched Centre for the Future of Places (CFP) at the KTH in Stockholm is a research centre for public spaces, which is building an international interdisciplinary network in this field. The research centre currently has about 10 employed researchers.
It is in our public urban spaces that city life takes place, with all its financial and social transactions, movements and conflicts. And yet, “public space” does not exist as an academic subject in its own right, but only as a sub-section within a variety of disciplines, including environmental psychology, cultural geography, sociology, architecture, planning, urban economics, and so on. The Centre will compile knowledge from the disciplines that study these issues, with the aim of establishing an international research centre, and applying a holistic approach to define “public space” as an independent academic field of research.
The Centre was founded to promote sustainable urban development by changing the focus of urban discourse from object (architecture and infrastructure) to place (public spaces and human beings) in order to raise social, economic, cultural and architectonic standards in the field of urban planning and architecture.
The Centre’s activities are largely funded by the Axel and Margaret Ax:son Johnson Foundation.