Lisbon Early-Career Workshop in Urban Studies

  • Yahya Gamal (Participant)

Activity: Participating in or organising event(s)Participating in a conference, workshop, exhibition, performance, inquiry, course etcResearch


The Urban Transitions Hub and the AESOP Young Academics Network will host the first edition of the Lisbon Early-Career Workshop in Urban Studies, from 29 November to 2 December 2021 [online] – previously scheduled for November 2020 and postponed due the to Covid-19 pandemic. Circa 30 PhD students and early-career scholars will have the opportunity to present and discuss their research projects and/or findings during a 4-day event organised as a space of exchange, debate and learning.

The topic for the first edition is Urban Futures, Urban Transitions.

A few decades ago, the rise of globalisation seemed to suggest that the socio-spatial entity that we call the ‘city’ was to be progressively replaced by de-territorialised networks. Yet, today we are told that we are living in an ‘urban age’. The debate around the exact meaning of this return to the ‘urban’ is an important one in the field of urban studies. While international institutions led by UN-Habitat favour a conception of the urban as a place attracting an increasing share of people from rural areas, critical social sciences have instead focused on the urban as a processual and relational category: that is, on urbanisation, and on its current planetary scale. Notwithstanding the different perspectives, most agree that the processes of urbanisation deserve increased attention in terms of their risks and potentialities.
The relentless process of urbanisation is reshaping our planet, and contributing to multiple crises (including at the environmental, economic, social, political and health level) – crises that are themselves deeply interlocked with global processes of financial accumulation, spatial transformation and social reproduction. In mainstream discussions, the urban is conceived as the place where innovation, growth and consumption increasingly happen; where injustice, violence and alienation are more visible, but also where political organisation and solidarity flourish. The burst of the pandemic of Covid-19, in early 2020, has added further layers to this complexity.

New forward-looking perspectives are necessary if we are to muddle through these volatile times, and contribute visions, charts and plans for an urbanising planetary future. This workshop will be dedicated to critical approaches to the urban, urbanisation and their radically open futures, among four interlocked lines of inquiry:
- Urban futures – forward-looking approaches to urban studies;
- Urban transitions – normative approaches to urbanisation and sustainable development;
- Urban imaginaries – visions, fictions and imaginations of the urban (in) transition;
- Urban flows – explorations of movements of people, goods, ideas and policies.
As the main goal of the workshop is to offer a space for discussion and improvement of ongoing research, papers will above all consider theoretical questions and development, preliminary analyses of empirical findings and reflections on epistemological/methodological dimensions – or a mix of two or more of these approaches.

The workshop will be composed of:
• Plenary keynote sessions with following interactive debate;
• Breakout parallel sessions – divided in groups, participants will present their paper (~20 min) and ‘defend’ it from comments by a mentor and other participants (~40 min.);
• Q&A on strategies and tips for academic publishing, and post-PhD challenges;
• Wrap-up session with discussion on lessons learned.
Period29 Nov 20212 Dec 2021
Event typeWorkshop
LocationLisbon, PortugalShow on map