Interpretation(s) of the City (2/2)

Type: Paper
Sponsor Groups:
Poster #:
Day: 4/10/2018
Start / End Time: 10:00 AM / 11:40 AM (MDT)
Room: Galerie 5, Marriott, 2nd Floor
Organizers: Koen Smet, Markus Moos
Chairs: Markus Moos


Despite years of research on the topic, what makes the urban ‘urban’ remains highly contested. For example, Allen Scott and Michael Storper’s 2014 article on “the nature of the city”, and more recent writings on “planetary urbanization” by Neil Brenner and Christian Schmid, have generated a flurry of writings supporting and refuting their theorizations (e.g. “provincializing critical urban theory” by Helga Leitner and Eric Sheppard).

This raises a question for us: There are a large number of interpretations and conceptualizations of the urban, why are these more often than not viewed as competing as opposed to complementary explanations? Rarely are different abstract conceptualizations of the city brought together in a way that would view them as complementary. This session invites contributors that theorize and conceptualize the urban using one or several theoretical, sub-disciplinary, and epistemological points of view.

Papers should outline the way they contribute to advancing abstract conceptualization of the urban in new ways, and the engage in critical ways with the theory that underpins this conceptualization, whether they focus critically on one theory or engage with several. The session aims to bring together a diversity of views on what constitutes the urban, hoping to contribute to more concrete theorization that engages a diversity of view points and perspectives. Of particular interest are perspectives engage with questions of scale and geographical contingencies.


Type Details Minutes Start Time
Presenter Jeremy Withers*, University of Toronto, Rethinking the Urban Process under Capitalism: financialization, rent, and the limits to spatial fixes 20 10:00 AM
Presenter Kaisa Schmidt-Thome*, Demos Helsinki, Aleksi Neuvonen, Demos Helsinki, Panu Lehtovuori, Tampere University of Technology, Questioning the inevitable urbanisation with the help of scenarios 20 10:20 AM
Discussant Koen Smet WU Vienna 20 10:40 AM

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