The 4CITIES Master’s Thesis

A unique piece of independent research that proves students have developed the skills and knowledge to do scientific research in the field of urban studies, the thesis consists of a well written text in English that has the potential to be published in an academic journal. Students will also demonstrate their speaking skills by defending their thesis during a public session. A thesis judged to be of very good or excellent quality is a strong indicator that the student is fit for an academic career as researcher. The thesis accounts for 30 ECTS out of the program total of 120 ECTS.

Students select their own topic of research, and should consider their personal interests, professional expectations, disciplinary background, and the capacity of 4CITIES staff to supervise a certain topic. The topic should be in the field of urban studies, and will ideally make use of a student’s previous disciplinary expertise while exploring new disciplinary grounds. The thesis should be a mix of theory and case-studies whereby students take full advantage of the European and comparative approach of the 4CITIES program. The thesis should consequently have a strong transnational and comparative angle.


Thesis Supervision

The thesis development process begins in Brussels with the selection of a topic and the pairing of students with supervisors. A series of workshops are held in Vienna, leading to the presentation of an elaborated thesis proposal. Another seminar takes place in Madrid before the beginning of the fourth semester. Along the way, various deliverables and feedback from your supervisor will keep you on track. And of course the entire teaching staff is open to speaking with you about your thesis. The final draft of your thesis is due in June, with a public defence to be held in Vienna in early July.


Theses from previous cohorts

The titles and authors of all 4CITIES theses successfully defended in 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 20162017, and 2018 are listed below. Those receiving an excellent mark (“A”) are highlighted in orange and available for download.


2018 – Cohort 09

Instagram in the city: (Post-)Tourism Condition in Madrid and Berlin
Zhanna Baimukhamedova

On symbolic meaning of built university infrastructure and its interpretations by different users
Anna Katharina Beyer

Plovdiv 2019 – Cultural Governance and the Local Scene
Antonia Sophie Bourjau

Memory of 2 Cities: Representation of Medellín & New York in urban narco dramas
Anthony Calderon

Cycling promotion in Post-socialist cities. A comparative study of practices of cycling promotion in Ljubljana and Budapest
Victor Chironda

Politics with Brick and Mortar: Nation-building through architecture in Post-socialist Budapest, viewed through a Post-colonial lens
Maitri Jagdish Dore

Community Development Finance in the US and UK: Financial Inclusion or Inclusive Growth?
Mandy Eidson

Spatialities of Prefigurative Initiatives in Madrid
Maria Luisa Escobar

Coexistence and encounters in the built environment: Practices and experiences of ’living together’ in two diverse neighborhoods of Marseille
Pascale Gagnon-Boucher

Digital democratic innovation in Reykjavik and Madrid: an exploration into the democratic design of online platforms in the context of the economic and political crisis
Katie Grigg

Accessing Housing: The strategies of Syrian refugees in Berlin
Charlotte Günther

Socio-spatial identity-construction amongst international school students. How do ‘Third Culture Kids’ relate to and live in the city around them? An ethnographic study of urban practices and preferences
Thomas Kaye

Powering Social Innovation through Community Energy Initiatives? Towards a Conceptual Framework
Stephen Kent

The Importance of Playing in the City. A Comparison of Children’s Playgrounds
Kim Wan Hee

Post-socialist strategic urban planning as the meeting point of traveling ideas and intertwined geographic imaginaries. The case of Sophia City
Radoslava Kuneva

Queer Space: Inclusive or exclusive? A comparative Study of Two Public Spaces in Tehran and Madrid
Maryam Lashkari

The Politics of Occupation in the Neoliberal City. Relationships between squatting movements and housing justice movements in London and Madrid
Rowan Milligan

Towards Skateboard Urbanism? Stories from Barcelona & Copenhagen
Julien Moliera

Scantiness in the Bus Rapid Transit Scheme in the European Context: Case Studies from Madrid and Leeds
Mashiat Murshida Binta Murtaza

The Spaces of the In-Between. Contested identities in the divided city of Mostar
Sara Ostojic

Displacement without placement. Street prostitution’s deracination from gentrifying neighborhoods
Adela Petrovic

Metro stations in mega cities. Socio-spatial analysis and the evolution of intra urban mobility hubs
Fausto Prezioso

Walking in the city: Self and spatiality in Copenhagen and Kathmandu
Pranaya Rana

Linking Gayatri Colony and Cañada-Sector 6. The Politics of Urban Citizenship in Informal Settlements of Delhi and Madrid
Daniel Rosenblum

Freegan practices for all: Towards institutionalisation, democratisation and appropriation. A comparative analysis of two anti- food waste initiatives in Copenhagen and Paris
Noémie Siefert

Discursive dread. Construction of urban fear and the ability of public spaces to mitigate it
Maciej Świderski

Local Habits and Global Resources: Reading the urban cultural economy through the Specialty Coffee industry in Madrid and Copenhagen
Fresia Vargas Chunga

Beyond Guggenheim Effect: A Social and Political Inquiry into Museum and City – The case of Migration in the City Museum Movement in Europe
Zhang Yiwu


2017 – Cohort 08

Geographies of Transnational Urban Black Consciousness Through Artists and Activists: Mapping Self-Directed Blackness in Vienna, Brussels, and Oakland
Teju Adisa-Farrar

Collectivizing Care at the Local Level: A Critical Perspective on the Changing Role of the Social Economy in Local Care Policy
Laura Baets

Gender and the City: Intersectionality and Gender Mainstreaming
Safaa Charafi

Between @SOSCarabanchel and #BerlinMemorial: Locating Urban Memory, Conflict, and Digital Space in Berlin & Madrid
Scott Durno-Couturier

Changing Informal Neighborhoods: Social Production of Space and Reterritorialization of the Poor
Tatiana Efremenko

The Financialization of Housing in Madrid & Kyiv
Pavlo Fedoriv

Comparing the Models of Metropolitan Governance: Analysis of Metropolitan Spatial Planning in Madrid and the Ballungsraum Frankfurt RheinMain
Andres Jurado Aguilar

Urban Regeneration and Conflict
Liubov Krutenko

Perceptions of Space in Community-Organized Public Places
Nejc Kugler

Security Theaters in Istanbul and Brussels: The Spectacle of Government Ideology
Damon Major

Towards Anti-Austerity Urbanism? Housing Policy in the Spanish “Ciudades del Cambio”
Laura Martinez Alonso

Assembling the Smart City: The Networks Behind the Narrative
Juan Sebastian Orozco

The Populist Performance of Urban Crisis: A Study of Populist Radical Right Leadership of Local Government in Austria & Italy
Fred Paxton

Architecture of Displacement: Cities of Refuge – Sanctuary or Ghetto?
Nazia Roushan

Between Chaos and Control: An Analysis of Two Spaces of Refugee Arrival Organized by Local Volunteers in Vienna & Brussels
Rivka Saltiel

The Right to Bike: Bicycle Related Autogestion – Transformative Potentials and Limitations of Post-Capitalist Prefiguration
Lukas Schaup

Rescaling Governance, Negotiating Spatiality, and Reframing Citizenship: The Cases of Amsterdam & Islamabad
Sundas Shahid

Livability – How and for Whom? Vienna and Copenhagen According to Monocle and Mercer
Karolina Skowronek

Changing Universities and Movements of Resistance
Yannick Sonne

Reconsidering Contemporary Welfare Regimes: Scalar Transformations in the Social Policies of Housing
Christophe Verrier

Digging in Kitsch Depths: Uncovering Urban Development Projects Skopje 2014 & Inverdan
Iris Verschuren

The Impact of Urban Commons on Social Cohesion in a Neighbourhood: Comparison Between Two Terrains Vagues Appropriated by Informal Actors in Paris & Madrid
Alexandre Wilmart

EU Transnational Cooperation Programmes: Multi-level Governance and Europeanization
Wenque Yu


2016 – Cohort 07

Gentrification and Fear: Transformation of Built Emotions?
Ogül Büber

Post-socialist City and the Grassroots: A comparative study of bottom-up initiatives reappropriating vacant spaces in Budapest and Prague
Eva Esnerova

Staging Urban Europe: Bodily, discursive and scalar politics of community theatre
Peter Gehlsøj

The institutionalisation of the dirt trail: User-driven urbanism in contested spaces
Kai Giersberg

Beyond Hollywood: urban networks in film industry
Dongxia He

Political space matters: On the importance of urban spaces for the political engagement of ordinary citizens
Viktor Hildebrandt & Predrag Milic

City marathons, street races and urban governance: Street running as a new urban experience
Balint Horvath

Blurred Spaces: Shifting Exteriors
Mulghalarra Khan

Postcolonial Properties: The Production of Space beyond Dependency and Globalization in Paramaribo, Suriname
Olivier Maene

Assembling the Smart City: The Networks Behind the Narrative
Juan Sebastián Orozco

Creative cluster effect: How far does it extend?
Victoria Remezkova

Urban enclosures under contemporary capitalism: An analysis of Business Improvement Districts in Hamburg and London
Harley Ronan

Copy-paste (bicycle) infrastructure: The possibility of contextless utopia?
Julie Schack

‘Ethnic landscape’ re-imagined: Imagineering diversity and neighborhood revitalization in Mjølnerparken, Copenhagen, and Rosengård, Malmö
Mariko Sugita

Reconsidering Contemporary Welfare Regimes: Scalar Transformations in the Social Policies of Housing in Vienna and Copenhagen
Christophe Verrier

The Re-birth of the Company Town: How corporations are reshaping life, work & play in the city
Razvan Zamfira & Matevz Straus

Shopping streets: Places of attachment or indifference?
Maryam Zarekeyvan


2015 – Cohort 06

Formalising the informal: Temporary use of vacant spaces
Lorena Felicia Axinte

Train station areas as new urban centralities
Veronica Conte

Another public space: A spatial analysis of migrant networks in public space
Hajra Cheema

Workers and their factories: resilient communities behind ruined localities
Sonja Dragovic

Habits in habitats: School architecture and teachers’ interactions with space in Manchester and Copenhagen
James Furlong

Commitment to pro-environmental behaviour among residents of sustainable neighbourhoods in Zaragoza and Freiburg im Breisgau
Pavel Gladkov

Density: Spatial patterns and perception
Balint Halasz

Location of social housing: Analyzing spatial patterns of social housing
Sandra Jurasszovich

Re-appropriating the city of crisis: Activism and participation in the governance of public space in Madrid and Berlin
Elina Kränzle

Tell me where you are and I will tell you who you are: Case of Muslims in Lavapiés Embajadores (Madrid) and Nørrebro (Copenhagen)
Alona Liasheva

International hub airports in Europe in the context of urban development of metropolitan capital regions: A comparative study of Copenhagen Airport Kastrup and Adolfo-Suarez Madrid Barajas Airport
Liubov Mikhailova

Barriers and opportunities of Muslim women in public spaces: Case studies of neighborhoods in Tehran and Madrid
Parissa Mokhtabad Amrei

Informal public transport: A practice of right to the city
Hala el Moussawi

Demotorisation and economic consumer culture: A contradiction in the post-modern city?
William Otchere-Darko

Local roots and transnational occupation: The potential of highly skilled return migrants to engage in new work in Budapest and Belgrade
Anja Petrovic

Urban green in European medium-sized urban areas: Analyzing the changes with a land system approach
Lucie Rosset

Spaces of interculturalism in inner-city neighborhoods: Comparative study of Nørrebro (Copenhagen) and Lavapiés (Madrid)
Ognjen Šobat

European spatial planning: From policy to project in Budapest and Vienna
Sune Wingaard Stoustrup

Tracing the democratic deficit: An Actor-Network Theory approach to urban governance networks in Madrid and Brussels
Guillén Torres

Norms in rehabilitation of port spaces into public spaces
Maëlys Waiengnier

Exploring solutions and alternatives to sprawl in two contexts: Belgium and Spain
Devon Willis


2014 – Cohort o5

The effects of architectural and planning features on sense of place as an additional explanatory factor for the process of neighbourhood marginalization
Alexander Akishin

Towards the panoptic city? The proliferation of video surveillance in Brussels and Copenhagen
Pauline De Keersmaecker & Corentin Debailleul

Bike-sharing and the promotion of urban sustainable mobility: A comparison of the political-aesthetic experiences provided by Vienna’s Citybike and Paris’ Vélib
Matthieu Floret

Housing affordability in metropolitan housing systems: The case for Brussels and Madrid
Axel Fontaine

Reality and myth of hybrid society: Diagnosing changes in behavior and urban perception in the age of geolocative media through the example of Foursquare
Daria Gilfanova

Radical planning in contexts of conflict
Anibal Hernández

Public life in mixed use developments: the postmodernist planning dream put to the test
Pepijn Kennis

Immigrants from the new EU member states: Policy reactions in Rotterdam and Vienna
Stijn Kox

The European fortress city: The socio-spatial exclusion of asylum seekers in Copenhagen, Berlin, and Madrid
Rene Kreichauf

Marketing the local: Using residence tips in destination marketing
John Mason

Provision and management of mixed tenure housing
Raphael Nagler

Reading an unordinary: A comparative study of two alternative communities in Copenhagen and Berlin
Yalda Pilehchian

Challenges to the sustainability of scaling local civic economies
Kätti Rob

Measuring social sustainability in the small-scale built environment
Louise Secher

Dura lex, sed lex: Insights from operating alternative live nightlife in Lille and Brussels
Maïna Thomas

A comparative study of the context and intentions behind the design of public space and the current spatial and visual realities in London’s South Bank and Copenhagen’s Harbourside
Kieran Toms

Built for sharing? The role of settlement attributes in the performance of carsharing stations
Peter Ulrich

Designing for safety: a comparative case study on design, safety and policy reactions in Patrimoniumshof in Rotterdam and Vincent Van Goghplein in Antwerp
Anne-Linde Van Gameren

Action and interaction in material participation: A redefinition of citizens, local governments, and mediating actors in democratic urban projects
Maud Willemen

The other dimension of living at the top: A study of contemporary residential and mixed-use towers in Brussels and Rotterdam
Hélène Ziane


2013 – Cohort 04

Between cry and demand: Class Composition and Housing Struggles in Vienna and Madrid
Jonas Aebi

Private use of public space: A comparative study in Madrid and Copenhagen
Guillermo Gonzalez Bernal

Spatial proximities and social distances in cases of vertical segregation: An evidence from Athens
Panagiotis Bourlessas

The resettlement of slum dwellers into social housing following forced eviction: A comparative analysis of cases in Istanbul and 4CITIES
Merve Cevik

The inception of planning: Encoding/decoding European UDPs
Julio Da Cruz Paulos

Crises without retail: A street level approach to a global system in Copenhagen & Dublin
Liam Duffy

A recommendation for a bicycle network in Berlin based on the guidelines of Copenhagen
Karen Etropolszky

The night to the city: Nighttime practices of socio-spatial exclusion in public spaces in Brussels and Madrid
Boris Feron

Spaces of creative autonomy? Artistic groups in contemporary urban social movements
Nina Fräser

Youth tourism in Madrid and Vienna: The lure of social media and the Internet in city marketing
Joshua Stuart Growney

Transforming urban space: Planning creative milieus with case studies from Barcelona and Vienna
Vanessa Hünnemeyer

Experiencing Libeskind’s museums: Copenhagen and Berlin
Mai Kjølsen

Order out of chaos: A comparative investigation into reappropriated indeterminate spaces in Brussels, Berlin & Madrid
Hanne Lahousse

Large train station areas in Europe as nodes and places: A comparative research of Aarhus Central Station (Aarhus, Denmark) and Austerlitz Station (Paris, France)
Louise Marzloff

Spectacular architectures versus urban conditions: Are Zaha Hadid’s architectures for Rome and Innsbruck contextual?
Clemens Nocker

Green growth networking: For urban policy learning?
Sandra Scheller

Sustainable neighbourhoods in Europe: Case studies from Malmö and Culemborg
Martin Sonck

The production of urban highways in the 21st century: Four European examples in a global context
Antoine Struelens

Transforming cities for sports mega-events: Another path to accumulation by dispossession?
Luanda Vannuchi

Compact utopias: Learning from past utopias for future eco-sustainable compact planning
Agata Walny

Social housing for the masses: Amsterdam and Vienna – The last ones standing?
Claudia Wilopo


2012 – Cohort 03

Squatters’ Movement and State: Changing Claims in Different Welfare Contexts
Ceren Akyos

Architecture on track: Station design and experience in the case of St. Pancras and Brussels Midi
Roderick Allen

Cycling urban material flows: using waste as resources – lessons from Brussels, Copenhagen, and Madrid
Aristide Athanassiadis

The urban grid: between symbolic and diabolic space
Marta Battistella

Waterways and humanity: Subjective research of urban redevelopment in Madrid and Roubaix
Elizabeth Dickman

Circular dormitories between city and private life: A comparative study of two iconic student halls in Copenhagen and Vienna
Rikke Gram Hansen

The Architecture (+art) of Signature Streets
Joshua Grigsby

Urban mega projects: Urban laboratories for new urbanity
Mohammed Hammash

Representation & perception of mapped space: The use of tourist maps in the imagining of the city
Charlotte Hofmann

Participatory budgeting and the right to the city
Wojciech Keblowski

From urban design to cultural heritage
Emilie Kleinzig

Post-Socialist or post-Fordist? The emergence of new patterns of socio-spatial polarisation in Berlin and Budapest
Bence Kovats

Power to the grassroots? A comparative study of community gardens in Madrid and Paris
Maëtte Lannuzel

Re-imaging of industrial cities: A comparative case study
Michael Luger

Social housing policy and its translation into practice: A comparative case study of public housing allocation in Helsinki
Pekka Marjamäki

Spaces for Consumption and Congregation: Topologies of Themed Consumption Spaces
Marko Marskamp

Urban carbon accounting and urban climate planning: hybridisations of nature, science, and politics
Morten Rishede Philipsen

The role of civil-organisations in the management of public parks
Constantin Scherer

Public space in motion: places of mobility as public spaces in the contemporary city
Gisèle Vervoort


2011 – Cohort 02

The role of community-based organisations in the field of socio-cultural integration: The cases of Brussels and Madrid
Aurélie Baudoux

Zinneke and Schwabenstreich: A performative approach to urban interventions
Claudia Bernhard

Unplugged City: Escaping from global networks and flows trap?
Gonzalo Cantos Mateos

Urban tourism and strategic planning: An integrated study of Alexandria and Barcelona
Muhammad el Daidamony

Railway Stations as New Spaces for Consumption
Zsuzsanna Fodroczi

The attraction of public parks in the post-modern city: An empirical study of Vienna’s Türkenschanzpark and Berlin’s Mauerpark
Corinna Friedrich

The Situationist city today: What elements of the Situationist city can be recognized in contemporary European metropolises and do these aspects bear in them potential for urban change?
Isis Frisch

Green corridors as a way to maintain and enhance urban biodiversity: how are they implemented in the field?
Nora Gosse

New developments in world heritage context: A contextual approach
Mohammed abu Hammad

Fear (less): A case study of high-rise housing estates in Vienna and Berlin
Jessica Kramer

European capital cities à la card: Selling the city via touristic city cards in Copenhagen, Madrid, and Berlin
Paula Mett

Nature and urban form: a comparative environmental history of the Hills in Perth, Western Australia, and Marka in Oslo, Norway
Christian Meyer

Re-thinking festivals: A comparative study of the integration/marginalization of art festivals in the urban regimes of Manchester, Copenhagen, and Vienna
Cecilie Sachs Olsen

Competitiveness VS. Social Balance: Gentrification as Urban Policy in Cases in Budapest and Vienna
Johannes Riegler

Spaces of Autonomy in Copenhagen and Madrid
Tina Steiger

Gentrification through market regeneration? An empirical study of Broadway Market in London and Brunnenmarkt in Vienna
Nicola Thomas

The social benefits of carfree living
Sabeth Todtli

Architecture of power in socio-spatial planning processes: the image of the network in relation to urban planning and politics
Sander Van Parijs

Urban agriculture in Copenhagen and Madrid: Practical applications and the effect of entrepreneurialism
Jacob Waltman

Crime, planning, safety: An inquiry into crime preventive physical planning in Oslo and Copenhagen
Kristoffer Westad

Architecture on display: An analysis of architecture exhibitions at the Venice Architecture Biennale 2010 – between art and urban experience
Christina Zaff Juhlin


2010 – Cohort 01

Smart UniverCities: Toward a revitalized town‐gown relationship in 4CITIES (Brussels, Vienna, Copenhagen, Madrid)
Cecilia Braun

The Slow City (Cittàslow) network: Decelerated cities in an accelerated world – between branding strategy and urban reality
Selina Buchka

Film and media clusters in European Cities: Case studies from Copenhagen, Vienna, and Madrid
Silvia Cazzetta

Adaptive reuse in Brussels and Copenhagen: The capacity of the existing building stock to meet new functional needs
Toon Dirckx

Children’s Participation in Urban Planning: A comparative study of Vienna, Copenhagen, and Madrid
Tabea Freutel

Emergence of European cross-border regions? Case of labour market integration in Copenhagen-Malmö and Vienna-Bratislava regions
Simonas Gentvilas

Belgrade and its Danube waterfront: advanced concepts and current realities
Masan Gosovic

Green roofs: sustainable answer for the future urban development?
Mariya Gyaurska

The media and the square: A Historical perspective on the mediatization of the public square
Markus Maicher

Factors influencing the development of the urban cycling: A case study of three European cities – Brussels, Copenhagen and Vienna
Jonathan Piraux

Urban energy in the framework of sustainable cities: An approach to the development of ‘smart grids’ in the cases of Spain and the Netherlands
Martina Steinkusz


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