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During this seminar, the European City in the early 21st Century is interrogated, using the ‘comparative gesture’ at various scales. During this day, European urban academics from the disciplines of geography, planning and sociology will present their perspective on the ‘European city’.

Detail Summary
Date 17 October 2019
Time 09:30 -17:30
Manchester Mike Kniec

After long histories of squalor and inequality, by the end of the twentieth century, the European City had emerged as an exemplary type of city. Its effective municipal governance, the broad provision of infrastructure, housing and welfare services, and its public spaces have led to attractive cities with a high quality of life. High levels of social redistribution and well-funded public housing schemes have meant low levels of poverty and segregation and a broad access to decent housing. For this reason, the European City has been hailed as a socially just urban model that is also generating economic and cultural dynamism.

Yet, the advent of neo-liberalism and the reform of welfare arrangements, economic transformations, the urban real estate boom, and global changes have all impacted and repositioned the European city. So, the question has become whether the idea of the ‘social’ European city, holds relevance today. More importantly, how we may think of the European City in our contextual understanding of urban social configurations. This seminar seeks to interrogate this, using the ‘comparative gesture’ at various scales. During this day, European urban academics from the disciplines of geography, planning and sociology will present their perspective on the ‘European city’.


Philip Lawton is assistant professor of Geography at Trinity College Dublin. His research focuses on uneven urban development, suburban futures and urban governance.

Manuel Aalbers is professor of Social and Economic Geography at KU Leuven. He is trained as a human geographer, sociologist and urban planner. His main research interest lies at the intersection of real estate, finance and states.

Mari Vaattovaara is professor of Urban Geography at the University of Helsinki and Director of Helsinki Institute of Urban and Regional Studies. Her research interests relate to the social and spatial developments in urban areas, segregation, immigration, housing preferences, and housing choice as well as to the housing policy. 

Sonia Arbaci Salazzaro is associate professor at the Bartlett School of Planning at University College London. She is interested in international comparative studies from a variety of disciplines and perspectives, with a particular attention to Southern European cities. Her research focuses on ethnic residential segregation and the role of the state in the production of inequality.

Daniel Sorando currently works at the department of Sociology at the University of Madrid. He does research in urban social stratification. Currently he is working on the project ‘Vulnerability, Participation and Citizenship’.

Roger Andersson is professor at the department of Social and Economic Geography at Uppsala University. His current research is focused on four substantive areas in the housing and urban development field: residential segregation, intra-urban migration, urban policy, and economic and social integration of immigrants.

Szymon Marcinczak is researcher at the Institute of Urban Geography and Tourism Studies at Lodz University. His main research fields are urban geography and economic geography. His research focuses on the increase of social inequalities and the processes of socioeconomic segregation and neighborhood change in cities after socialism.

Michael Gentile is professor at the department of Sociology and Human Geography at the University of Oslo. His work centres around geopolitics with a regional focus on the countries of Central and Eastern Europe, most notably Ukraine. 

Yuri Kazepov is professor of International Urban Sociology at the University of Vienna. His work centres around international urban sociology and comparative social policy.

Jennifer Robinson is professor of Geography at University College London. Currently she focuses on developing a postcolonial critique of urban studies. Her book Ordinary Cities (2006) looks at how the interplay between urban modernity and development frames a conceptual and practical divide between "Western" and "Third World" cities. Previously she has researched the relationship between power and space, specifically in cities and mostly in relation to South African politics.

All are welcome, but please register as places are limited.


De Nieuwe Liefde

Da Costakade 102

1053 WP, Amsterdam