The Heritage of Terrorist Attacks in Urban Public Space
Research Center Transformations of Political Violence

Project description

The research project “The Heritage of Terrorist Attacks in Urban Public Space” is part of the Research Center “Transformations of Political Violence” (TraCe funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF). TraCe is an interdisciplinary research network of five Hessian research institutions: the Peace Research Institute Frankfurt (PRIF), the Goethe University Frankfurt am Main, the Justus Liebig University Giessen, the Philipps University Marburg and the Technical University of Darmstadt. In the work package “Interpretation of Violence in the City” of the research network, participating researchers from the TU Darmstadt investigate cities as central spaces of the practice and interpretation of violence in order to explore the tense relationships between urban spaces and violence in the past and present.

The research project “The Heritage of Terrorist Attacks in Urban Public Space”, based at the Department of Urban Sociology and Sociology of Space, asks how crowded public spaces in cities change in the aftermath of vehicular terrorist attacks. Using qualitative methods such as interviews, mappings, and document analysis, the project investigates the impact of such terrorist attacks on urban spaces and their transformation in the cities of Berlin, Nice, and Barcelona. The project focuses on two aspects: First, it examines how the attacks are commemorated in these public spaces. It focuses on different forms of remembrance of terrorist violence. On the other hand, the project asks about the spatial changes of these urban places since the attacks, including various (material) security measures. Through these two foci, the project investigates the different interpretations of terrorist practices of violence through multiple contested material and immaterial ways of dealing with terrorist attacks both in and through urban spaces.

  • Urban Sociology
  • Sociology of Space
  • Sociology of Violence
since April 2022


  Name Working area(s) Contact
Prof. Dr. Sybille Frank
Urban Sociology and Sociology of Space
+49 6151/16-57381
S3|13 315
Academic staff
Jona Schwerer M.A.
Urban Sociology and Sociology of Space, Reaearch Center TraCe
+49 6151/16-57347
S3|13 309
Undergraduate assistant
Michèle Fernández Matthes B.A.
Urban Sociology and Sociology of Space, TraCe Centre