Call for Papers: Young people and the ‘New Urban Agenda’: addressing key themes of Habitat III

University of Birmingham: 14th – 16th September 2016

For further information, and to submit abstracts, please visit:

This international two day conference will bring together academics working with children and youth to address key themes of Habitat III; a forum for debate, critical reflection and interdisciplinary discussion.Young people and the ‘New Urban Agenda’ at the University of Birmingham will set the research agenda for young lives in urban contexts.

On 17th – 20th October, 2016, in Quito, the United Nations Conference on Housing and Sustainable Development, Habitat III will take place setting plans in motion for ‘A New Urban Agenda’ for the 21stCentury. Taking Habitat III’s key urban themes of i) mobility; ii) planning and design, iii) water and sanitation and iv) energy, the Young people and the ‘New Urban Agenda’ conference at the University of Birmingham will bring together researchers working in these fields, globally, to set the research agenda foryoung lives in urban contexts within the framework of Habitat III.

Key note speakers confirmed
Professor Louise Chawla, University of Colorado
Douglas Regan, Chief, Youth and Livelihood Unit, UN-Habitat

Call for papers

We invite papers which specifically address these four themes in relation to children and young people’s everyday lives. The papers will develop theory and showcase empirical evidence which will be used to prompt dialogue about young lives across contexts, communities and cultures to facilitate action and set the research direction in the age of ‘a new urban agenda.’

We invite papers which span global childhood experiences, addressing the themes of:

Theme 1: Mobility
– Children and young people’s everyday mobilities
– Children, young people and transport
– Children and young people as pedestrians
– Intergenerational and interdependent mobilities
– Children and young people affordable travel
– Children’s right to mobility

Theme 2: Planning and design
– Children’s experiences of public space
– Re-thinking public spaces with children and young people
– Inclusive cityscapes and city planning
– Absent planning: constraints and opportunities
– Participatory planning
– Children’s engagements with sustainable urban design
– Permanent and temporary, formal and informal urban spaces

Theme 3: Water and sanitation
– Young people and water
– Young people and sanitation
– Water, urban planning and sustainable drainage systems/Low Impact Development
– Water conservation and ecology
– Water management

Theme 4: Energy
– Young people and energy
– Young people and energy production
– Young people and energy consumption
– Energy solutions and young people’s perceptions and use
– Housing, energy and young people
– Cooking, energy and young people
– Young people and food
– Intergenerational perspectives of energy

Other points to note:

i) Whilst there are four themes to this conference we appreciate that research will address cross-cutting issues, we are open to papers which address young people’s lives in the context of a nexus approach.

ii) There is also space within the conference for a reflection on the aims and priorities of Habitat III, we encourage critical thinking in terms of the Urban Agenda for young people’s lives.

There is an optional third day of the conference dedicated to methodological approaches, providing a space for critical methodological discussion. There will be two workshop streams, one on participatory methodologies and the other on the use of technologies in social science research. We are asking for short 10 minute papers to address the two workshop streams:

1) Methodology workshop: Using participatory methodologies with children and young people (part funded by the ESRC Sharing Futures research project)

2) Methodology workshop: Use of technologies and apps in social science research with children and young people (part funded by the ESRC Map my Community research project)
This event is being organised by the School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences at the University of Birmingham and part-funded across numerous research projects: New Urbanisms in India (ESRC); Sharing Futures (ESRC/Newton); (Re) Connect the Nexus (ESRC/FAPESP/Newton) and Map my Community (ESRC). This brings together shared visions and research agendas in thinking about young people in the ‘New Urban Agenda.’

Organising committee:

Dr. Sophie Hadfield-Hill (University of Birmingham)
Professor Peter Kraftl (University of Birmingham)
Associate Professor John Horton (University of Leicester)
Dr. Ben Coles (University of Leicester)
Dr. Cristiana Zara (University of Birmingham)
Catherine Oliver (University of Birmingham)

Please submit your abstract through the conference website by 17th May, 2016. (again, if the link doesn’t work, please cut and paste into your browser).