Inclusive cities and global urban transformation

In the face of current events such as the pandemic, climate crises, Black Lives Matter, and continually widespread urban evictions, how to envision cities to become more inclusive is increasingly an urgent question. International agendas such as the United Nations’ New Urban Agenda and 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development push forward the ideal of ‘making cities inclusive, safe, resilient, and sustainable (SDG11)’. However, they tend to result in more top-down physical infrastructural development, which create new dynamics of inclusion and exclusion.

We need a set of alternative global urban strategies that address various forms of urban exclusion and survival and bottom-up experiences of sustainable development in order to establish how sustainable cities that prioritize social inclusion of vulnerable and excluded groups will look like. We propose here that the kind of sustainable urban development towards social inclusions is conceptually underpinned by agencies of urban dwellers in various urban settlements and neighborhoods, which scholars and activists are increasingly observing and analysing as everyday urban forms of socio-cultural practices and heterogeneous infrastructural constellations.

Andheri West, Mumbai, Maharashtra, India
Andheri West, Mumbai, Maharashtra, India, photo by Alfarnas Solkar on Unsplash

With this platform of Global Urban Transformation and Inclusive Cities, where the critical urban scholarship and activities unpack the relationship between urban and social transformations and address questions of power relationships and political equality that underlie existing vulnerability, exclusion and marginalization of urban dwellers. The platform hopefully becomes a network where we can discuss urban social justice and inclusion, not just within the academic circles, but more specifically in city planning, policy development and public debates that shape our common urban futures.

Planned activities:

  • Call for chapter proposals for a book: Inclusive cities in times of global urban transformations: Intersectionalities, infrastructures and sustainable development.
  • Workshop for sharing case studies of global urban transformation and inclusive cities for an edited book (August 2021)
  • Book launch (November 2021)

This project is related to the Open City Initiative. For more information, please contact:

Open City Initiative