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Alternatives to urban development: Youths between multiple crisis and future visions 
Philipp Horn (University of Sheffield)
Olivia Casagrande (University of Sheffield)
Gender & generation
Wednesday 6 July, 11:50-12:30 (UTC+1)

Short Abstract:

The panel explores the implications of multiple crisis for urban youths and discusses future visions and alternatives to urban development proposed by youth collectives and movements. We invite papers from authors from distinct disciplines who work on these topics in different global settings.

Long Abstract

Our urbanising world is characterised by multiple crisis. Climate change, informalisation, political polarisation, deepening racial divides, and growing epidemiological risks characterise our present and shape our urban future. Such a dystopian reality has particularly adverse effects for youths who represent the urban majority in the global South and increasingly in the global North-East. Urban youths, especially those living and working informally, experience deepened levels of inequality, stress linked to climate and health, socio-economic precarity, and political exclusion. Yet urban youths are not passive victims but take their lives in their own hands. Through locally situated practices, everyday routines but also engagement in urban protests and movements transcending the local scale (for example, Know Your City TV, Fridays for Future, or the International Indigenous Youth Council), they call for urban development alternatives that confront our present condition of multiple crisis. Urban development alternatives are understood here broadly as future visions and approaches concerned with issues of self-determination related to material access, use and control of cultural, economic, political, physical or social resources and the potential of collective organisation for more socially, economically and ecologically just cities.

This panel explores the implications of multiple crisis for urban youths and examines different alternatives to urban development proposed by them. We invite contributions that address one or more of the following questions: How do multiple crisis affect urban youths? What are the hopes, desires, and imaginations of urban youths and how are they articulated through everyday practices, protests and engagement in (trans)local movements? What alternatives to urban development result from such practices? How does a focus on urban youth activism and futurism help us to rethink concepts of the just and equitable city?

We invite papers on the above-mentioned topics that focus on different global urban settings and mobilize distinct disciplinary, conceptual and methodological perspectives. We invite contributors to submit academic papers but are also open to alternative submissions such as recorded talks or short films. Independent of their format, contributions (1) must offer a clear response to at least one of the questions highlighted in the above call for papers and (2) introduce a question/ argument to be discussed further in the synchronous discussion. Contributions must be uploaded and shared online in advance with participants, session chairs and conference attendees. Recognizing differences and disparities in terms of access to software/ internet connection, we accept different submissions (including papers of up to 1,000 words and video/ audio recordings of up to 10 minutes in length). The 40-minute synchronous panel discussion at the DSA conference will take the format of a Q&A, whereby the panel chairs will kick off with a series of contribution-specific questions and comments followed by discussion with the wider audience.

Accepted papers: