Climate change, sixth mass extinction, planetary urbanization, anthropocene… The environmental breakdown is not somewhere in a potential distant future. It is here and now, and part of the daily life of millions of people. However, different people are differently affected by hazards such as floods, heatwaves, habitat destruction, and general deterioration of their livelihoods. Concentrating people, infrastructure, but also social and technical innovation, cities are often called upon as places and actors of change. The call for a transition away from our current way of living seems to be unanimous. But what could or should this transition look like? If the cities of tomorrow must be “sustainable”, “inclusive” and “resilient” (UN SDG 11), these buzzwords tell us little about the contested nature of transitions, not about how public and private urban spaces could and should change concretely, or how just transitions could be achieved.
This public lecture series brings together scholars, practitioners, and activists from across Europe to reflect on questions surrounding key urban ecological phenomena. They will discuss unwanted, unspoken, un-governed sides to transitions: what are the political and contested dimensions of transitions? How does gender, ethnicity, ability, class, or sexuality impact people’s agency in transitions? Who will win and who will lose? Where is resistance and where is acceptance? What about challenges related to exnovation and stranded assets? Is a just transition the only way forward or a waste of time in the face of climate emergency? Presentations will include research findings about existing trends, but also open reflections about tensions and dilemmas that exist when talking about transition and about the fundamentally political nature of making it.
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Ik wil me graag inschrijven voor de volledige cyclus