Conference: Cities of Inclusion - Spaces of Justice, 19.-20.9.2019

Cities around the world are developing new forms of governing risks and vulnerabilities and designing novel ways for inclusive planning, social belonging and political decision-making. The challenges related to societal insecurity, environmental vulnerability, socio-spatial segregation and politics of exclusion are enormous especially in many cities of the global South, where 3/4 of the world’s urban population is currently living.

"Cities of Inclusion – Spaces of Justice" conference explores societal questions, politics of equality and justice, and urban planning from different perspectives, in the context of cities in the global South. The keynote speakers are Professor Diane Davis (Harvard University), Professor Saskia Sassen (Columbia University) and Professor Erik Swyngedouw (University of Manchester). 

The conference is free of charge and it is held at the Helsinki Collegium for Advanced Studies as well as in Think Corner and Porthania on September 19th­–20th 2019.

“The idea to organize this international symposium came out from our FCITIES’ project discussions a year ago. Since I was at the Collegium, it was an excellent opportunity to propose this high-profile event that will enrich our discussions," explains Florencia Quesada, one of the organizers.

Keynote speakers

Professor Diane Davis's (Harvard University) research interests include the relations between urbanization, class politics and national development; comparative urban politics; socio-spatial practice in cities of the global south; and new territorial manifestations of sovereignty. Davis will hold her lecture "City, Nation, Network: Shifting Territorialities of Sovereignty and Urban Violence in the global South" on Thursday 19 September, 9.15–10.30 at Think Corner Stage (Yliopistonkatu 4). 

Professor Saskia Sassen (Columbia University) is noted for her analyses of globalization, cities and urban development and international human migration. She coined the term "global city" and is the recipient of diverse awards and mentions. Her most recent book "Expulsions: Brutality and Complexity in the Global Economy" (Harvard University Press 2014) is now out in 15 languages. Sassen will hold her lecture "Predatory Formations Dressed in Wall Street Suits and Algorithmic Math" on Thursday 19. September 2019 at 16.00–17.45 at Porthania Lecture Hall II (Yliopistonkatu 3). 

Professor Erik Swyngedouw's (University of Manchester) research interests include urban political-ecology, hydro-social conflict, urban governance, democracy and political power, environmental politics, and the politics of globalisation. Swyngedouw will hold his lecture "Life and Death in the Urbicene: The de-politicized fantasy of Anthropocenic urbanization" on Friday 20 September 2019 at 9.30–10.30 at Think Corner Stage (Yliopistonkatu 4).

See the full program and the working sessions here.

Refocusing inclusion and justice to the center of urban theory

The aim of the Conference is to develop and discuss new theoretical frameworks and methodological approaches to understand the multifaceted risks and vulnerabilities in contemporary cities and the emergent initiatives for enhanced equality, justice and wellbeing. The symposium is organized around the themes of violence and security, segregation and recognition and networks and innovation. These themes will be analyzed in diverse urban contexts, showing the similarities and differences, and continuities and changes across time and space.

Conference or­gan­izers

The symposium is organized by Florencia Quesada (HCAS), Anja Nygren, Professor in Development Studies, University of Helsinki, and Elina Hartikainen (HCAS).  Nygren is also the coordinator of the Academy of Finland project “Fragile cities in the global South: Societal security, environmental vulnerability and representative justice” (FCITIES). The symposium is a joint event organised by the Helsinki Collegium for Advanced Studies, the Faculty of Social Sciences, the “Fragile Cities in the Global South (FCITIES)” -Research Project, and the Political, Societal and Regional Change (PYAM) doctoral programme.

The event will be live streamed on UniTube. The stream link will be published before the event.

Read more about the conference "Cities of Inclusion – Spaces of Justice" here.

Florencia Quesada

One of the main organizers of the research symposium "Cities of Inclusion – Spaces of Justice" is Florencia Quesada. She is a university researcher and Docent at the Department of Development Studies, Faculty of Social Sciences, at University of Helsinki. She was a research fellow at the Helsinki Collegium for Advanced Studies for the period 2016–2019. Quesada’s current research focuses on the urban and cultural transformation of Guatemala City between 1880–1930.

She is a panelist in the first panel discussion on September 19 at 10.45-12.45 and her presentation is "On the fringes of urban justice: Perceptions of violence in precarious settlements in Guatemala City".

Quesada is also one of the speakers of the panel discussion “Divided City” on September 18 at 17.00 at Think Corner. The event is part of Think Corner’s “Crazy World” talk series which looks for causes and solutions to an unequal and divided world.