Contested urbanity: Balancing interests, values and politics of sustainable urban development

Given the inevitability of a global urban future, it is urgent to question both the efficiency and consumption of resources by the ever expanding cities in the developed and developing world. While a sustainable use of resources is the most logical course of action, the contested claims of priorities, interests and values that prevail are also a reality that needs to be addressed. Without a deeper understanding of urban politics and institutional capacity to steer processes of resource conscious urban development, technical solutions available have very little chance of effectuating the goals they set out to achieve. With the majority of the world’s population living in urban centers already, the issue of a fair distribution of resources in unequal societies is critical both among and within economies. The session will invite papers that illustrate the contested nature of urban development especially in terms of setting of priorities, balancing interests and addressing challenges of social, physical and economic inequity in an attempt to promote a more nuanced and grounded understanding of the implications of adopting strategies for sustainable urban development. We are especially open to papers that build on empirical data or case studies illuminating the issues in question.


Marianne Knapskog, Department of Urban Design and Planning,  NTNU

Einar Braathen, Norewegian Institute for Urban and Regional Research


List of participants