A homogeneous space G/H is called a reductive symmetric space if G is a (real) reductive Lie group, and H is a symmetric subgroup of G, meaning that H is the subgroup fixed by some involution on G. The representation theory on reductive symmetric spaces was studied in depth in the 1990s by Erik van den Ban, Patrick Delorme, and Henrik Schlichtkrull, among many others. In particular, they obtained the Plancherel formula for the L^2 space of G/H. An important aspect is that this generalizes the group case, obtained by Harish-Chandra, which corresponds to the case when G = G' x G' and H is the diagonal subgroup.
In our collaborative efforts with A. Afgoustidis, N. Higson, P. Hochs, Y. Song, we are studying this subject from the perspective of noncommutative geometry. I will describe this exciting new development, with a particular emphasis on describing what is new and how this is different from the traditional group case, i.e. the reduced group C*-algebra of G.