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Urban Worlds

Research Themes

Sao Bento

View from Municipal office, Sao Bento, Sao Paulo

Making Urban Worlds

The urban geographical research in the department aims to understand the emerging ways in which urban worlds are produced, governed, contested and transformed. We are interested in what is 'new' about contemporary urbanism, including the techniques through which cities are governed, the domains through which urban life is lived and reformulated, and the prospects of different forms of urban justice and democracy. A key question for us is how to conceptualise and research the changing relations between urbanism and space, whether through the making and maintaining of existing and new technosocial and ecological infrastructures, the production and contestation of shifting political economic architectures, the everyday life of neighbourhood and street politics, or the politics of urban encounters and informalities. We ask how we might understand urban spatialities as relational - and post-relational - and seek to excavate the different ways in which we might think of the world as becoming urban. How, for instance, does thinking the 'urban' and the 'world' change as the world becomes urbanised and the urban worldwide? We reject the epistemic and institutional separation of urbanism into global North and global South, and instead ask how a diversity of urban experiences and theoretical histories might pluralise the ways in which we understand and research urban worlds.