The Bartlett Development Planning Unit


theoriSE: debating the southeastern turn in urban theories

29 November 2023, 4:30 pm–6:00 pm

Farshot view of buildings

Join us for an exciting online event, theoriSE, where we delve into the intriguing topic of the southeastern turn in urban theories.

Event Information

Open to





Catalina Ortiz

The ‘southern’ and ‘eastern’ perspectives are crucial to challenge dominant paradigms, theories, and epistemologies that sustain global power structures of knowledge production.  This event will focus on the myriad openings to investigate and theorise about the urban condition in times of planetary crisis. It will bring a discussion on the arguments made in the book theoriSE: debating the southeastern turn in urban theories (2020) and the prospects for an engaged scholarship agenda across geographies. In sum, the event aims to discuss the future and emergent agenda and pressing issues for 'southern-eastern' theorising-doing. 


Oren Yiftachel, Ben-Gurion University  

Faranak Miraftab, University of Illinois  

Catalina Ortiz, University College London


Chandrima Mukhopadhyay, Coordinator, AESOP's Global South and East thematic group 


About the Speakers

Oren Yiftachel

Professor of Political and Legal Geography, Urban studies and Urban planning at Ben-Gurion University, Beersheba

Oren Yiftachel is a Professor of political and legal geography, urban studies and urban planning at Ben-Gurion University, Beersheba. He holds the Lynn and Lloyd Hurst Family Chair in Urban Studies. Yiftachel's works develop critical perspectives of space and power; minorities and public policy; 'ethnocratic' societies and land regimes.  Some of his books include ‘Ethnocracy: Land, and the Politics of Identity Israel/Palestine ‘(2006) and ‘Emptied Lands: A Legal Geography of Bedouin Rights in the Negev’ (2018). Yiftachel is the founding and past editor of the journal, Hagar: Studies in Culture, Politics and Place, and has served on the editorial board of Planning Theory, IJMES, MERIP, Urban Studies, Journal of Planning Literature, Environment and Planning A, and Territory, Politics, Governance. 

Faranak Miraftab

Professor of Urban and Regional Planning at University of Illinois

Faranak Miraftab is a professor of urban and regional planning at the University of Illinois in Urbana Champaign. Her scholarship is situated at the intersection of sociology, geography, planning, and feminist studies, using case study and ethnographic methodologies. Her research concerns social and institutional aspects of urban development and planning that address basic human needs including housing and urban infrastructure and services that support it.  Her research and teaching have spanned several regions including the Middle East, Latin America, Southern Africa, and North America. Some of her books include: Cities of the Global South Reader (2006), Global Heartland: Displaced Labor, Transnational Lives and Local Placemaking (2016), and Constructing Solidarities for a Humane Urbanism (2019). 

Catalina Ortiz

Associate Professor at Bartlett Development Planning Unit, UCL

Catalina Ortiz is an associate professor at the Bartlett Development Planning Unit, UCL. She is committed to a negotiated co-production of urban space grounded on ethics of care and engaged scholarship. Using decolonial and critical urban theory through knowledge co-production methodologies, Catalina engages with critical urban pedagogies, planning for equality, and southern urbanisms in Latin America and Southeast Asia. Her work has been published in the International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, Urban Studies, Planning Theory, Environment and Urbanization, Cities, Urban Planning among others jounrals and books. She has been appointed as editor of Urban studies and as corresponding editor of the Urban Studies Journal and the International Journal of Urban and Regional Research. She serves in the editorial board of the Revista Brasileira de Estudos Urbanos e Regionais (Brazil), Revista de Urbanismo (Chile), and the Revista Bitácora Urbano Territorial (Colombia).  


Chandrima Mukhopadhyay

Coordinator at AESOP's Global South and East thematic group

Chandrima Mukhopadhyay is the coordinator of AESOP's Global South and East thematic group. She was a visiting scholar for MIT-UTM Malaysia Sustainable Cities Program during 2017-2018 and she was a Senior Research Associate at School of Arts and Science, Ahmedabad University, India for the OPTIMISM project. She has recently been a consultant with UN-Habitat India. Her teaching and research areas include the role of the private sector in infrastructure delivery and urban development, governance, megaprojects, urban transport, and urban finance. She is one of the editors of the Regional Studies Association's journal on Regional Studies, Regional Science for the mentored early career section. She is a Regional Studies Association Fellow.