The Bartlett Development Planning Unit


Overlooked cities: Shifting the gaze in environmental justice debates

17 June 2021, 2:30 pm–3:30 pm


This event is hosted by The Bartlett Development Planning Unit’s Environmental Justice, Urbanisation and Resilience (EJUR) research cluster. You can find information about the Overlooked Cities book at overlookedcities.org

Event Information

Open to



Julia Wesely


Virtual event

YouTube Widget Placeholderhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ClBEeOSP63w


To overlook is not merely to ignore. Overlooking is not defined by a silence or an absence, but is a process filled with presuppositions, prejudices, prioritisations, and expectations. [It] produces its own hierarchies, impacts urban political economies, and even plays a constitutive role in what urbanism means in cities out of the spotlight, nor under the microscope. Overlooking, then, embodies heterogenous temporalities, relationalities and forms of socio-spatial configuration in cities throughout the urban South. And the processes of overlooking have direct material consequences for the present condition and possible futures of these cities.

In this Dialogue in Development, authors and editors of the book “Overlooked Cities: Power, Politics and Knowledge Beyond the Urban South” will discuss the complex processes and implications of “overlooking” in the fields of climate change, urban planning, and disaster risk management. By shifting our gaze to smaller and more regional cities like Bharatpur (Nepal), Santa Fe (Argentina) and Manizales (Colombia), as well as Bandar Lampung, Semarang and Bontang, (Indonesia), this Dialogue seeks to highlight why, and how, it matters for environmental justice debates to look at these alternative sites.


Dr Isolde de Villiers, Department of Mercantile Law, University of the Free State, South Africa

Dr Hanna A Ruszczyk, Department of Geography, Durham University, UK

Dr Erwin Nugraha, Department of Technology, Policy and Society, University of Twente, Netherlands and Resilience Development Initiative, Indonesia.

Dr María Evangelina Filippi, School of Sociology, Politics and International Studies, University of Bristol, UK

Dr Julia Wesely, The Bartlett Development Planning Unit, University College London, UK


Prof. Cassidy Johnson, The Bartlett Development Planning Unit, University College London, UK


Photo: Manizales, Julia Wesely, June 2019