“Cities of Hope”
We are writing to invite you to the RGS-IBG Urban Geography Research Group’s 2021 Annual Conference. The theme of this year’s conference is ‘Cities of Hope’. This online event will take place on 18th and 19th November 2021. It will bring together established and early career scholars to explore what more just cities might look like, tackling issues ranging from gender based and racial forms of violence, to environmental injustices and ecological degradation.
Confirmed keynotes include Dr Gautam Bhan (Indian Institute for Human Settlements), Professor Michelle Lancione (Polytechnic and the University of Turin) and Professor Loretta Lees (University of Leicester). Each keynote will take the form of a dialogue with a practitioner (e.g. an activist, policymaker or activist-scholar). An object, text, image or short film will also be pre-circulated with delegates prior to the event as a means of facilitating discussion.
The conference will take place in the context of the ongoing COVID19 crisis and governments’ responses to it, as well as global uprisings against racism, environmental justice, as well as feminist and LGBTQi+ rights movements. The current moment has shown the strength of civil society and grassroots mobilization, and in some cases that of municipal governments, which stands in contrast to the slow, uneven, and often insufficient and deadly responses from national governments to the pandemic. It has also made more visible long-lasting forms of violence, including domestic violence, racism, state neglect and police brutality – the latter enhanced by pandemic responses mobilising military and police powers to enforce lockdowns and restrict civil liberties. Now more than ever it is time to push for systemic transformations in cities and to create spaces for a hopeful future. This ‘Cities of Hope’ Annual Conference will contribute to these debates, opening up a space to cultivate hope, building on long-standing and emerging scholarly work, and reflecting upon their implications for enacting more just, caring and ecologically sound cities.
We hope you can join us for this free online event. More details on the conference format and keynote presentations will be released in September. Please sign up for the Eventbrite here: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/rgs-ibg-urban-geography-research-groups-2021-annual-conference-tickets-162703160533