Sonja Dragović, Podgorica
Sonja Dragović has an MSc in Urban Studies from the Université libre de Bruxelles (ULB). She is a PhD student at the University Institute of Lisbon (ISCTE-IUL). Her interests include analysing practices of urban activism and working with local communities towards improving participatory methods, public policies, and shared spaces. She has authored several papers, book chapters, research reports and policy proposals on these topics. She is a member of several activist and research collectives, which are based in Portugal and Montenegro and dedicated to studying the current approaches to policy and practice of urban development.
My work is based on a continuous inquiry into social and spatial manifestations of socioeconomic change. My research on urban issues has been motivated by an interest in ways to improve public policies through strengthening participatory approaches and promoting a broader understanding of the processes of spatial production. Over the last five years, by working with different teams and collectives from across Europe, I was able to focus on various aspects of urbanity and explore how economic and social policy influence spatial planning, urban mobility, public participation, and architectural heritage preservation. This gave me a chance to build upon my interdisciplinary education, to learn to understand many different languages used by different professionals and actors whose contributions (re)form the city, and to contribute as a researcher, author, collaborator, and organizer. I intend to continue exploring the interplay of bottom-up and top-down processes which shape the urban development policies and, through them, the future cities we will be imagining, building, and inhabiting while facing ever-growing economic and environmental constraints and challenges.