C12-39: URBAN CHALLENGES IN A COMPLEX WORLD

2016 IGU Urban Commission Meeting – Shanghai 15-21 August 2016
Co-organized by Urban Geography Commission IGU (IGU-C12-39), East China Normal University & Center of Urban Studies and Urban Planning, The University of Hong Kong, and Urban Geography Committee, Geographical Society of China (UGC-GSC)
Conference venue: East China Normal University, 3663 North Zhongshan Rd., Shanghai, 200062

IMPORTANT DATES
Deadline for abstract submission: 29 February 2016
Acceptance of abstracts: 31 March 2016
Registration and payment: 1 April – 15 June 2016
More information available on: http://www.unil.ch/igu-urban/home/menuinst/urban-commission-meetings/2016-shanghai.html

Conference focused topic: Governing Globalizing Cities
In addition to the theme on governing global cities, participants are invited to submit extended abstracts (around 2-3 pages) for individual papers, and/or proposals for panel sessions or roundtables on the following thematic foci :

1- Complex Urban Systems and processes of cities’ transformation
2- Technological innovations, creative activities in cities,
3- Innovative and smart building and transportation in cities
4- Polycentrism, small and medium size cities
5- Sustainable to resilient cities
6- Shrinking and aging Cities
7- Urban Governance, planning and participative democracy
8- Contested Social Spaces
9- Subjective/objective Well-Being in cities
10- Urban Heritage and Conservation
11- New concepts and methods in urban studies

NEW: We are pleased to announce the 2 Keynote speakers (August 16th 2016):

(Distinguished Research Professor, University of California – Los Angeles)
He will present:
CURRENT DEBATES IN URBAN THEORY: A CRITICAL ASSESSMENT
Urban studies today is marked by many active debates. In an earlier paper, we addressed some of these debates by proposing a foundational concept of urbanization and urban form as a way of identifying a common language for urban research. In the present paper we provide a brief recapitulation of that framework. We then use this preliminary material as background to a critique of three currently influential versions of urban analysis, namely, postcolonial urban theory, assemblage theoretic approaches, and planetary urbanism. We evaluate each of these versions in turn and find them seriously wanting as statements about urban realities. We criticize (a) postcolonial urban theory for its particularism and its insistence on the provincialization of knowledge, (b) assemblage theoretic approaches for their indeterminacy and eclecticism, and (c) planetary urbanism for its radical devaluation of the forces of agglomeration and nodality in urban-economic geography.

Fulong Wu

(Professor of Planning, Bartlett School of Planning, University College London, Central House, 14 Upper Woburn Place, London, WC1H 0NN)

He will present:
UNDERSTANDING THE CHINESE CITIES AND ITS IMPLICATION FOR THE URBAN THEORY
This presentation will review recent studies on urban China and discuss the implication of urban China research for the urban theory. Echoing the recent debate over specificity vs generality of the urban theory, this paper tries to understand the evolution of the concept of ‘the city’ in association with Chinese political economic changes and argues that the concept cannot be properly understood without interrogating the position of the city in its national economy, multi-scalar governance, the institution of land, dynamics of financing infrastructure. The making of the ‘urban’ has been made through transforming work-units into a more territorial-based economic governance – namely the city as an asset for growth. The paper will discuss the development of new town and science parks as examples to illustrate how urban development has been orchestrated by the local state and how this development is operationalized. The understanding of Chinese cities opens up new possibilities of understanding the urban with a greater attention to governance which involves a wide range of actors in territorial politics. This also requires more understanding about the complexity of city planning, because although the Chinese context of planning is quite specific, recent reading of entrepreneurial governance and declining of democratic participation in the West would need to be further interrogated.