RC21 Leeds: Valuing Urban Dissensus: Contested Knowledge Claims in Realising Just Cities

Monday, September 11, 2017 - 09:00 to Wednesday, September 13, 2017 - 17:00
RC21 Leeds

Victoria Habermehl and Beth Perry are organising two sessions at the RC21 Conference in Leeds entitled ‘Valuing Urban Dissensus’. The sessions explore questions relating to the role and value of citizens’ knowledge in sustainable urban development projects. A plurality of cases had been selected to draw out themes around dissensus as community contestation, dissensus in everyday life and challenging business as usual. Urban case studies selected are from the UK, Spain, Israel, the Netherlands, Belgium, Sweden and India.

Papers examine the emergence of contested knowledge claims about urban development and highlighted the strengths and limits of inclusivity in urban decision- and policy-making processes. The papers will develop and focus on the following questions:

  • How do we understand alternative urban narratives and movements in terms of the contestations that happen in everyday life?
  • How do city councils/ developers and community discourses get narrated, retold and reformed? Who is included and excluded?
  • What cases of urban dissent can be identified which embody different productions of the urban and challenge business-as-usual models of everyday urbanism?
  • What technologies and communicative devices are used to both demonstrate and organise these urban controversies? What evidence is there of the relationship between urban contestation and more just outcomes in cities? How would we know?
  • What can we learn from cases of urban dissent for how we can value contestation within democratic urban politics?
  • How do marginal community knowledges becomes enrolled in dissensus, challenging consensual views on urban sustainable development?
  • What are the implications for the design and operation of knowledge architectures which manage with, rather than manage out, dissent?