Building new concepts in urban studies: Challenges and tactics in comparative urbanism I - Comparison through circulations

Type: Paper
Sponsor Groups:
Poster #:
Day: 4/6/2019
Start / End Time: 1:10 PM / 2:50 PM (MDT)
Room: Balcony A, Marriott, Mezzanine Level
Organizers: Jennifer Robinson
Chairs: Jennifer Robinson


While the imperative to think the urban “with elsewhere” catches some of the core challenges of understanding global urbanisation, the discrete territoriality of the conventional comparative imagination is a poor fit with complex, networked and dispersed spatialities of interdependent urban territories, or the extended, even planetary, urbanisation processes which characterise contemporary urbanisation. So, to rethink the urban, it is necessary to rethink methodologies and tactics for building understandings of urbanisation processes and outcomes. Alongside emergent processes of urbanisation, analytical concerns regarding how perspective and positionality frame theoretical debates, as well as longstanding awareness of the distinctive specificities of particular urban places, cities, territories or transcalar interactions, set a formidable methodological agenda. Navigating between the spatialities of concept formation and those of urban processes and outcomes, the comparative imagination and method require significant reconfiguration. In these sessions presenters whose work engages with different regions and disciplinary problematics explore a range of creative responses to the challenges of building comparative insights, including attention to the practice of comparison, methodological innovations and ways to rethink comparison as such.

This first session ("Comparison through Circulations") explores the potential for establishing the “grounds” or justifications for comparison as well as the practical methodological procedures in the interconnections amongst “cities”. But what exactly is helpful to do with the exciting, experimental, perhaps unexpected comparisons which are now possible to contemplate? What might be the scope and tactics for a practice of comparison through connections, which can start anywhere and build comparisons and analytical insights across a very great diversity of urban experiences? How can we proceed?


Type Details Minutes Start Time
Presenter Sergio Montero*, Universidad De Los Andes, Gianpaolo Baiocchi, New York University, Tracing Policy Immobilities through A Posteriori Comparisons: What ‘Best Practices’ Leave Behind 20 1:10 PM
Presenter Juan Miguel Kanai*, University of Sheffield, Seth Schindler*, , Scrambling for infrastructure investments: A comparative perspective on regional planning’s revival 20 1:30 PM
Presenter Lukasz Stanek*, The University of Manchester, Comparison in the Cold War: Thinking the Third World Through the Second World. 20 1:50 PM
Presenter Astrid Wood*, Newcastle University, Tracing policy mobilities: methods of actually doing comparative urbanism 20 2:10 PM
Discussant Garth Myers Trinity College 10 2:30 PM

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