SIEF2019 Työryhmä kaupunkiaktivismista

Shaking the city from the bottom-up. Ideologies and practices in the making of a pro-active urbanity


  • Tiina-Riitta Lappi (University of Jyväskylä)
  • Pia Olsson (University of Helsinki)
  • Sara Kohne (Faculty of Humanities, University of Bergen)

Short abstract

In examining motivations, practices and contemplations of city dwellers’ active involvement with their local surroundings, the aim of this panel is to define the notion of a ‹pro-active urbanity›, as well as to outline different values, meanings and consequences that might relate to this concept.

Long abstract

People in different urban areas are, as it seems in more progressive ways than before, taking responsibility for the physical as well as social environments they live in. Thus many city dwellers try eagerly to cope and deal with a diversity of local developments that affect them. From little activities such as collecting garbage while jogging (‹plogging›) to bigger and more politically motivated meetings in their neighbourhood, people try dynamically to change and shape their surroundings towards what they think a good and including city should or could be like.

In this panel we focus on revealing and analysing the practices as well as hopes and thoughts of the people that engage in what we would like to call a ‹pro-active urbanity›. Furthermore, we want to discuss different perspectives and ideologies related with that concept. We welcome papers dealing with a variety of questions such as why or when people get enthusiastic and start directly to engage in or with their local settings. How do people make sense of their (more or less politically) influencing position and how are they organized for realizing their aspirations? What dilemmas do people possibly have to face with their activities? Furthermore we invite papers that offer insights into the effects of such engagements and self-organized activities on peoples’ sense of place as well as on their sense of community, hence opening up for another set of questions and reflections regarding the formation of new or alternative forms of groups and communities that arise along with these activities.

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