Event Dates: 26 – 28 February 2013
University of Westminster
35 Marylebone Road
London NW1 5LS
115 New Cavendish Street
London W1W 6UW
Within the Limits of Scarcity: Rethinking Space, City and Practices
SCIBE PhD Conference 2013
Scarcity is often considered as a fundamental condition of human societies. On the one hand, the state of not having enough has been at the bottom of a variety of strategies and techniques to overcome it; on the other, it has served as an explanatory argument for social order, for distribution or for conflict. Scarcity has accompanied the becoming of the urban condition. Repeatedly, (im-)mate- rial shortage has been at the core of the city’s struggles. More recently, global economic uncertainty, widespread urban inequality and pressing environmental questions in both North and South, are posing acute challenges to all involved in producing the built environment. Within this scenario, different actors, from architects and other built environment professionals to local authorities and community based organisations, will be increasingly pressured to deploy strategies to work within or against the limits of scarcity.
This conference seeks to investigate the processes through which scarcity is constructed in specific urban settings, shedding light on its setting, emergence and production in the built environment. Moreover, it seeks to understand how the challenges posed by this condition can shape alternative ways of investigating, conceptualising and theorizing city and space so as to inform innovative strategies and challenge the existing normative practices.
Erik Swyngedouw (School of Environment and Development, University of Manchester) – Urban Socio-Ecological Equality? Urban Environmental Justice or POLITICAL-ecology?
Erik Swyngedouw is Professor of Geography at the University of Manchester in its School of Environment and Development. He received his PhD entitled “The production of new spaces of production” under the supervision of David Harvey at Johns Hopkins University (1991). From 1988 until 2006 he taught at the University of Oxford and was a Fellow of St. Peter’s College. He moved to the University of Manchester in 2006. Swyngedouw has published several books and research papers in the fields of political economy, political ecology, and urban theory and culture. He aims at bringing politically explicit yet theoretically and empirically grounded research that contributes to the practice of constructing a more genuinely humanizing geography.