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Future matters. Urban transformations between utopia and dystopia 
Daniela Giudici (Polytechnic of Turin)
Ségolène Guinard (McGill University)
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Wednesday 24 July, -Thursday 25 July, -, -
Time zone: Europe/Madrid
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Short Abstract:

This panel aims to reconsider the notion of future as a powerful trope to re-imagine, enact and contest urban livelihood. Addressing both top-down projects of urban development and grassroots collective actions, we explore the material and imaginative politics of contemporary city-making.

Long Abstract:

In times of pressing ecological, infrastructural, and socio-economic challenges, contemporary cities are sites where different visions of the future are formulated, enacted, contested. On the one hand projects of urban development and regeneration, carried out by both public and private actors, have often facilitated processes of housing speculation and gentrification, thereby creating new exclusionary forms of urban living. On the other hand, social movements and urbanites have been increasingly contesting formal planning initiatives in an attempt of re-gaining control on urban transformations. Urban spaces and politics, thus, turn into physical and symbolic venues of social tensions and conflicts over the material content of polysemic notions of « future », increasingly framed as either apocalypse or redemption.

This panel seeks to explore ambiguities and tensions of contemporary urban transformations, as well as alternative and grassroots visions of the urban future, by addressing the following questions: How do multiple crises and the looming threats of environmental destruction shape the everyday lives and aspirations of urbanites? Which kind of orientations towards the future are embedded in contemporary urban planning projects? How do adaptation policies and the quest for green technologies impact the vast ecological and social disparities of contemporary cities? How do hegemonic understandings of the future are reworked and contested in urban activism and grassroots movements?

We invite papers from a variety of geographical and social contexts, with the aim of shedding light on the various ways in which imaginations of the future shape contemporary cities, political horizons and (im)possibilities for transformation.

Accepted papers:

Session 1 Wednesday 24 July, 2024, -
Session 2 Thursday 25 July, 2024, -
Session 3 Thursday 25 July, 2024, -