The anthropology of urban development: its legacies and the human future

Marie Kolling (Danish Institute for International Studies (DIIS))
Martijn Koster (Radboud University )
Anouk de Koning (Radboud University, Nijmegen)
Start time:
23 July, 2016 at 9:00
Session slots:

Short abstract:

The panel will discuss anthropological legacies to the field of urban development through empirically rich and theoretically informed contributions, demonstrating the diverse consequences of urban planning on disenfranchised city residents and their futures.

Long abstract:

Urban anthropology has an extensive legacy in studying the impact of urban development interventions on human settlements and their futures. By offering in-depth insights into the diversity of situated experiences of local actors in urban development processes, anthropology has advanced and complemented theories in other disciplines that also study urban development, such as planning, urban studies, architecture, public administration, history and philosophy. The panel will discuss anthropological contributions to the field of urban development that demonstrate the diverse implications of urban planning for local lives and livelihoods in their institutional and economic context. It sets out to connect such studies to current theoretical debates regarding the right to the city, governmentality, urban navigations, the co-production of space or the city as an assemblage. We welcome papers that present an anthropological analysis of urban interventions from the perspective of local residents. We particularly welcome empirically rich contributions that examine the different ways in which disenfranchised urbanites are confronted with urban development projects and how they navigate processes of eviction and relocation, and the subsequent changes in their livelihoods and the materiality of their homes. Also, we are interested in ethnographies that elucidate how people's ideas about the future are reconfigured by urban renewal or how notions of futurity in urban planning resonate with people's imaginaries. Finally, we welcome reflections on how an anthropological analysis of urban development may not be delineated by the time of a particular intervention, but by people's life histories and new trajectories.