Picture: © Marc Volk

Jona Schwerer M.A.

Research assistant I PhD student

Working area(s)

Urban and Spatial Sociology , Reaearch Center TraCe


work +49 6151/16-57347

Work S3|13 309
Residenzschloss 1
64283 Darmstadt

  • Urban Research
  • Sociology of Space
  • Urban Violence
  • Heritage Studies

The publicness of spaces – On the social construction of public spaces.

(Working Title)

The dissertation project deals with a main research topic and term of urban sociology – public space. To that end, two considerations serve as starting points for the research.

Firstly, various diagnoses state a transformation of public space and its relationship to private space. These studies indicate, on the one hand, that the relationship between public and private spaces is becoming increasingly ambiguous and, on the other, that different public and private spatial logics overlap. The dissertation aims to argue that, through an understanding of public space in accordance with a sociology of space (cf. Löw 2001), the overlapping and simultaneity of different constructions of space as public and the related negotiations between these constructions of space could be better examined.

Secondly, public space, despite the spatial turn in social sciences (and other disciplines), is often portrayed as a given in literature; for example, in the form of streets or urban parks. Consequently, various analytical dimensions – public spaces as social constructions of space as public, different subjective notions of what constitutes the publicness of spaces as well as the related contested social negotiations – remain underexposed and therewith underexplored.

The dissertation project thus aims to further develop the understanding of public spaces by means of a relational understanding of space as a social process (cf. Löw 2001), in order to investigate how spaces are constructed as public spaces by different social actors. Further, it will be discussed what insights such a concept could, by and large, provide for the analysis of the relationship between public and private spaces.

Professional Experience
since 11/2022 Research assistant at the Department of Urban Sociology and Sociology of Space, TU Darmstadt in the Research Center „Transformations of Political Violence“ (TraCe)
since 05/2022 Associate Member of the CRC 1265 Re-Figuration of Spaces
2018 – 2022 Research assistant at the CRC 1265 Re-Figuration of Spaces | Subproject A02: Education: The Spatial Knowledge of Children and Young Adults and its Application in Planning Contexts
2010 – 2016 Student assistant at the Department of Methods of Empirical Social Research (Prof. Dr. Nina Baur) of the Institute of Sociology, TU Berlin
Academic Education
2012 – 2017 Master of Arts Sociology and Technology Studies, TU Berlin
2009 – 2013 Bachelor of Arts Sociology and Technology Studies, TU Berlin
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2023 The Heritage of Terrorist Attacks in Urban Public Space | Städte und Regionen im sozialen Wandel.
Räumliche Muster, Ursachen und Folgen von Fragmentierung und Zusammenhalt. Herbsttagung der Sektion Stadt- und Regionalsoziologie in der DGS. Bauhaus Universität Weimar; 26./27.10.2023
(together with Prof. Dr. Sybille Frank).
Space, Public Space, and Public-ness as a Quality of Space | Joint workshop with the research groups
Practising Place & Re-Figuration of Spaces; KU Eichstätt; 12./13.10.2023.
Städtischer Raum als Medium und Ziel politischer Gewalt | Stadt, Konflikt und politische Gewalt.
Workshop at IKG, Universität Bielefeld; 18.09.2023 (together with Prof. Dr. Sybille Frank).
Public space in urban research: an ambivalent and heterogeneous quality of space | Quality of Space. Different Meanings – Conflicts and Solidarity. Workshop organized by the CRC 1265 Refiguration of Spaces & Department of Social and Economical Science, University of Rome „Sapienza“; TU Berlin, 25./26.5.2023.
2022 Von der Vielgestaltigkeit des öffentlichen Raums zum Öffentlichen städtischer Räume | 41. Kongress der Deutschen Gesellschaft für Soziologie; Universität Bielefeld, 27.09.2022
2019 The evolving spatial knowledge of children: Picturing a spatial phenomenon through a meta-analytical lens | 6th International Conference on the Geographies of Children, Youth and Families; Universität Campinas, Brasilien, 23.05.2019 (with Ignacio Castillo Ulloa and Angela Million)
„I Spy With My Little Eye…”: Children’s Appropriation and Re-Figuration of Public Space in Defiance of its intended Use | Re-Figuration of Spaces: Mediatization, Mobility, Globalization and Social Dislocation. First International Conference of the SFB 1265; TU Berlin, 21.02.2019 (with Ignacio Castillo Ulloa, Juliane Heinrich and Angela Million)
2017 Negotiating German colonial heritage in Berlin’s Afrikanisches Viertel | Simulizi Mijini/ Urban heritage activism, TU Berlin, 16.03.2017 (with Susanne Förster and Georg Krajewsky)
Deutsche Gesellschaft für Soziologie (DGS)
Section Stadt- und Regionalsoziologie