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We see a surge in conflicts and protests in which citizens pit themselves against each other or the state, often in response to local policies or spatial interventions related to inequities in cities and the built environment.

Many of those involved in mobilizations or protests around these issues do not necessarily aim to dismantle the state, but rather, are seeking opportunities to negotiate transformative change with their neighbors or institutions of power. There is, however, very little systematic theorization of the longer-term impacts of such conflicts, and the conditions under which contestation and struggle in and over the built environment will transform political, social, and spatial practices as opposed to reinforce existent power structures and conditions of socio-spatial exclusion and privilege.

This Special Issue contributes to a better understanding of conflict and contradiction as potential forces for urban transformation. Read the whole special issue in the journal built environment here