ISA World Congress of Sociology, Yokohama, Japan, July 2014

Research Committee on
Regional and Urban Development, RC21

RC21 main page

Program Theme: Unequal Urban Worlds

 

Program Coordinators

Number of allocated sessions including Business Meeting: 24.

The RC21 Programme Committee is seeking papers that address the following themes:

 

Planned sessions and dates/time subject to further changes

in alphabetical order:

 

Friday, July 18, 2014: 12:30 PM - 2:20 PM

Players and Arenas: Strategic Dynamics of Politics and Protest

Integrative Session: RC21 Regional and Urban Development, RC47 Social Classes and Social Movements and RC48 Social Movements, Collective Action and Social Change
Not open for submission of abstracts.

 

Tuesday, July 15, 2014: 07:30 PM - 08:50 PM

RC21 Business Meeting

Session Organizer


 

Thursday, July 17, 2014: 10:30 AM - 12:20 PM

RC21 Roundtable I. Theme IV.1 Identity, Justice and Resistances in the Neoliberal City

Session Organizers
Gulcin Erdi LELANDAIS, Université de Tours, France, gulcin.lelandais@univ-tours.fr
Yildirim SENTURK, Mimar Sinan Fine Arts University, Turkey, yildirimsenturk@gmail.com

Session in English

Researchers like Lefebvre (1974), Harvey (2009) and Soja (2010) focused on the link between space and neoliberalism and consider the current urban policies as the spatialisation of neoliberalism and the reproduction of social and spatial injustice. We define neoliberalism as policies seeking to entrench market forms of relations in everyday practices. Neoliberal policies lead to the predominance of competition as a way of managing urban and rural spaces and/or in contrast to principles of redistribution which were upheld in earlier eras, and to the transfer of many authorities, that were typically in the hands of the state, to accountable non-state and quasi-state bodies such as corporations and non-governmental organizations (Fawaz, 2009). In this sense, the neoliberal restructuring of the urban space raises some questions about the meaning, the production and the appropriation of the space by those who structure it and those who lived in it. Lefebvre argued that the production of space not only manifests various forms of injustice but also produces and reproduces them, thereby maintaining established relations of domination and oppression (Lefebvre, 1974).

However, even in an age of neoliberal dominance, cities remain crucially important arenas of struggles in the name of social justice, radical democracy, popular empowerment, and the politics of difference (Brenner, Theodore 2002). The demand for an urban life based upon grassroots democratic participation and the satisfaction of social needs rather than the imperatives of private profit continue to percolate in many cities despite the neoliberal assaults of the last few decades.

Our objective by this session is to show the way in which different forms of neoliberal practices reflect themselves in cities spatially and highlight the possible forms of resistance developing against them, ranging from social movements to everyday practices of ordinary people including living-wage campaigns, anti-workfare activism, new forms of community-labor organizations, gender practices and survival strategies of evicted people after regeneration projects. As the neoliberal practices aim to produce their own spatiality, they inevitably lead to new forms of resistance. An adequate account of current urbanization needs to analyse these processes together. We are expecting to have a discussion on different forms of individual or group expressions – not limited to social movements or public mobilisations – which could be considered as a resistance aiming to propose alternative ways of life and/or organization against the neoliberal development of the city.

 

Monday, July 14, 2014: 10:30 AM - 12:20 PM

Theme I.1 Beyond Dichotomization: Informality and the Challenges of Governance in Cities of the Global North and South. Part I

Session Organizers
Diane DAVIS, Harvard University, USA, ddavis@gsd.harvard.edu
Julie-Anne BOUDROU, INRS, Canada, Julie-Anne.Boudreau@ucs.inrs.ca

Session in English

In the context of a global economic recession affecting employment, public services, and livelihood in cities of the global north, itself built upon a decade or more of global economic restructuring characterised by a shift from manufacturing to services, questions are emerging about the extent of convergence in economic activities in cities of both the global north and south. Among such trends, the expansion of informal work as a means of coping with declining formal sector employment and the downsizing of the welfare state have generated considerable attention, primarily because such responses to scarcity have long been associated with the poorer economies of the global south. Such developments not only allow a questioning of the concept of modernisation and the assumed locations and forms in which it manifests; they also suggest a new empirical agenda focused on processes of informalization and their implications for labor organization, market regulation, the expansion of illicit economies, and local state capacities to establish social, spatial, political, and economic order. This panel seeks papers that examine these developments and their impact on the city as a privileged site from which larger societal orders emanate and through which new modernising processes and conflicts over them now manifest.

In this panel we are particularly interested in determining whether cities with more spatially, economically, and politically vibrant residues of informality – or “non-modern,” more “traditional” orders – (i.e. cities of the so-called developing world) are managing the transitional moment brought by intensifying urbanisation differently than those where a more modern, formal, and institutionalised political, economic, and spatial order has more fully absorbed city life (i.e. cities in Europe and North America). Our objective is to reflect on such dichotomous framing in novels ways. Yet in addition to our comparative aims, we also seek papers that examine the nature, degrees, and extent of informalization in individual cities, both north and south, as well as their implications for the production of social, spatial, and economic order or disorder.

 

Monday, July 14, 2014: 3:30 PM - 5:20 PM

Theme I.1 Beyond Dichotomization: Informality and the Challenges of Governance in Cities of the Global North and South. Part II

Session Organizers
Diane DAVIS, Harvard University, USA, ddavis@gsd.harvard.edu
Julie-Anne BOUDROU, INRS, Canada, Julie-Anne.Boudreau@ucs.inrs.ca

Session in English

 

Monday, July 14, 2014: 5:30 PM - 7:20 PM

Theme I.2 Tackling Inequality in Shrinking Cities: The Role of Governance and Civic Society

Session Organizers
Dieter RINK, Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research, Germany, dieter.rink@ufz.de
Annegret HAASE, Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research, Germany, annegret.haase@ufz.de

Session in English

Global change has come along with increasing inter-urban inequalities all over the world, due first and foremost to uneven economic development. Whereas prospering cities often represent growing cities, disinvestment is linked in most cases with shrinkage. Shrinking cities are, subsequently, often poor or impoverishing cities and have to cope with structural change, deindustrialisation, high unemployment rates and decreasing or weak social cohesion. At the same time, they are less attractive for new investment.

In addition, shrinking cities frequently struggle with stressed budgets due to a dwindling tax base. That’s why they have problems to cover the costs for maintenance of infrastructure and services, welfare measures and to maintain the quality of life for their residents. Shrinkage sets a major challenge for urban policymaking and governance. Decision-making has to follow new rules and to find appropriate arrangements. Despite many problems, there is also evidence of different successful ways of coping from many shrinking cities across the globe. Shrinkage also means a challenge for the affected urban societies. Civic actors are forced to become more active, i.e. to overtake municipal tasks or to get more involved in decision-making and planning.

Set against this background, the session asks how policymaking, governance and civil actors can appropriately cope with the impacts and challenges of shrinkage, how society can contribute to make cities more resilient and socially cohesive despite population loss and, not least, how shrinkage can be used to make cities more liveable. The proposed session deliberately wants to link the challenge of poverty and decline in shrinking cities with the perspective on resources, capacities and successful coping of urban actors to tackle shrinkage as a dimension of inter-urban inequality.

We invite papers from all over the world that look at shrinking cities from this perspective and provide either a conceptual or an empirical – if possible, comparative – contribution to answer the questions of the session.

 

Tuesday, July 15, 2014: 10:30 AM - 12:20 PM

Theme I.3 Public/Social Rental Housing and Urban Renewal: New Inequalities and Insecurities?

Session Organizers
Paul WATT, University of London, United Kingdom, p.watt@bbk.ac.uk
Peer SMETS, Free University Amsterdam, Netherlands, p.g.s.m.smets@vu.nl

Session in English

Contemporary neo-liberal renewal programmes typically involve demolishing those public/social rental housing estates that were built during the previous Keynesian Welfare State round of urban renewal. The dominant aim is to prevent ‘neighbourhood effects’ through social mixing and tenure diversification via the insertion of new private housing for sale or rent; new homeowners are said to act as ‘role models’ for existing social tenants. Many academic studies of social mixing/tenure diversification schemes have critiqued the claims being made, and have instead highlighted processes of state-led gentrification and the displacement of the urban poor to city peripheries and beyond thereby exacerbating inequality and insecurity.

This session welcomes papers that either offer a comparative approach or examine single-city case studies on this topic. Examples of questions that papers might consider include:

 

Friday, July 18, 2014: 08:30 AM - 10:20 AM

Theme I.4 Understanding Social and Physical Disorder in the Urban Metropolis

Session Organizers
Rebecca WICKES, University of Queensland, Australia, r.wickes@uq.edu.au
Lynda CHESHIRE, University of Queensland, Australia, l.cheshire@uq.edu.au

Session in English

Physical and social signs of disorder, such as the deterioration of the physical landscape and the display of anti-social behaviour, have long been seen as an urban affliction. ‘Crack-downs’ to combat disorder usually involve targeted interventions at specific neighbourhoods such as run-down housing estates; populations such as the homeless; or problems such as solicitation for prostitution. Yet recent scholarship suggests that disorder is not reducible to objective measurements of crime or social problems. While the presence of disorder can signal that an area is vulnerable, triggering the exodus of residents and businesses, in other neighbourhoods disorder can represent diversity and a cultural edginess. Thus ‘seeing’ disorder is bound up with biases and stereotypes associated with particular groups of people and particular types of places.

As a result, the ‘problem’ of disorder and associated interventions are unequally patterned, spatially and socially, and associated with low-income, ethnically diverse or disadvantaged areas where residents have limited resources to manage disorder or to resist attempts to discipline them through techniques of surveillance and control. For affluent groups, on the other hand, places of disorder are easily places to avoid, but also places to visit for the cosmopolitan encounters they offer.

In this session, we invite papers relating to disorder in the city. Broadly, papers will address the following question: what are the spatial and social dimensions and consequences of urban disorder and its effects and interventions? More specifically, papers may address any of the following issues:

 

Wednesday, July 16, 2014: 03:30 PM - 05:20 PM

Theme II.1 Cities and the Global Environment

Session Organizers
Louis GUAY, Université Laval, Canada, Louis.guay@soc.ulaval.ca
Pierre HAMEL, Université de Montréal, Canada, Pierre.hamel@umontreal.ca

Session in English

Cities and large cities in particular have always had their own environmental problems. For most of the last two centuries, they have faced them squarely and have been relatively successful in many cases. Urban environmental problems of the period were problems of a first modernity, to use Beck’s expression. But new ecological and global problems, such as climate change, biodiversity, water regimes, continuing urban land encroachment on wetlands, have come close to many, if not all, cities of the world. Problems and responses to them are very different depending on the geographical location, the level of development, and local and national political culture and institutions.

This session is devoted to ecological challenges of the second modernity. It aims at some (unavoidably selective) representation of large cities’ ecological problems and actions, collective, private or otherwise, and their ways and means to face them and devise socially constructed responses to them. Climate change, biodiversity decline, water regime change are targeted as relevant global ecological problems. Each global problem can be studied on its own, but presentations that analyse joint problems (for instance climate change and water regimes, or biodiversity and climate change) are much welcomed. Participants are asked to present case studies in which relevant actors and institutions are identified, problems are framed, and actions develop in a mesh of interactions and negotiations among a variety of social actors and institutions. Presentations are expected to provide some theoretical context or general lessons from the case(s) studied.

 

Wednesday, July 16, 2014: 05:30 PM - 07:20 PM

Theme II.2 Sustainable Cities and Social Justice

Session Organizers
Michael JONAS, Institute for Advanced Studies, Austria, jonas@ihs.ac.at
Andrea GLAUSER, HWZ University of Applied Sciences in Business Administration, Switzerland, andrea.glauser@fh-hwz.ch

Session in English

In recent years, catchwords such as “sustainable cities” and “sustainable urban development” have gained increasing attention in urban policy debates. As several empirical studies have demonstrated, this is not only the case in so-called industrial societies of the North but also in cities of the Southern hemisphere. Following David Harvey’s statement that the debates about sustainable development should primarily be understood as processes preserving an existing social order rather than as attempts to preserve nature per se (Harvey 1996), this session critically explores how this globally diffused idea of the “sustainable city” is related to social justice and the (re)production of inequalities. Papers are invited which investigate conceptions of social justice involved in the semantics and policies of sustainability and which discuss whether and how the concept of sustainability is linked to neoliberal principles (Banerjee 2003).

We are particularly interested in papers that address the following questions:

 

Saturday, July 19, 2014: 08:30 AM - 10:20 AM

Theme II.3 Social Changes and Urbanization in China

Session Organizers
Zhu DI, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, China, zhudisoc@163.com
Chen GUANGJIN, Chinese Academy of Social Science, China, chengj@cass.org.cn
Chen LIXING, Kwansei Gakuin University, Japan, chenlixing@kwansei.ac.jp

Session in English

The session focuses on the social changes of China brought by the economic system reforms and the global economic recession/downturn, as well as the mechanisms and the impact of the rapid proceeding urbanization. The reforms and especially urbanization have brought about economic booms in the past decades. However, social inequalities and social segregations, in particular between urban and rural regions and between different socio-economic groups, have become more significant and even begun to hinder the country from sustainable development.

This session, set against this background, is concerned with issues like: The session provides a good opportunity to understand and rethink the tremendous social changes in transitional societies like China and also to enhance the understanding of the mechanisms of social inequality with a comparative and generational perspective.

This session is jointly organized by two outstanding sociologists in the research field of social development and social changes in China. By virtue of their network in China and Japan, this session intends to bring together sociologists from the two countries (researchers from other countries are also welcome) who work in this field and to enhance further communication and cooperation between them. Papers can be empirical or theoretical and may come from a broad range of social/urban development and social change studies, including (but not limited to) social inequalities, social segregations, urbanization, migrants, consumption patterns and social identity in the process of industrialization, marketization and urbanization. Both established and early career researchers are welcome.

 

Friday, July 18, 2014: 03:30 PM - 05:20 PM

Theme II.4 Tokyo and Japanese Cities

Session Organizer
Asato SAITO, Yokohama National University, Japan, asatosaito@ac.auone-net.jp

Session in English

Not open for submission of abstracts.
The session will address various aspects of urban and regional policies in Japan that developed after the world financial/fiscal crisis in 2008. These include but are not limited to such issues as state rescaling, re-concentration of a few metropolitan regions, and new forms of uneven development and social exclusion. The session will discuss them in relation to the political economy framework of developmental/post-developmental state, and examine them in geo-historical context of East Asia.

 

Thursday, July 17, 2014: 08:30 AM - 10:20 AM

Theme III.1 Homelessness amid the Global Economic Crisis: Interrogating Structural Inequality in Contemporary Cities from the Ground Up

Session Organizers
Keiko YAMAGUCHI, Tokyo Gakugei University, Japan, ykeiko@u-gakugei.ac.jp
Matthew D. MARR, Florida International University, USA, mmarr@fiu.edu

Session in English

As economic globalization and neoliberalism have spread since the 1970s, mass homelessness has become entrenched in major cities across the world. More recently, amid economic stagnation since the global fiscal crisis began in 2008, poverty has surged in these cities and new policy responses to homelessness have emerged.

This session aims to explore how these recent trends have impacted various aspects of homelessness, from survival strategies amid homelessness to how homelessness reflects the structure of contemporary cities. Ultimately, people having to endure homelessness in cities that contain considerable wealth is the result of an interaction of employment, welfare, and housing policies; systems of relief organizations; and management of urban space. Here, the nature of a city’s politics, economy, lifestyle, and sympathy are reflected. The purpose of this session is to combine micro approaches that look at the lives of people experiencing homelessness with critical interrogations of the nature of contemporary cities. We welcome papers that use in-depth fieldwork on homelessness in cities in diverse contexts to explore the issues outlined above.

 

Saturday, July 19, 2014: 10:30 AM - 12:20 PM

Theme III.2 Migrant Communities and the Host Practices

Session Organizer
K.C. HO, National University of Singapore, Singapore, sochokc@nus.edu.sg

Session in English

Under the progress of globalisation, international migration has assumed greater significance than ever before and thus residents’ backgrounds in every major metropolitan area have become more and more diverse. Contemporary international migration is complex with various residential statuses. Examples of different international human movements include immigrants as permanent settlers, long and short-term residents from foreign lands; such as those who immigrate into another country or stay for an extended period of overseas assignments, tourists and the like. Large cities attract foreign residents due to the development of the services industries, business networks, existence of ethnic communities, and even advanced educational institutions. However, other types of cities (“ordinary cities”, smaller cities, port cities, etc) may have migratory flows and settlements which create unique problems and/or interesting insights.

This panel examines migrant livelihoods in the light of regulatory policies that shape their work and residence. The different regulatory practices by state and non-state actors towards different types of migrants and their adaptive responses define their insertions into the built environment. We encourage submissions which explore the following themes:

 

Saturday, July 19, 2014: 08:30 AM - 10:20 AM

Theme III.3 Disasters, Risks and Civil Society: A Comparative View of Urban Resilience Strategies

Session Organizers
Kaoru ENDO, Gakushuin University, Japan, kaoru.endo@gakushuin.ac.jp
Hideo NAKAZAWA, Chuo University, Japan, nakazawa@tamacc.chuo-u.ac.jp

Session in English

Our globe is witnessing unprecedented natural disasters (floods,hurricanes, tsunamis), pandemics, and other human-made disasters in the age of reflexive modernity. Apparently various risks became normally embedded in our daily life, as Ulrich Beck predicted in 1986. Risk prevention/precaution or disaster management is an urgent issue for policy makers, organizational managers, and for citizens and communities. This session deals with the way disasters and risks are addressed in urban areas disentangling the role different regulatory levels play (local, national, supranational,..). In particular, it considers social resilience strategies in cities, referring to civil society activities, to the role of science and media and to the different policy orientations. Reference to recent disasters (e.g. Great East Japan Earthquake, Katrina, Sandy, …) is envisaged.

This session aims at comparing and integrating knowledge, logics,skills/techniques to handle these disasters/risks in urban areas. It also aims at discussing and theorizing the social/political structure behind the disaster, and the relief actions by civil society and communities, and the implication they might have. More specifically we shall try to theorize how disasters challenge social/communal resilience. The potential topics papers might address in this session include: various aspects of risk society, infrastructure, disrupted cities, (global/local) civic cooperation aftermath/to prevent disasters, (global/local) solidarity against risks/disasters, policies for resilience building.

 

Friday, July 18, 2014: 10:30 AM - 12:20 PM

Theme IV.2 New Urban Protest Cultures in the Era of Digital Social Networks

Session Organizers
Martina LOW, Technical University Darmstadt, Germany, loew@stadtforschung.tu-darmstadt.de
Peter NOLLER, Technical University Darmstadt, Germany, noller@stadtforschung.tu-darmstadt.de

Session in English

The past few years have seen an increase in many novel forms of urban protest cultures worldwide making use of new digital communication technologies. Prominent examples are the protests in the so-called ‘Arab Spring’ cities and also the Occupy [Wall Street] and Right to the City movements, which had been organised on a global scale through the Internet and through social media networks such as Twitter, Facebook and other digital media. The use and adoption of mobile communication technologies entails the production of new space: along with the occupation of places, this production includes also mass gatherings and the temporary assembly of crowds in public city spaces that are, for the most part, (self-)organised by mobile phone users via text messaging, chat rooms and forums.

Around the world and particularly in big cities, protests against Unequal Urban Worlds are taking the form of flash mobs (as happenings), smart mobs (setting political objectives) or carrot mobs (addressing environmental problems and consumer interests). The sudden stir and attention thus generated in a public location transforms the city into a stage for political campaigns and creative happenings of various kinds, allowing the appropriation of local public spaces. Events organised via telecommunications and social media help to raise awareness of local or global Unequal Urban Worlds issues on the spot through the “power of the mobile many” (Howard Rheingold). At the same time, new forms of collaboration and cooperation are emerging, producing new urban practices and social networks.

The session comprises the presentation of papers which, methodologically or content-wise, relate to the development of new urban cultures of protest, to their global or local forms of networking as well as to processes of communitisation as a function of specific forms of ‘staging’ space and technology.

 

Tuesday, July 15, 2014: 03:30 PM - 05:20 PM

Theme IV.3 Creative Activism in Times of Urban Renaissance and Social Exclusion – Space Sensitive Approaches to the Study of Collective Action and Belonging

Session Organizer
Eva YOUKHANA, University of Bonn, Germany, Eva.youkhana@uni-bonn.de

Session in English

Creative activism is increasingly used as an instrument to collectively re-appropriate the urban space and thus articulate urban belonging and citizenship from below. Metropolises worldwide, seen as spatiotemporal configurations, experience politics of place that stimulate capitalist appropriation, private investment and public control that emerge from the different urban forms. In return, individuals and groups of different origin use the public space as a laboratory for resistance, creative acts, and as a medium for communication. As such, creative activism is a strategy for those who are widely excluded from social, political, cultural and economic participation. Collectives are built through joint actions and experiences that are translated into the production of situated forms of urban belonging.

By integrating the concept of space and a materialist perspective to the analysis of collective action and belonging, the session invites social and cultural scientist, geographers and urban planners to explore different expressions of creative resistance, in order to discuss at the example of different cities how cultural practices of the subaltern either balance unequal power and tenure relations and may transform into inclusive urban governance or is again tempered in the context of dominant revanchist and market oriented urban politics.

Abstracts should touch upon the following questions:

 

Saturday, July 19, 2014: 10:30 AM - 12:20 PM

Theme V.1 Informality and Spatial Confinement across the Global Order: Everyday and Policy Perspectives

Session Organizers
Silvia PASQUETTI, University of Cambridge, United Kingdom, sp638@cam.ac.uk
Giovanni PICKER, Higher School of Economics, Russia, gpicker@hse.ru

Session in English

At the turn of the twenty-first century, informality and confinement are perhaps the most striking features of the everyday lives of the urban poor across the globe. On the one hand, scholars such as Asef Bayat and Abdul Maliq Simone have argued that, under conditions of global neoliberalism, informality has become “a way of life” for the urban poor especially but not only in the Global South. On the other hand, however, the state infrastructural power over dispossessed populations has not disappeared and state and international bureaucracies increasingly relied on devices of spatial confinement to manage dispossessed people within or at the outskirts of cities in both the Global North and the Global South.

This stream/session proposal aims to explore the interplay between informality and confinement at both the macrolevel of neoliberal processes, modern bureaucracies, and forms of control and the microlevel of everyday emotions, moralities, and practices.

We seek papers that will help us bring informality and confinement within the same analytic framework thus allowing a better understanding of how these two features of life at the urban margins – in their spatial logics and effects – interact with one another in the policy arena as well as on the ground. Specifically, we seek papers that study dwelling and employment practices among urban populations who experience spatial confinement, as well as papers that explore the ways through which state and international bureaucracies manage – allow, contain, or suppress – these practices. Our goal is to generate scholarly debates on the interactions between informality and confinement in everyday life and in the policy arena: How and to what extent informal practices belong to ruling agencies and to the experience of people inhabiting spaces of confinement such as refugee camps, camps or villages for “Roma”/Travellers, centers for undocumented migrants, squatter settlements, and ghettos? Under what conditions and through which ways do state and other ruling agencies accept, reward, suppress, and punish informal practices from below?

 

Saturday, July 19, 2014: 10:30 AM - 12:20 PM

Theme V.2 Navigating and Understanding Vernacular Landscapes in Global Cities: Everyday Practices, Commodification and Contestation

Session Organizer
Heide IMAI, Hosei University Tokyo, Japan, heide.imai@gmx.net

Session in English

In most cities, public bodies are concerned with social, economic, cultural and political integration of marginal urban areas. One of the main strategies to achieve this purpose is to consider culture as one of the main engines of great urban transformations to support the realization of different scale urban renewal projects. As these occur in form of new urban entertainment, economic and cultural clusters in both central and marginal urban areas, a re-evaluation of cities cultural heritage and vernacular landscape is necessary. One of the reason is that in the context of radical urban transformation, new urban inequalities emerge which have to be approached and studied making use of methodological innovation.

This session will focus on the urbanity and everyday practices of in/exclusion of vernacular urban places that are especially the subject of effects of globalization and rising inequalities. The session invites papers which are interested in better understanding the following three issues from an empirical viewpoint and making use of innovative methodologies. As a first issue, this session is aiming to understand everyday practices of in/exclusion and the changing role of the everyday dwellers. Secondly, the panel aims to reflect critically on the commodification of the vernacular urban places to understand how the branding of cultural heritage is affecting everyday practices, existing inequalities and the urban identity of each dweller. Finally, different forms of contestations are discussed, as different people consider different vernacular urban places to be worthy of a meaningful place in the fast transforming city. Similar issues or a combination of the suggested themes are welcome.

 

Friday, July 18, 2014: 05:30 PM - 07:20 PM

Theme V.3 Ambiguous Spaces: Moving beyond Dichotomies of Public Space

Session Organizers
Anna STEIGEMANN, Center for Metropolitan Studies Berlin, Germany, anna.steigemann@metropolitanstudies.de
Christian HAID, Center for Metropolitan Studies Berlin, Germany, christian.haid@metropolitanstudies.de
Annika LEVELS, Center for Metropolitan Studies Berlin, Germany, annika.levels@metropolitanstudies.de

Session in English

“[W]hatever the deadening weight of heightened representations and control over public space, spontaneous and organized political response always carries within it the capability of remaking and retaking public space and the public sphere.” (Low & Smith 2006)

In recent decades, public space – the heart of urbanity – has undergone tremendous transformations in cities worldwide. Especially after 9/11, public places have experienced massive restructuring processes through rising regulation, surveillance, control and other exclusionary practices not only in Northern American cities. Simultaneously, increased privatization has undermined accessibility, diversity of use, multifunctionality and freedom of choice in many places and has thereby contributed to a general de-democratization of public space.

Many scholars have thus painted a dark picture regarding the state of public space. Authors such as Mike Davis, Richard Sennett, and Michael Sorkin formulated the now-classic proclamation of the decline, erosion, end or death of public space. At the same time, both scholars and municipal actors speak of the “re-vitalization” or the “re-appropriation” of public space, thereby directly challenging the prevalent discussion. Moreover, different urban actors undertake a multitude of alternative strategies to remake, to reclaim and even to hijack public space, therewith trying to develop extraordinary but also everyday practices of inclusion. Temporary use planning (Zwischennutzungen), squatting, urban gardening, guerilla strategies, ad hoc events, and critical mass events – such practices exemplify some of the many new ways of negotiating and appropriating public space.

In this panel we would like to stress the ambiguity of public space both within the urban studies literature as well as concerning the recent transformations in urban public spaces. Fixed binary characterizations, such as tightness/looseness, chaos/order, exclusion/inclusion, public/private, rise/decline, democratic/non-democratic, urban/suburban, Western/Non-Western are still prevailing within various conceptualizations of public space. However, we welcome contributions that go beyond these either/or avenues. Hence, we are looking forward to papers that develop interdisciplinary and comparative perspectives that incorporate the interwoven dynamics between these binaries and, thus, address the fluid and contingent characteristics of public space and its role for negotiating social inequality.

 

Thursday, July 17, 2014: 10:30 AM - 12:20 PM

Theme V.4 The Street and the Urban Public Sphere: Diversity, Difference, Inequality

Session Organizers
Sharon ZUKIN, Brooklyn College, USA, szukin@gc.cuny.edu
Xiangming CHEN, Trinity College, USA, xiangming.chen@trincoll.edu

Session in English

In the light of intense rural-urban and transnational migration, urban researchers are beginning to look at micro-publics that form in everyday public spaces of the city in order to evaluate processes of social integration that vary from violent hostility to co-presence, tolerance, and citizenship. As a basic microcosm of the built environment as well as a social and cultural construction, "the street" is a suggestive space of both representation and action for individuals as well as groups. But different kinds of streets may be used in different ways by the same groups, or they may be monopolized by groups that create clusters that govern who "belongs" in that space and who does not. The street is a mechanism of social reproduction, yet it may foster –and even instigate – very different kinds of behaviour, public policy, and images of urban life.

We are looking for papers that examine the social production of the urban public sphere on specific streets in a comparative framework. Papers should offer empirical research on such issues as citizenship, migration, and displacement on specific streets, especially if the research sites are in two or more cities in different national societies or in different regions of the world.

 

Thursday, July 17, 2014: 10:30 AM - 12:20 PM

Theme VI.1 Actor-Network-Theory and Urban Studies

Session Organizers
Dominique BOULLIER, Sciences Po, France, dominique.boullier@sciences-po.fr
Bart WISSINK, City University of Hong Kong, China, bartwissink@me.com

Session in English

Over the last decade, Actor-Network-Theory (ANT) has emerged as a new perspective within urban studies. This has resulted in case studies that employ ANT in specific cities, pieces of general urban theory and methodology that trace the implications of ANT for urban research, and a first edited volume. Some studies stay close to the field of science and technology studies – the home ground of ANT – but others engage in a more general analysis of urban controversies and urban development. While ANT encapsulates political and philosophical backgrounds on modernism that challenge usual assumptions about urban planning and public participation, these consequences are not yet clearly drawn out.

Against the background of this diverse and growing field, this session aims to bring together urban researchers that engage with ANT, and stimulate a discussion on the potential contribution of ANT to urban studies. It especially focuses on the following questions: Which questions does ANT help to answer? How should we conduct ANT analyses in the urban studies context? How do analyses that employ ANT in urban studies differ from alternative perspectives? Which promise does ANT hold for the future of urban studies? What are the limitations of ANT?

We are inviting papers that engage with these questions, on the basis of stories, cases studies, and personal experiences with ANT research, as we believe that ANT must be discussed as research in the making, grounded in active fieldwork. Possible themes include: Papers that link up to the conference topic – inequality and spatial justice – will receive special attention.

 

Thursday, July 17, 2014: 03:30 PM - 05:20 PM

Theme VI.2 Urban Studies and the Challenge of Travelling Concepts and Comparative Methods

Session Organizers
Yuri KAZEPOV, University of Urbino, Italy, yuri.kazepov@uniurb.it
Asato SAITO, Yokohama National University, asatosaito@ac.auone-net.jp
Takashi MACHIMURA, Hitotsubashi University, Japan, pdc01117@nifty.ne.jp

Session in English

Most urban theories originate in the efforts to understand a specific urban locale. The experiences of English cities during the industrial revolution, of German cities at the start of the twentieth century, or Chicago a little later, or Los Angeles more recently, become the basis of "theories" that are then applied elsewhere, and which are sometimes accorded a quasi-universal status.

Theories travel uneasily, however: whilst theories sometimes illuminate and reveal, they sometimes distract and obscure. This has become more striking at the end of the twentieth century and beginning of the twenty-first, as cities across the global South have grown not only at extraordinary speed but also in ways and directions that differ in many respects from their antecedents in the global North.

Whilst urban sociologists collectively now use a wider range of methods than ever before, not all methods are used equally in all parts of the world. Quantitative data is much more readily available in cities across the global North than in the cities of the global South. But are all methods equally valuable in different urban settings? Are some cities more usefully studied with one or other method than others?

We welcome contributions that critically examine how theories travel around the world, how methods can be applied in diverse settings, and how the experiences and characters of diverse cities across the world can be harnessed in comparative or even global analyses.

 

Thursday, July 17, 2014: 05:30 PM - 07:20 PM

Theme VI.3 International Journal of Urban and Regional Research Lecture: The Rent Question, Anne HAILA, Helsinki University, Finland

Session Organizer
Yuri KAZEPOV, University of Urbino, Italy, yuri.kazepov@uniurb.it

Session in English

Not open for submission of abstracts.
At the time when everything from knowledge to body parts is for sale, claims upon future land rent are affecting the destinies of cities.

Securitization of municipal land assets is ruining European cities, collective landownership is traded for urban citizenship in China, and the cunning use of government land has enabled Singapore to solve the housing question and made it the world wealth management center. In my lecture, I will use the theory of land rent to unravel contemporary questions involving urban land. The cases of municipal landownership and the question of the value of public land, collective landownership and the question of compensations for land acquisitions, and state landownership and the question of redevelopment will be explored using the traditional concepts of differential, absolute and monopoly rent, supplemented with new concepts of fiscal, global and derivative rent more appropriate to competing, global and financial phase of capitalism.

 

Saturday, July 19, 2014: 02:30 PM - 04:20 PM

Urban Challenges

Session Organizer
Yuri KAZEPOV, University of Urbino, Italy, yuri.kazepov@uniurb.it

Session in English

 

Joint Sessions

Click on the session title to read its description and the scheduled day/time.

Cities and the Global Environmental Change

Joint session of RC21 Regional and Urban Development and RC24 Environment and Society [host committee]

 

RC21RC43 Roundtable IIA. Unequal Cities and the Political Economy of Housing. Part III

Joint session of RC21 Regional and Urban Development and RC43 Housing and Built Environment [host committee]

 

RC21RC43 Roundtable IIB. Unequal Cities and the Political Economy of Housing. Part II

Joint session of RC21 Regional and Urban Development and RC43 Housing and Built Environment [host committee]

 

Too Much and Too Little: Urban Landscapes of Homelessness and Gentrification

Joint session of RC21 Regional and Urban Development and WG03 Visual Sociology [host committee]

 

Unequal Cities and the Political Economy of Housing. Part I

Joint session of RC21 Regional and Urban Development and RC43 Housing and Built Environment [host committee]

 

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International Sociological Association
March 2014