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Together with Christian Wicke from Utrecht University, ACUH member Tim Verlaan has been awarded a grant by the Royal Netherlands Institute in Rome to organise a four-day workshop on the history of urban social movements. Our colleagues Moritz Föllmer, Virginie Mamadouh, Peter van Dam, Justus Uitermark and Ceylin Idel are amongst the participants.

The last few years have seen an erosion of the liveability of European city centres. Rampant gentrification, increasing displacement and a growing disparity threaten the social and economic balance of many central districts. In response, local residents have been organizing themselves into urban movements demanding more affordable housing and political intervention. These movements distinguish themselves from other social movements in their localized actions for social justice and democracy, through which they seek to gain control over local urban transformation processes.

While these recent struggles over the right to the city have come to dominate academic and public debate, historians have remained remarkably silent about the long-term developments that have led up to the current situation. This is all the more striking given the multiple ways in which the demands and strategies of current movements mirror those of their historical predecessors.

The overall objective of this workshop is to bring together scholars from the emerging field of urban movement studies together with academics working on social movements in general, as well as representatives of contemporary social movements. Together, the participants aim to achieve a more comprehensive and multifaceted understanding of how structural economic change, ideological shifts, and the urban environment are intertwined. The workshop will take place at the Royal Netherlands Institute in Rome from 18-21 December.