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Alternative urban knowledge practices amidst transformation & resistance 
Andrea Schikowitz (University of Vienna)
Denver Nixon (Maastricht University)
Pouya Sepehr (University of Siena)
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Jonathan Metzger (KTH Royal Institute of Technology)
Traditional Open Panel

Short Abstract:

The panel explores alternative urban knowledge practices, their potential to contribute to transformation, and the resistance and obduracy they face. We invite contributions amongst others on planning controversies, DIY, grassroots and participatory initiatives, and urban activism.

Long Abstract:

Cities are regarded as holding potential for the emergence of creative and innovative knowledge and ideas, which might contribute to change and transformation towards more sustainable and just futures. This is often attributed to the confluence of diverse ways of knowing and experimental approaches (Coutard & Guy, 2007; Evans, Karvonen, & Raven, 2016). In this panel, we aim to explore the dynamics of alternative knowledge practices, which go beyond established urban planning and policy, the resistance and obduracy they face, and the resilience they exhibit (Hommels, 2005, 2020).

Drawing on STS research at the intersection of STS and urban studies (Farías & Blok, 2016), we aim to explore knowledge practices for example in planning controversies (Hommels, 2005; Metzger & Wiberg, 2018); in DIY and participatory design practices (Bjögvinsson, Ehn, & Hillgren, 2012; Corsín Jiménez, 2014); in living labs (Engels, Wentland, & Pfotenhauer, 2019; Schikowitz, Maasen, & Weller, 2023); and, in urban activism and movements (McFarlane, 2011; Blok & Meilvang, 2015).

The focus will be on entanglements and tensions between alternatives and mainstream, formal and informal, technical and social, invited and uninvited, and collaborative and controversial urban knowledge practices. We warmly invite contributions that address alternative urban knowledge practices and expertise amongst others in self-organised and DIY spaces such as collaborative housing, grassroots mobility infrastructures or makerspaces; in activism such as protest, citizen initiatives or squats; and in co-creation and participatory design projects, urban living labs or participatory planning initiatives.

Accepted papers: