People, Place and Policy 2018: Alternative urban futures for tackling social and spatial inequalities

Start date: 
Wed, 27/06/2018
Closing date: 
Wed, 27/06/2018
Sheffield Hallam University, Collegiate Campus
Event contact: 
Emma Smith ( / 0114 225 3073)

A One Day Conference

Date: 27th June, 2018

Venue: Sheffield Hallam University, Collegiate Campus

Organised by: People, Place and Policy

Keynote Speaker: Professor Guy Standing, SOAS University of London and Co-President of the Basic Income Earth Network

Conference Themes

“Another world is not only possible, she is on her way. On a quiet day I can hear her breathing.” (Purcell, 2008 p1 citing Arundhati Roy, 2003)

The last decade has been one of increasing inequalities amid economic and political turmoil, environmental catastrophe and continuing battles for human rights. This has been reflected in momentous electoral decisions taken in the UK and US over the last two years that were (in part) reaction to the perceived impact of globalised economic and political forces on the livelihoods of disenfranchised people and places. More generally we have witnessed a rise in populist movements across the globe. These developments have generated uncertainty and lead many to fear for the possibilities for more socially, environmentally and spatially just cities. But an era of flux, where long-term path dependent structures appear to be weakening also creates opportunities to think about new possibilities for different urban worlds. As such, the purpose of this conference is to create space for positive expression of how urban futures can be (re-)imagined in a way that empowers citizens and negates the causes and consequences of social and spatial inequalities; what cities could become. There are myriad examples of actually existing attempts to reclaim cities for citizens, from citizens’ income projects to community/municipal energy movements, right through to the UN New Urban Agenda vision of ‘cities for all’, although the potential for such projects and strategies to achieve distributional justice goals is not always clear cut. We are looking for: contributions that seek to examine the potential for existing movements and policy experiments to address inequalities; papers proposing new alternatives for addressing inequalities; and papers that critically examine the prospects and possibilities for inequalities of emerging urban phenomena. Theoretical and empirical papers are welcome from a range of geographic foci across the global North and South and across a range of themes including but not limited to the following:

  • The prospects and possibilities for inequalities from Smart City developments and/or urban automation
  • Collective ownership and management of urban resources (including housing, energy, water and green infrastructure)
  • Alternative welfare regimes and provision, including analysis of the potential for a citizens’ income
  • Alternative approaches to local economic development (including informal economies)
  • Employment and skills for low carbon urban futures
  • Tackling urban environmental and/or energy injustice
  • The role of marginal communities / voices in reconstructing, reclaiming and reshaping urban landscapes/spaces
  • New forms of urban governance and urban politics

For further information and to book your place please see the PPP website

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