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Call for participants: Lisbon Early-Career Workshop in Urban Studies “Social Mobilisations and Planning through Crises”

Call for participants: Lisbon Early-Career Workshop in Urban Studies “Social Mobilisations and Planning through Crises” image

The Urban Transitions Hub will host the second edition of the Lisbon Early-Career Workshop in Urban Studies in presence from the 23rd to the 25th of November 2022 with support of the AESOP Young Academics Network. Circa 40 PhD students and early-career scholars will have the opportunity to present and discuss their research projects and/or findings during a 3-days event organised as a space of exchange, debate and learning.

Conference fees: Regular: 150 EUR; PhD-student: 120 EUR.

Deadline for abstract submission (max. 500 words + short letter of motivation to be sent to luisa.rossini@ics.ulisboa.pt): 30th of May 2022
- Selection of abstracts: 10th of July 2022
- Submission of long abstract / articles: 10th of October 2022

Social Mobilisations and Planning through Crises

This umpteenth crisis brought by the Covid 19, has made more visible the many contradictions of the neoliberal system as well as the bidirectional relationship between urban planning and the crisis.

Many of the justifications used and actions developed by decision-makers have confirmed the neoliberal restructuring as the underlying logic of the urban agenda and planning culture. Pressure on local policies has often been reduced to the call for more economic growth based on the attraction of national and international investors, economic elites and tourism, as city budgets have been contracting and cities have made themselves increasingly dependent on financial markets. Neoliberal urbanism and austerity have contributed to the presence of multiple ongoing crises that are deeply interlocked with global processes of financial accumulation, dispossession and extraction of collective and natural resources, spatial transformation and social reproduction. At the same time, the articulation of multiple crises has been used as a justification to maintain the status quo. For instance, strategies aimed at reducing budget deficits and spending cuts (Donald et al. 2014) imposed by international authorities over national and local governments, mainly after the 2007 global crisis, have never been substantially reversed. The dramatic shrinking of public assets and the privatisation and dismantling of welfare programmes are today one of the major causes of the spread incapacity to provide public alternatives in several policy domains. Likewise, social polarization has been radicalized during the pandemic due to the side-effects of the lock downs and associated restrictions. Socio-spatial inequalities further indicate that the supply-side of the economy is not independent of the demand-side, and rather show the downturn in the dismantling of aggregate demand imposed by the neoliberal doctrines (e.g. assaults on organized labour, the shrinking and/or privatization of public services, the dismantling of welfare programmes, the criminalization of the urban poor and more).

Recurring cycles of systemic crisis have hit societies and economies of many countries, thus, increasing social polarization and impoverishment of territories at the back of increasing conflicts in multiple and interconnected fields (e.g. extractivism and climate change, flows of migrants and refugees and policies of borders and social control and criminalization of poor, etc.). In this context, «(t)he neoliberal city, with its growth-first axiom, its entrepreneurial modes of governance, its strategies of privatization and enclosure, and its two-pronged policy (benign and repressive) for dealing with the social fall-out of these central features (Kunkel & Mayer, 2012; Mayer, 2013a), was met in each of these dimensions by challenging movements».Urban social movements (or mobilised groups) are organized in many different forms and use a mix of state-driven mechanisms and more radical practices to advance their causes in protest against specific policies, projects, and regulatory measures, that are considered detrimental to the “right to the city”.

 

Download the full call for application