August 22 – 25, 2007

Call for Papers
Venue: Forest Sciences Center, UBC, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
Hosts: The Department of Sociology and The Urban Studies Program, University of British Columbia &
International Sociological Association Research Committee 21 on Sociology of Urban and Regional Development

Organizer: Brian Elliott, Department of Sociology, UBC

Contact: Brian Elliott (Brian.Elliott@ubc.ca)
Fernando Diaz Orueta (Fernando.Diaz@ua.es)


Paper Abstract Submissions Deadline: April 30, 2007
FURS-RC21 Travel Grant Applications Deadline: May 31, 2007

A. Conference Rationale
B. Program Schedules
C. List of Sessions
D. About Vancouver
E. About UBC
F. Publication Opportunities
G. Accommodation

A. Conference Rationale

This conference focuses on two quests: one for social justice, the other for sustainability. The first encompasses a range of traditional social science issues like poverty, homelessness, segregation and discrimination, issues that have been given renewed urgency by processes of urban and regional development during the recent phase of globalization. Latterly, the search for sustainability – social and economic as well as ecological – has been given new impetus by the debate about global climate change and also the occurrence of some remarkable natural phenomena – hurricanes, massive fires, and floods, and a devastating tsunami. Both quests have radical implications: each calls into question the viability of current systems of production and consumption.

At this meeting we want to bring together sociologist, social geographers, political scientists, economists, planners, architects and others to answer questions like “How can the growing inequalities and injustices of much urban and regional development today be mitigated and reversed?” “What theories and what policies foster the promotion of social and economic justice?” “Where do we find projects, communities, regions or cities that illustrate that?” At the same time we want to consider “In what ways can sustainability best be promoted?” “Can we develop theories and practices that simultaneously build sustainability and justice at the urban, regional and global levels?”

B. Program Schedules

Wednesday, Aug 22: Registration and evening plenary
Thursday, Aug 23: Morning plenary and afternoon sessions
Friday, Aug 24: Morning plenary and afternoon sessions
Saturday, Aug 25: Urban tours in the morning

C. List of Sessions

Please send the title and abstract of your paper to a session organizer and the RC21 Secretary Fernando Diaz Orueta (Fernando.Diaz@ua.es) by April 30, 2007.

The abstract of your paper should be limited to 100 words and include your name, affiliation and email address.

The final programme will be available on the RC21 webpage.

1. The Aboriginal City: Native People and Urbanization in Settler Societies

George Morgan (University of Western Sydney, Australia) george.morgan@uws.edu.au

In much of the colonized world many indigenous people live not on their traditional lands - much of which was purloined through the process of European 'settlement' - but in large towns and cities. Those who have migrated from homelands to urban centers within a nation state can experience a sense of displacement at least as significant as that endured by immigrants from other lands. For much of the twentieth century indigenous people in cities struggled to maintain their sense of identity and communal solidarity in the face of social and official pressures to assimilate. Ironically, while indigenous people in cities today are among the most politically active for the causes of their people, they still struggle to have their status recognized. Popular and official prejudice holds that only those continuing to live traditional lives can claim to be authentic. This panel invites contributions from scholars who have undertaken research on/ with urban indigenous people in different parts of the world. It aims to provide a forum for developing an international comparative understanding of how urbanization has shaped indigenous culture/ community and how colonial states might extend social justice to those who are deemed to be living 'in between' tradition and modernity.

2. The Just City

Susan Fainstein (Harvard University, USA) sfainstein@aol.com

Concepts of a just city underlie most studies within urban political economy and motivate progressive planners and policy makers. Largely, however, these concepts have been intuitive rather than theoretically formulated. This panel invites papers that explicitly develop ideas of justice in relation to the urban realm.

3. Urban Poverty and Social Inequality in New Comparative Perspectives

Eduardo Marques (University of Sao Paulo, Brazil) ecmarq@uol.com.br

Poverty conditions and social inequalities in the city have always been at the center of urban studies. In the recent decades, cities have witnessed intense transformations in several dimensions of social reproduction with strong impact on living conditions, such as the economy, family structures and the State, not to mention geography at different scales. Until the moment, however, the international literature has considered the effect of those processes as quite homogeneous. As a consequence, we know little about the variation of the new poverty conditions present in different national and urban contexts. The goal of this session is to discuss such conditions comparatively, contributing to a better understanding of the reproduction of urban poverty and social inequalities in different social and political contexts. This session welcomes papers that, using empirical research strategies, analyze the characteristics of new poverty and the processes that produce it.

4. Urban Poverty, Justice and Sustainability in the Globalizing World

Ranvinder Singh Sandhu (G.N.D. University, India) ranvinder@yahoo.com

In the 21st century we are living in a period of profound technological, social, economic and cultural changes. Despite the development the efforts made by various agencies, poverty still affects half the world’s population. It is a manifestation of injustice prevailing in all societies in general and in the urban areas in particular. The figures are apocalyptic and depict the dangerous situation: 8 million children die each year because of poverty, 150 million children under the age of five suffer from extreme poverty, 100 million children live in the streets and every three seconds poverty kills a child somewhere.
Except for promising figures for China and India, the situation on poverty in the world is outright dangerous. Particularly in Least Developed Countries (LDCs) the situation is worsening. The UNCTAD report (2004) on LDCs states that the incidence of extreme poverty has not declined during 1990’s. It stresses that “ if these trends persist, it may be estimated that number of people living in extreme poverty in the LDCs will increase from 334 million people in 2000 to 471 million in 2015.”
Keeping the above scenario in mind, the present session would attempt to understand the poverty in relation to justice and sustainability. The big question is that whether under such circumstances urban world is sustainable. Why the poor are deprived of even the basic services? Who is responsible for the present situation? What can be done to improve it? Why the planning process has failed in developing countries to reach the target population?

5. Social Policy for Equality in Urban-Metropolitan Zone

Mario M. Carrillo Huerta ( Mexico) mmch@prodigy.net.mx

The recent revival of interest in social policy has covered much ground. Nowadays, many Latin American democratic governments -in particular the Mexico City government- have taken the social policy as a means to reach sustainability. For this, the equality is the most important path in any social policy. The goal of any government is to guarantee the well-being and sustainability of the youngest generations.
The objective of this session is to discuss the impacts of social programs (gender, education, health and housing) on the urban inequality. There is evidence that some governments have focused their social programs based on needs of the vulnerable groups, and the outcomes have been the improvement of well-being and perception of the citizens. This session also attempts to attract papers that analyze various social policy proposals designed to reduce the urban inequality gap.

6. Urban Segregation in Context

Thomas Maloutas (University of Thessaly and National Centre for Social Research, Greece) maloutas@ekke.gr

This session is planned as a reflection on the contextual specificity of segregation patterns and trends versus their determination by broad structural forces. It seeks to bring to the fore common traits in segregation processes and discuss whether they are related to specific types of context or simply due to the socio-spatial shifting and sorting, intrinsic in capitalist labor and housing markets. “Global cities” have been the par excellence context where, amidst globalization and pressure for thorough economic restructuring, the impact on their social structure, through changing labor markets, has been considered to be social polarization that eventually translated into increasing spatial polarization involving both gentrification and intensified segregation.
Socio-spatial polarization has evolved to a dominant way of seeing urban societies although such a trend is not often corroborated by empirical evidence even for the most prominent of “global cities”. On the broader level of large cities around the world, different welfare systems affecting both labor markets and housing provision systems, different historic paths that formed different political cultures and different forms of discrimination in terms of class, race or ethnicity, and different governance arrangements have formed a variety of settings where diverse segregation patterns and trends have been developed. Does this diversity of outcomes challenge the alleged omnipotence of globalization pressure on any local social regulation scheme to escape from the fate of socio-spatial polarization? Does this diversity of outcomes mean that effective policy action against socio-spatial polarization is possible?
This session invites papers presenting evidence about the increasing (or decreasing) spatial isolation of the poor (or racially or otherwise subordinate groups) as well as the rich; at the same time it invites reflection on the context dependence of presented outcomes.

7. Housing and Sustainability

Chris Pickvance (University of Kent, UK) c.g.pickvance@kent.ac.uk

This is a large area and the topics below are only a few which the session could cover: a) The varied meanings of sustainable housing, b) urban planning and the sustainable city housing under different socio-economic conditions; c) Visions of sustainable housing: from practical to ideal; d) The party politics of sustainable housing; e) Sustainable housing as a discourse, and its effects; f) Sustainable housing as an organizational problem for government; g) Local and central initiative in sustainable housing; h) Pressure groups and the mobilization of actors around sustainable housing; i) Sustainable housing: from attitudes to action at household level; j) Experiences of sustainable housing; l) Producer perspectives on sustainable housing; k) Sustainable housing: a new area of social inequality (e.g. class, gender, ethnicity dimensions); m) Technical innovation vs changed life-styles as ‘solutions’ to sustainable housing; n) Measures of sustainability in housing.

8. Urban Regeneration and the Sustainability of Working-Class Neighborhoods

Paul Watt (University of Wolverhampton, UK) P.Watt@wlv.ac.uk

Urban regeneration is ostensibly about improving the lives of those people living in deprived and disadvantaged urban neighborhoods, both in the inner cities as well as peripheral estates. By and large, the populations of such areas are working class and increasingly multi-ethnic. This session aims to examine what the impacts of urban regeneration policies and projects are on such working-class neighborhoods: are they made more or less sustainable and on who’s terms? The theoretical emphasis is one that views urban regeneration in a critical manner by attempting to move beyond both the cliches of urban regeneration professionals and the positivist amassing and dissection of indicators beloved of evaluation researchers.
- Themes could include the following, although these are by no mean exhaustive;
- The impact of regeneration projects on working-class public space and leisure activities;
- The re-engineering of working-class identities and cultures via urban regeneration policies and practices;
- Whether regeneration projects exacerbate intra-working class divisions (e.g. by race) by benefiting some neighborhoods or groups rather than others;
- Examples of resistance by working-class neighborhoods to urban regeneration.
- Demographic displacement of working-class populations.
- Relationships between urban regeneration professionals and working-class neighborhoods.
- Relationships between incoming gentrifiers and long-term working-class residents.

9. Culprit and Savior? Cities Challenged by Sustainability

Kuniko Fujita (Michigan State University, USA and Japan) fujitak@msu.edu

Cities are both culprits and victims of global climate change. Cities are responsible for 75 percent of global carbon dioxide and simultaneously acutely vulnerable to environmental degradation and global warming. Thirteen of the world’s fifteen largest cities are threatened from rising sea levels and storm frequency generated by global climate change. Culprits and victims, major cities of the world are now projecting policies to sustain low carbon society, future generations and ecosystems. Will they succeed? Can urban sustainability policies also promote social and economic justice as the impact of global climate change falls heavily on poor neighborhoods with the highest rates of air pollution linked diseases, like asthma and lung cancer? Are there policy examples that suggest a sustainable city can also be a more egalitarian and just city? This session explores the social consequences of sustainability policies and attempts to develop theories that connect sustainability and justice in the urban and regional context.

10. Tourism, Urbanization and Sustainability

Fernando Diaz Orueta (University of Alicante, Spain) Fernando.Diaz@ua.es

Tourist activity is promoting the development of non sustainable urban growth processes in certain territories. This is the case not only of especially vulnerable coastal and mountain areas, but even of urban areas where spaces with a great environmental value are sacrificed in order to stimulate economic growth. Moreover, under neoliberalism policies, the new housing markets dynamics have caused a rise in residential mobility and, particularly, of transnational investment on second home, strongly linked to the so-called residential tourism. As a consequence, different territories of the planet undergo an intensive and disorganized process of urban growth. This session will therefore ask the following questions. Is the growing tourist industry compatible with a process of urbanization based on sustainable criteria? Could tourism become the basic pillar for an alternative strategy to traditional economies? Is ecotourism possible? What are social and environmental impacts of coastal and mountain resorts? What is the impact of major urban development projects (those mainly focused on tourist promotion)? What kind of territories results of the residential tourism expansion? Are social inequalities increasing in these territories? What is the role played by local authorities? Is the tourism-based urban development model being faced by urban movements?

11. Youth, Citizenship and Sustainability

Organizer will be posted soon.

12. In-Between Infrastructure: Access and Vulnerability in the New Urban Region

Roger Keil (York University, Canada) rkeil@yorku.ca

Urban regions around the world are growing in a peculiar new way. The older downtown-suburban dichotomy has given way to new socio-spatial forms which German planner Tom Sieverts has called the “in-between city”. In this session, we will explore issues of justice and sustainability in these new urban areas with regards to access and vulnerability. Our focus is on the specific social and physical infrastructure needs of the new urban forms. It is assumed that the metropolitan infrastructures of past generations have given way to the splintered and uneven infrastructures of today. This development is particularly visible in the “in-between city” where the urban region finds its new socio-spatial and political-ecological morphology. This session appeals to all types of empirical cases from the growing global cities of the West and East Asia, to the shrinking cities of Eastern Europe, and the megacities of the global South.

13. The New Megaproject: Sustainable and Just?

Ute Lehrer (York University, Canada) lehrer@yorku.ca
Jennefer Laidley (York University, Canada) jlaidley@yorku.ca

Current large-scale projects constitute a new paradigm of city-building that has rough equivalencies to the modernist megaprojects of the mid-20th century, but is framed within a very different set of discourses that correspond to changed and changing macroeconomic and socio-cultural conditions.
We contend that, since the late 1980s, the term Megaproject has been used by scholars to explain a very different set of spatial, economic, ideological and social relations than it formerly described. At the same time, the use of megaprojects as a developmental strategy has shifted from an obvious pursuit of modernist ideals to an urbanization based on the logic of flexible accumulation. Shaped by neoliberalized rationalities, the new megaproject thus creates, and can be used to describe, both large-scale, multi-dimensional, spectacularised landscapes, as well as proliferations of individual, atomized and homogeneous sites.
We invite papers that conceptualize and give definition to the new megaproject through systematic theoretical explorations of current large-scale investments in the urban built environment. We hope thereby to enrich debates around the processes of urban planning, urban politics, and the prospects for sustainability and justice in a contemporary urban context.

14. Urban Projects, Sustainability and Governance

Tony Genco (Parc Downsview Inc., Canada) tgenco@pdp.ca

The challenges to a practical understanding of what “sustainability” is are a byproduct of outcomes. But how does one create the condition through which outcomes can be addressed? This session explores some examples of initiatives at various stages of development that have some lessons learned and conditions based on structures and processes that have produced various results. Through the evaluation of projects such as Downsview Park in Canada and various Swedish models, we can assess what sustainability needs in terms of processes to produce outcomes. This session also examines lessons learned in the development of a comprehensive mandated sustainability challenge that is integrated in all respects.

15. Governance and Sustainability in Asian Cities

Mee Kam Ng (University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, China) meekng@hku.hk
Chia-Huang Wang (Yuan Ze University, TAIWAN) wanghcia@saturn.yzu.edu.tw

Little research work has been done to relate modes of governance (governing relationships that determine decision making mechanisms and political objectives) to sustainable development which involves, among others, organizational changes to achieve simultaneous social, economic and environmental improvements. Few published work has explored how governing relationships among and within the public, private and third sectors have affected a city’s sustainable development strategy. The limited literature that exists is derived from western contexts and models peculiar to the Asian setting are still find wanting. To fill this research lacuna, this session invites papers that investigate the relationships between modes of governance and sustainability policy and implementation in Asian cities. Submitted papers should have a distinctive Asian focus, centering on integrated or sectoral (social, economic or environmental) policies surrounding sustainable development and their relationships within the embedded mode of governance.

16. Metropolitanization and Urban Governance : the Future of City-Regions

Pierre Hamel (University of Montreal, Canada) pierre.hamel@umontreal.ca

Everywhere metropolitanization processes are growing in complexity. Relationships between core cities and suburbs have developed around an increased number of functions and activities. New challenges due to economic and social segregation, environmental concerns and adaptability to global trends are on the metropolitan political agenda. Over the past thirty years, local, regional and/or national governments have put forward diverse institutional restructuring often defined in terms of urban governance in order to cope with these issues. In the current globalizing context, do local actors have a say in the future of city-regions? To what extent do recent metropolitan reforms improved the social, economic and cultural life of city-regions? Which actors benefited from these reforms? In conjunction and/or beyond these types of reforms, in what terms should the future of city-regions be defined? Are there important issues, problems or challenges that had been overlooked by the literature on metropolitan governance?

17. Order and Disorder and the Urban Landscape

Sophie Body-Gendrot (University of Paris, France) bodygend@wanadoo.fr

In many societies, the emphasis put on safety, the diffusion of knowledge about the tiniest incidents, the abundance of advice and of information relative to risks and the market supporting such trends create urban fears in return and a demand for more protections. Unsafety and disorder are also products of representations. Modes of representation rely indeed on boundaries (between individuals, cultures, groups, nations), between centers and peripheries and on figures of Otherness – the infiltrated enemy, the alien and the subversive- in the articulation of danger.
The political instrumentalization of fear makes it easier to govern, to mobilize law-abiding citizens against easy targets and to legitimize spontaneous social separatism. Metropolises of the South are not immune. But in such metropolises, institutions frequently find themselves lacking in moral authority and legitimacy to punish criminals. Too little state is thus a catastrophe and self-help is used both by affluent as by poorer residents to secure their daily order. Some norms are internally produced as in gated communities with guards and cameras, but in poor areas as well.
This session intends to examine a number of complex questions: Is urban insecurity as an excuse not to live together? What resources (physical, coercive, social, civic) have cities to deal with risks and threats in times of global uncertainty? How do they transmit a sense of order to both their residents and other actors on whom they depend? How much powerful is the political meaning of public space? Can and should order be co-produced by institutions, by private entrepreneurs and by civil society? If so, what shape should this co-production take?

18. Urban Inclusion and Citizen Participation

Hilary Silver (Brown University, USA) Hilary_Silver@brown.edu

A central theme of the 2007 RC21 conference is “how can the growing inequalities and injustices of much urban and regional development today be mitigated and reversed?” Many believe that the very process of addressing inequalities is itself unequal. In order to empower those whose interests are excluded from policy decision-making, democratic procedures must be transformed. In New York, changes in the urban land uses must be reviewed by elected community-level boards. In Sao Paulo, Berlin, and other cities, ordinary citizens have been encouraged to participate in budgetary decision-making. In other places, seats at the table in consultative organizations are reserved for disadvantaged target groups. This session will examine inclusionary processes that promote direct citizen participation in urban governance.

19. Urban Participation and Urban Governance

Yuri Kazepov (University of Urbino, Italy) yuri.kazepov@uniurb.it
Alan Scott (Innsbruck University, Austria) alan.scott@uibk.ac.at

In his posthumously published Space and Power, Paul Hirst argues that the city can “only be fully understood as a political institution. It is defined by its role in governance” (Hirst 2005: 9) and further that “developed governance has always been urban” (ibid 11). This is a line of thought that has run through urban studies at least since Weber argued that modern forms of political citizenship have urban roots. Yet recent commentators, for example Fainstein, Pickvance and Mayer, have noted a decline in urban movement activity, at least in ‘Western’ cities. Notions like ‘non-places’ (Marc Augé), ‘exoplis,’ ‘city-full non-cityness’ (Ed Soja) and ‘neo-liberal state spaces’ (Neil Brenner) all seek to capture the depoliticization of the city and of urban spaces. If Hirst’s assertion that democratic governance is essentially urban is correct, then the alleged depoliticization of the city may contribute to the emergence, at the level of and above the nation state, of what Colin Crouch has called ‘post-democratic practices’ and Danilo Zolo ‘antipolis.’
This session invites papers on urban participation and governance. Papers on experiments in urban democracy – e.g. deliberative democracy, Stoker’s CLEAR model, etc. – as well as empirical analysis of urban politics (e.g. urban movements) are welcome.

20. Spaces of Contention: Cities and the Making of Social Movements

Walter Nicholls (California State University, USA) wnicholl@csulb.edu
Justin Beaumont (University of Groningen, The Netherlands) j.r.beaumont@rug.nl
Byron Miller (University of Calgary, Canada) bavrmill@ucalgary.ca

What roles do cities play in large scale social movements? In recent years we have witnessed the rise of a variety of potent social justice mobilizations occurring in cities. These campaigns have addressed issues ranging from living wages to environmental justice. While these mobilizations are certainly expressions of specific ‘urban’ grievances, they are also intimately linked to wider scale networks that span across regional and national borders. This session revives Manuel Castells’s ‘urban question’ by examining how cities contribute to structuring and informing wider scale social movements. The session does this by focusing on the distinctive character of mobilizations occurring in cities and examining how these particular mobilizations become linked to one another through national and transnational networks. We encourage contributors to explore the ways in which particular urban mobilizations are embedded in broader networks, how urban mobilizations contribute to the general movement, and how tensions between the particular and general help shape the content and form contemporary social movements.

Pertinent Questions:
- How do cities influence the grievances and issues of actors?
- How do social movement organizations respond to the varying political opportunities found in local, regional, national, and international institutions?
- What are the advantages of organizing campaigns in cities?
- and what ways are urban-based social movement networks different from national and transnational networks?
- Do the resource mobilization capacities of actors differ across spatial scales?
- What kinds of tensions arise between place-based actors?
- Are concepts such as ‘nodes’ and ‘clusters’ relevant for understanding multi-scalar social movements?
- What are the different ways of organizing networks across spatial scales?

21. Urban Ethno-Communal Conflicts and Urban Sustainable
Peace Movement

Raimi Abidemi Asiyanbola (Nigeria) siyraimi@yahoo.com or demisyra@hotmail.com

The role of ethnicity as a mobilising agent is among the most important questions of this century. Conflicts linked to ethnicity have led to significant loss of life and injuries in many countries, and become major elements in impoverishment, undermining human security and sustainable urban development. Although, there have been various studies on peace and conflict which have provided novel theoretical perspectives, however, when assessed jointly, most of the publications particularly on African peace and conflict are relatively weak in terms of systematically providing empirical evidence to substantiate its claims. The literature does not consist of any systematic qualitative cross case study, nor any statistical study trying to substantiate claims of general patterns across the continent. This session will welcome papers based on empirical research on ethnicity and urban conflicts. Papers presenting in-depth case study which include a discussion of urban sustainable peace movements will be particularly welcome.

22. The Right to Public Space and the Politics of the Unprivileged

Judit Bodnar (Central European University, Hungary) Bodnarj@ceu.hu

The right to public space is constitutive of the right to the city and citizenship. It entails the right to be seen and to see others in public and use space as a resource. Public space has always operated through a set of exclusions. This panel examines the exclusions through which the new order and politics of public space emerge in neoliberal urban restructuring. The globalizing city collects a disproportionate share of disenfranchised actors, for many of whom it is through the politics of place that they gain recognition as citizens. Their right to public space is the right to strategic places which provide them with a livelihood, as it is for vendors, beggars, entertainers and prostitutes; the right to a dwelling as in the case of homeless and undocumented slum dwellers; the right to strategic visibility for the poor that earns them recognition and make them escape the confines of locality by becoming a social problem, a problem of the city, tourism and the country’s capacity to allure capital. The panel invites contributions that illuminate contemporary politics of public space especially as they are related to the politics of the unprivileged.

23. Culture, Consumption and the City

Rhodri Windsor-Liscombe (University of British Columbia, Canada) rhodri@interchange.ubc.ca

24. Impact of Ethnic Organizations on Urban Life

Tetsuo Mizukami (Rikkyo University, Japan) tetsuo@rikkyo.ac.jp

In the midst of the processes of ongoing global migration, various metropolitan areas around the world have already experienced ethnically-oriented social changes. In fact, metropolitan centres of the highly industrialized countries, and also the newly industrializing economies, embrace sub-populations of foreign residents, including business expatriates, migrant workers, and many other types of sojourners and settlers. Some groups or organizations, which are composed chiefly of ethnic compatriots, are quite visible in many metropolitan centres: Some have arisen from the efforts of an affluent class or equal status strangers, while others are from under-privileged classes when compared in socio-political terms with host majorities. How do they relate to the host metropolitan communities? And what kind of practices and new initiatives and diverse customs do they bring? Are they influential actors in the development of the doctrines that underguard urban life in host communities? This session is interested in empirical work of any ethnic organizations whose movements, activities, or disciplines have some effects upon the urban lives of host communities.

25. After Multiculturalism

Jan Willem Duyvendak (University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands) duyvendak@uva.nl

Many authors claim that ‘multiculturalism’ is disappearing as a model for integration and coexistence in increasingly plural societies. Some authors are highly critical of the allegedly relativistic character of multiculturalism and they favor more demanding and normative ideals like assimilationism. Other critics, more of the left, attack multiculturalism as a form of essentializing and categorizing politics. For this session, we welcome empirically grounded papers dealing with the transformation of multiculturalism, preferably at the local level (city and neighborhood). Submitted papers should transcend rather sketchy rise-and-decline-pictures of multiculturalism and deal with all kind of transformations and reinventions, like diversity policies. Preferably, papers pay attention to various actors (antimulticulturalists, Islamic and anti-racist counterpublics, et cetera) in different arena’s.

26. Cultural Development and Equity

Lily Hoffman (City University of New York, USA) LilyMHoff@aol.com

Cultural development and equity Culture has become part of urban development rhetoric and practice, ranging from cultural districts, to broader discussion of attractivity of place, multi-culturalism, “creative class,” and re-structuring urban economies. Some see culture as an economic generator, making for new possibilities regarding social/spatial arrangements. Some argue that cultural development implies commodification, is a gateway to gentrification, and increases social and spatial polarization. This session proposes to examine these issues analytically and empirically. What drives the demand for cultural development and cultural policy? How does cultural development affect social and spatial inequality? Are there linkages that pose specific types of threats or benefits to people and place? What are the equity considerations as cities engage in cultural development in a post industrial/ post Fordist environment ?

27. Malls in Globalizing Cities

K.C. Ho (National University of Singapore, Singapore) sochokc@nus.edu.sg

As shopping malls proliferate and become new fixtures in many rapidly developing cities in the world, attention should be focused on developing a multidisciplinary, comparative and systematic understanding of the development of malls. We need to move beyond a mere mention of such features as part of the new physical ensembles of globalization and understand their insertion into the built environment and their impacts in globalizing cities. Papers are invited to address the following issues: (a) the planning and design considerations and follow through of such projects (e.g. their development as part of larger projects, integration and access issues, public space provision, displacement); (b) malls and the formation of new consumption desires, practices and lifestyles; and
(c) contrasts with street trading and traditional city markets (integration with community, synergies between commercial and cultural practices)

28. Crossovers: The City and Cultural Boundaries

Annika Teppo (University of Helsinki, Finland) annika.teppo@helsinki.fi

Cultural, ethnic or “racial” boundaries are often dismissed as too vague, fluid or hard to grasp adequately. Yet there are ways to study these boundaries; especially where they are threatened and/or reproduced. Urban life offers fascinating perspectives on these processes, as these boundaries are frequently transgressed in cities. How are these boundaries crossed or maintained in an urban environment, and what is at stake? What are the spatial and cultural expressions of these crossovers, and how do they manifest themselves?
This session’s interest does not only lie in those boundaries drawn within cities, but also in local and transnational encounters. How does the local mediate the global, and in which ways are they both transformed in the everyday life of urban residents? This session invites papers that discuss cultural, ethnic and “racial” crossovers in the urban space(s).

29. Methods and Methodologies in Urban Studies

Anne Haila (University of Helsinki, Finland) anne.haila@helsinki.fi

The discipline of urban studies is a multi-disciplinary science that uses methods, theories and concepts from sociology, anthropology, economics, geography, architecture and political analysis. One could imagine that such pluralism would easily lead to a lively discussion and debate on methods and methodologies, and to a systematic developing of methods within urban studies community. This has, however, not been the case but instead urban researchers and scholars have often tended to focus on practical and political issues at the costs of contemplating methods. This session will discuss urban studies methods (like comparative urban research, survey methods, analyzing maps and policy documents, interviewing key actors, observing city scenes) and methodologies, aiming to understand better urban studies methods and develop them further; build bridges and establish more connections between theoretical and empirical research on urban issues; discuss whether urban studies could be defined by common method despite the inherent plurality of urban sciences.

30. The Sociology and Geography of Homeownership and Mortgage Markets

Manuel B. Aalbers (Columbia University, USA) m.b.aalbers@gmail.com

From the late 1970s till the early 1990s debates on homeownership and mortgage markets were at the centre of urban sociology and human geography (e.g. David Harvey, Peter Saunders). Although the attention in social science has waned, the importance of homeownership and mortgage markets to cities and societies has not. To the contrary: homeownership rates have steadily increased in most countries and mortgage markets have grown dramatically and now represent almost €12/$15.5 trillion worldwide. This expansion has happened at a time that most social scientists, including those in urban studies, have paid little attention to these issues and have left the analysis of homeownership and mortgage markets to economists. The rise of predatory lending has resulted in a new interest among social scientists in mortgage markets. But more issues beg the attention of social scientists: credit scoring, risk-based pricing, securitization (secondary mortgage markets), globalization of mortgage markets, geographical selection (redlining), and so on. The aim of this session is to put the debate on homeownership and mortgage markets back in the centre of social science in general, and urban studies in particular.

31. The Centrality of Urban History in Sociology: The Case of 19th Century Britain

Ian Morley (Chinese University of Hong Kong) ianmorley@arts.cuhk.edu.hk

The injustices or ‘costs’ of urban development have for almost 175 years been written about, albeit initially in the context of sanitary improvement and ‘the slum question’. Central to this literary process was the growth of British urban sociology and medical enquiries that utilized social surveys, quantitative statistical analysis and empirical results in order to edify public opinion and identify ‘black-spots’ in the spatial and psychological cognitive schemata of Victorian settlements. The emergence of public health reports by the likes of medical practitioners and civil servants, such as Thomas Southwood Smith, William Farr and Edwin Chadwick, were thus not only vital components in cementing the correlation between poverty, disease, the environment – key elements in modern ‘sustainable’ thinking – but in the foundation of modern sociology. In light of past and contemporary parallels relating to assessment of the urban situ this proposal for conference shall attempt to solicit the position of urban historical sociology within the evolution of debates cantering upon social justice and sustainability.

32. Education and Sustainability

Rob VanWynsberghe (University of British Columbia, CANADA) rvanwyns@interchange.ubc.ca
Meg Holden (Simon Fraser University, CANADA) mholden@sfu.ca

The role of education in moving both sustainability agendas forward is a largely unexamined domain, overlooked in research and in curriculum design alike. This session examines models being developed to orient classrooms toward sustainability, the theories driving these models, and their emergent impacts. Questions to be explored include the value of learning and classroom design across and between traditional disciplines and institutions; the costs and benefits of bridging the traditional divide among elected officials, bureaucrats, community and the world of sustainability practice and; strategies for renegotiating the means and ends of education to enhance its role in sustainability.

D. About Vancouver

The City of Vancouver has less than 600,000 inhabitants, but the greater Vancouver area has nearly 2,000,000 people. Along with other municipalities, Vancouver sends representatives to a body known as the Greater Vancouver Regional District (GVRD) which has been attempting to implement a ‘Livable Region’ policy with many features aimed at social and economic as well as ecological sustainability.

Since its foundation in the late nineteenth century Vancouver has always been an ethnically diverse place. There were various First Nations in what we now call the Lower Mainland and the early settlers were not just of British or French descent but counted Chinese, Japanese, Sikhs, Americans, Hawaiians and numerous others among their number. In the last thirty years that diversity has only increased and today the city and region hold not only very large populations of Chinese and South Asians, but substantial numbers from Central and Latin America, from just about every Asian and European country, from Iran and many other nations in the so-called Middle East, as well as groups from the former Soviet states and from Africa. Vancouver, indeed the whole of B.C. benefits enormously from this with an amazing array of cultural events and practices, numerous holy-days and the most enticing and affordable restaurants imaginable.

E. About UBC

The University of British Columbia (UBC) is one of Canada’s largest and most respected universities. With some 35,000 undergraduates, 8,000 graduate students, more than 4,000 faculty, a revenue well in excess of one billion dollars a year and an impressive record of research and innovation it is not surprising that it is attracting excellent students and faculty from around the world. Particularly in the last decade, it has earned an international reputation as a major research institution.

Its main campus enjoys a stunningly beautiful site on Point Grey. Visit the Museum of Anthropology and walk out to look over the Straight of Georgia to Vancouver Island and across to the North Shore. You will find yourself looking at the entrance to the 30 km fiord-like Howe Sound with its islands and snow-capped mountains and the twisting road that leads to Whistler and North America’s best ski-ing. In the 1920s the Provincial Government set aside 3,000 acres as ‘The Endowment Lands’ to provide both a new site for the university, which had little room for expansion in its original downtown location, and a resource from which it could derive development revenue. Although some 1,800 of those original acres were turned into Provincial park, the university still has sufficient land not only for the expansion of its own facilities but for the creation of a whole ‘University Town’. It comes as a surprise to most visitors (and students) to realize that UBC is not part of the City of Vancouver, but is actually administered by the Provincial government in Victoria. In practice, it has come to act more and more like an independent municipality, which means assuming responsibility for urban planning. It is this, in part, that led in 1997 to a very self-conscious adoption of ‘sustainability’ as a development principle – that, and the long history of academic work that related to British Columbia’s abundant, but declining natural resources in fish, forests and minerals. And that history of resource dependency helps explain why Vancouver was the birthplace of Greenpeace, among many other environmental organizations.

So, UBC is a particularly appropriate place in which to hold a conference on sustainability. (Visit the main website – ubc.ca – and follow the links to University Town and to Sustainability to find out more).

F. Publication Opportunities

We have received the following offers from two journals:

1) The editorial team of Urban Geography is always seeking out opportunities to expand our publication of cutting-edge urban scholarship, and welcomes submissions of article-length manuscripts from this important conference.
For submission information, visit http://www.bellpub.com/ug/ or contact Co-Editors Peter Muller (pmuller@miami.edu) or Elvin Wyly (ewyly@geog.ubc.ca).

2) Julian Agyeman, editor of Local Environment: The International Journal of Justice and Sustainability, also welcomes paper submissions and offers a special issue from the conference. For this journal, visit http://www.tandf.co.uk/journals/carfax/13549839.html.

G. Accommodation

Accommodations are available in the two graduate colleges and in the old faculty club on UBC campus. More information will be posted on the RC21 web page later on. You can also find hotels in downtown Vancouver by www.expedia.com, www.travelocity.com, www.hoteldiscounts.com, www.obodo.com