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Urban transformation – roundtable discussion (RGS-IBG Annual Conference)

Event type: Portfolio
Date: 30/08/2017

This seminar is part of the 2017 RGS-IBG annual conference, running from 30 August to 1 September 2017, and will take place on 30 August. More information on the seminar is available here.

A roundtable discussion on the theme of nature of urban transformation. Panelists will be invited to address these questions, followed by open discussion.

• How do you understand ‘urban transformation’?
• What does it mean to transform a city? To transform urban space?
• Cities are constantly changing: is there a difference between routine, continuous urban change and more fundamental or far-reaching ‘transformation’? If so, is that related to the speed of change? Its causes? Its impacts? Something else?
• What different modes of urban transformation are evident in your research?
• Where does agency and power lie in processes of transformation? What are the different roles of institutions, social groups, economic actors, technologies and infrastructures in generating transformation?
• What are the differences between transformation as a planned or willed process and transformation as a decentralised, contingent and emergent process?
• What role does innovation, creativity, experimentation, serendipity play in urban transformation?
• How can we track transformation? What are the appropriate methodologies for studying cities undergoing transformation?

Introduction to the Urban Transformations Portfolio
Michael Keith (University of Oxford, UK)
Urban Transformations is an ESRC network, coordinated from the University of Oxford, showcasing research on cities. As the demand for understanding and managing today’s cities becomes more acute, the ESRC-sponsored Urban Transformations portfolio represents research projects that engage with the challenges and opportunities of an increasingly urban world. From smart data to infrastructure, participatory design to migration, the Urban Transformations projects share a multidisciplinary focus and a forward-looking vision of how our urban future can be shaped to achieve better outcomes for communities, businesses and local authorities. Together, they establish a foundation of original research and best practice in the UK, Europe and internationally. See more at: http://www.urbantransformations.ox.ac.uk/

Urban Transformation – roundtable discussion
Colin McFarlane (Durham University, UK)
Beth Perry (University of Sheffield, UK)
Jennifer Robinson (University College London, UK)
Seth Schindler (University of Sheffield, UK)
Fran Tonkiss (London School of Economics and Political Science, UK)

Panelists will be invited to reflect on the questions in the session abstract.