Christina Culwick presents at RC21 Conference in Italy

  • GCRO
  • Date of publication: 28 August 2015

GCRO researcher Christina Culwick presented a paper at the RC21 Conference in Urbino, Italy, held 27-29 August 2015. RC21 refers to Research Committee 21 of the International Sociological Association - on the Sociology of Urban and Regional Development.

The conference, which is held every two years, was organised under the theme The Ideal City: between myth and reality. It was opened by urban theorist heavyweight David Harvey, and more than 200 papers were presented over the two days.

Christina's paper was presented in a session convened by Jennifer Robinson (UCL) and Christian Schmid (ETH Zürich), on 'Reframing urban regions through comparative urbanism'. Her paper, entitled Social justice and sustainability transitions in the Gauteng City-Region, outlines various case studies that explore the 'muddy terrain' where 'sustainability' and 'social justice' stand as competing objectives, and therefore where government needs to forge an often difficult compromise between the two. In the paper's own words:

"Despite the literature emphasising the ‘nexus’ between sustainability and social justice agendas, there remains a relatively unexplored muddy terrain of where these agendas stand diametrically opposed. The challenge that this paper aims to explore is not where “urban environmental and social change co-determine each other” (Heynen, 2013, p. 1), but where they stand in opposition. In these instances decision-makers have to balance the benefits and disbenefits of each agenda"

The paper lays a basis for more in-depth research over the next year, that will culminate in a major research report.

See more on the conference here

See an outline of Christina's session, and a downloadable version of the paper, here



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