UCL Urban Laboratory


Call for Papers - At the frontiers of the urban: thinking concepts and practices globally

25 June 2019

Interdisciplinary conference exploring emerging themes and critical methodologies at the frontiers of urban theory and practice

Construction site with cranes in the foreground and a cityscape in the background

UCL Urban Laboratory will host a two-day international conference exploring emerging themes and critical methodologies at the frontiers of urban theory and practice on 11 and 12 November 2019. Find out more here.

We are inviting papers which draw on original research and scholarship to explore aspects of urbanisation, urban practices and approaches to generating knowledge about global urbanisms from any context, but particularly those which expand understandings of urbanisation and urban experience from Latin American, Asian, Middle Eastern, Eastern European and African perspectives, and those which generate dialogue across disciplinary and methodological borders. We also welcome more practice-based contributions which critically engage with the ambition to develop global urban knowledge across the diversity of urban experiences in relation to sustainable development goals, for example; or which seek to build insights into urban experiences through grounded collaborative and community-led or design-based research and practice.

The panels will be composed to provide scope for researchers to engage across the wide field of urban studies and related disciplines, and to share knowledge on similar issues across different regional contexts, and from different analytical and disciplinary approaches. The conference will make use of a range of formats (round tables, inter-panel report backs) to stimulate collegial exchanges across different geographical and disciplinary perspectives.

We strongly encourage scholars based in the global South to propose papers, and we will explore opportunities for co-funding attendance and fee waivers. Also, scholars from the global South based in the UK or Europe at the time of the conference are strongly encouraged to apply to attend, and to explore co-funding where possible.

The conference will be organised according to three broad thematics: Reshaping urban spaces, Remaking urban experiences, Redefining urban futures. Some (non-exhaustive) suggested topics for possible paper submissions include:

Reshaping urban spaces
  • Land
  • The State
  • Finance and politics
  • Legal frameworks
  • Beyond the urban-rural divide
  • Heritage and heritagisation
  • Architecture and planning
Remaking urban experiences
  • Collaboration and participation
  • Everyday and associational life
  • Religion
  • Identities and intersectionalities
  • Arts and poetics
  • Activism
  • Violence
Redefining urban futures
  • Health and education
  • Data and Systems approaches
  • Environmental breakdown
  • Challenging poverty and inequality
  • Pedagogy
  • Infrastructure
  • Waste

Submission process

To submit a paper, please complete the online form by 12.00 BST on 31 July 2019. You will be asked to submit a title and abstract (300 words maximum) and a brief biography (maximum 100 words) alongside some further information. The selection of papers will take place through a double-blind interdisciplinary peer review process. If you encounter any issues with the form, please contact urbanlaboratory@ucl.ac.uk.

Accepted abstracts will be notified by 9 September 2019, with the submission of full papers expected on 19 October 2019. The conference language is English.