Changing Voices? European Civil Society in the Global Urban Development Discourse

Annual Virtual Trialog Conference September 2021
Wednesday 8 Sep 2021, 13:00 - Saturday 25 Sep 2021, 16:30
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Civil society's engagement from North to South in urban development provides a complex picture that can be interpreted in many ways. This year's TRIALOG conference is dedicated to a critical (self) reflection of past and future roles of European civil society and academia in the global urbanisation discourse.

Despite the continuously growing importance for global social, economic, and environmental development and sustainability, urban areas in Africa, Asia and Latin America struggled to receive attention and support. Their perception of being predominantly rural also caused this negligence. The North was forcing on "developing countries" and justified governments denying the national populations' right to urbanise and transform. 

In this context, a diversified landscape of European Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) and academic institutions has emerged that critically reflects on prejudices and actively engages in the urban development of the Global South. European civil society has effectively challenged biases and the hegemonic interpretations of development and promoted alternative urban development methods. By learning from, exchanging on, and informing about the conditions and dynamics of urbanisation globally, Europe-based journals, associations, and institutes have contributed to the current, multifaceted interpretation of cities in the South, specifically in regards to the situation of the urban poor, spatial justice, housing, etc.

Such associations and networks were created to provide greater visibility and promote alternative ways for development by exchanging on, learning and informing about the conditions and dynamics in the Global South. Civil society has since then contributed to broaden the discourse in Europe. It has also helped to shape our shared understanding of urban development today. 

The conference looks into significant European contributions from its civil society in the past and how false assumptions and alternative hegemonies have triggered our understanding and actions in the present. Twelve panels will assess the roles and impacts of urban stakeholders, particularly CSOs, and the transitions and reform processes they underwent over the past decades.

Considering its geographic position, we also would like to discuss the future of a globalised civil society: What will the coming generation of CSOs look like?

Registration and attendance are free of charge.

More information

You can find more information on the Trialog website.

Feel free to check out the conference on the Trialog Facebook and LinkedIn pages.

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