Cities around the world are developing new forms of governing risks and vulnerabilities and designing novel ways for inclusive planning, social belonging and political decision-making. The challenges related to societal insecurity, environmental vulnerability, socio-spatial segregation and politics of exclusion are enormous especially in many cities of the global South, where 3/4 of the world’s urban population is currently living.  The Research Symposium Cities of Inclusion – Spaces of Justice aims at developing new theoretical frameworks and methodological approaches to understand the multifaceted risks and vulnerabilities in contemporary cities and the emergent initiatives for enhanced equality, justice and wellbeing.  

The Symposium invites scholars from social sciences and other relevant fields, including urban studies, development studies, anthropology, urban planning, geography, sociology, communication studies, political science, cultural studies, gender studies, etc., to develop and discuss new approaches and epistemologies for understanding the insecurities, vulnerabilities, segregations and exclusions characteristic of urban spaces, and for promoting spaces of inclusion, politics of justice, and alternative ways to imagine the future. Many of these initiatives operate at the crossroads of formal structures and informal networks, or at the fringes of official legitimacy and institutional (mis)recognition. This Symposium aims to develop approaches capable to refocus inclusion and justice at the center of urban theory, and urban policy and planning, to make room for diverse actors, initiatives, and efforts that elude conventional perspectives and institutionalized structures in the search for creating more inclusive cities. 

The symposium is organized around the themes of violence and security, segregation and recognition and networks and innovation. These themes will be analyzed in diverse urban contexts, showing the similarities and differences, and continuities and changes across time and space.

Specialists from different parts of the world working on urban issues in the global South have been invited to present their research in the working sessions of the symposium

The symposium is organized by Florencia Quesada (HCAS),
Anja Nygren, Professor in Development Studies, University of Helsinki and Elina Hartikainen (HCAS).

The symposium is a joint event between the Helsinki Collegium for Advanced Studies, the Faculty of Social Sciences, the “Fragile Cities in the Global South (FCITIES)” –Research Project, funded by the Academy of Finland, and the Political, Societal and Regional Change (PYAM) doctoral programme.

The event will be live streamed on UniTube. The stream link will be published before the event.

Future publication

The best presentations of the working group-sessions will be asked to be submitted to the Special Number of the open access journal Urban Planning in 2020 to which Anja Nygren and Florencia Quesada have been invited to act as guest editors.