Programme 19 September


9:00–9:30 Registration, Coffee & Tea

9:30–9:45 Introduction

Prof. David Simon, Director, Mistra Urban Futures, Prof. Henrietta Palmer, Deputy Scientific Director, Mistra Urban Futures open the conference with local host Mikael Cullberg, Director, MIstra Urban Futures Local Interaction Platform, Gothenburg.

The first day of the conference unpacks the notion of the just city, exploring the role of knowledge co-production in developing just cities.

9:45–10:45 Keynote talks and conversation: Co-production Towards Just Cities

Dr. Debra Roberts, eThekwini Municipality, Durban
Prof. John Robinson, University of Toronto
Chair: Prof. Tim May, University of Sheffield Methods Institute, International Methodological Advisor, Mistra Urban Futures, Sheffield Manchester

10:45–11:00 Short break

11:00–12:00 Session I: Contextualising Just Cities

The notion of the just city permeates urban visions the world over, and is echoed in Mistra Urban Futures' commitment to the idea of fairness. The reality is, however, more complex. Cities often tend to foreground the pursuit economic growth based on the assumption that this will trickle down and the population will benefit from its effects, yet giving economic development primacy has not adequately addressed the social, spatial and economic inequalities. In addition cities face environmental pressures that place further limits on the ambitions for producing fair cities. This session will examine how different cities within the Mistra Urban Futures network have responded to these challenges. Based on policy and practitioner engagement, this session will examine alternative ways of realising the just city through increased collaboration between universities, cities and their communities.

Speakers: Dr. Warren Smit, University of Cape Town, African Centre for Cities, Director, Mistra Urban Futures Local Interaction Platform, Cape Town; Prof. George Mark Onyango, Mistra Urban Futures, Kisumu; Prof. Carina Listerborn, Malmö University, Urban Planning and Design
Chair: Dr. Rike Sitas, University of Cape Town, African Centre for Cities, Mistra Urban Futures, Cape Town

12:00–13:00 Lunch

13:00–13:15 Just Urban Research?

Animated poem by Beth Perry, Director, MIstra Urban Futures Local Interaction Platform Sheffield Manchester

13:15–14:15 Session II: Why Co-production Matters

It has been increasingly recognised in recent decades that the fragmentation of knowledge between disciplines, and between researchers and practitioners is a serious obstacle to grappling with complex real world problems, such as the management of cities. There have consequently been a number of experiments with processes of knowledge co-production, which bring together researchers and practitioners, from different disciplines and sectors to undertake research collaboratively on real world problems in order to jointly produce knowledge that is both useful for policy and practice; and which makes a valuable contribution to academic knowledge. Drawing on the experience of Mistra Urban Futures’ involvement in knowledge co-production, this session will interrogate why co-production matters.

  • How does this added value contribute to reaching more sustainable futures in our different contexts?
  • What does co-production offer that other approaches lack? 
  • How can co-production contribute to more sustainable cities in the future?

Speakers: Dr. Zarina Patel, Environmental and Geographical Sciences, University of Cape Town, African Centre for Cities; Dominic Makawiti, Mistra Urban Futures, Kisumu; Prof. Beth Perry, University of Sheffield Urban Institute, Director, Mistra Urban Futures Local Interaction Platform Sheffield Manchester. 

Chair: Prof. Merritt Polk, University of Gothenburg, Dept of Global Studies. Mistra Urban Futures, Gothenburg

14:15–15:15 Session III: Learning from Co-production

This session builds from the previous session, exploring the socio-cultural, economic, human health and environmental dimensions of knowledge co-production processes. It will focus on drawing out specific examples from Cape Town, Gothenburg, Kisumu, Greater Manchester and Malmö that engage the importance of a nexus of technology, culture and political power in influencing the absorption, uptake and implementation of co-produced research work. The session will also explore the role of co-production in opening spaces for more robust community participation in decision-making and policy formation, in pursuit of more just cities.

  • Is co-production a synonym for greater opportunities for researchers and practioners?
  • Does co-production open space for community participation in decision making and policy formulation in a more robust way?

Speakers: Claus Rabe, Principal Planner, City of Cape Town; Lydia Muthoni Orlale, City Manager, Kisumu; Maria Sigroth, Head of Dept Regional Planning, The Gothenburg Region Association of Local Authorities
Chair: Alex Whinnom, CEO, Greater Manchester Centre for Voluntary Organisation, GMVCO

15:15–15:20 Introduction to Breakout Session by Alda Sigurdardottir, Vendum, Reykjavík

15:20–15:45 Health Break

15:45–17:15 Breakout Session 1

Facilitated sessions in different rooms about questions resulting from Sessions 1-3, leading towards "Obstacles to realising just cities" and day 2 of the conference.

19:00– Conference Dinner and book launch, Kajskjul 8, Packhusplatsen 11


Programme 20 September

Core Processes Towards Realising Just Cities

Day 2 of the Mistra Urban Futures conference explores how just cities can be achieved through re-thinking urban governance, urban knowledge and urban change.

8:30–9:00 Coffee & Tea

9:00–9:10 Welcome back 

Henrietta Palmer, Deputy Scientific Director, Mistra Urban Futures
Lars Lilled, Senior Advisor Mistra Urban Futures, Gothenburg

9:10–9:30 Obstacles to Realising Just Cities 

Lars Lilled, Senior Advisor, Mistra Urban Futures, Gothenburg and Nazem Tahvilzadeh, Researcher, public administration, Mulitcultural centre in Botkyrka

9:30–10:20 Session IV: Re-thinking Urban Governance

This session will explore how urban governance can be re-thought through improving and restructuring relationships and processes amongst governance stakeholders in order to ensure decision-making and urban management practices that will help achieve just cities. The example of Gothenburg: How will Gothenburg address the challenge of becoming a socially sustainable city and what are the political objectives?

Dialogue between Prof. Beth Perry, University of Sheffield Urban Institute, Director, Mistra Urban Futures, Sheffield Manchester Local Interaction Platform, Mikael Cullberg, Director, Mistra Urban Futures, Gothenburg Local Interaction Platform, Dr. Margareta Forsberg, Head of co-ordination, Socially Sustainable Gothenburg 

10:20–10:40 Health Break

10:40–11:30 Session V: Re-thinking Urban Knowledge

This session will focus on re-articulating urban knowledge through innovating in the social organisation of different knowledges and practices within cities. The purpose is to explore how to value and harness multiple forms of expertise to support transitions to more just cities and to interrogate where, by and for whom, the urban knowledge is produced.

Speakers: Prof. Tim May, University of Sheffield Methods Institute, International Methodological Advisor, Mistra Urban Futures, Sheffield-Manchester; Prof. Tapio Salonen, Malmö University, Faculty of Health and Society. Mistra Urban Futures Skåne, Mark Atherton, Greater Manchester Low Carbon Hub
Chair: Prof. Stephen G Agong, Vice-chancellor, the Jaramogi Oginga Odinga University of Science and Technology, Director Mistra Urban Futures, Kisumu

11:30–12:20 Session VI: Re-thinking Urban Change

This session will explore the notion of urban change in order to understand the processes – dynamics, drivers, stakeholders, institutions and practices – of urban transformation which can facilitate cities becoming more just. This discussion will also unpack the relationship and possible new institutional arrangements between public and civic entities, where urban change may still be open for re-definition and experimentation.

Speakers: Liza Cirolia, Mistra Urban Futures, Cape Town; Ass. Prof. Hans Abrahamsson, University of Gothenburg, Dept of Global Studies. Mistra Urban Futures, Gothenburg
Mark Burton, Mistra Urban Futures, Sheffield-Manchester

12:20–12:25 Introduction to Breakout Session 2 by Alda Sigurdardottir, Vendum, Reykjavík

12:25–13:20 Lunch

13:20–15:00 Breakout Session 2

Facilitated sessions in smaller groups in different rooms about questions resulting from Sessions 4-6

15:00–15.40 Health Break and conclusion of ideas

15:40–16:15 Presentation of Breakout Session 2 by room leaders

 Chair: Alda Sigurdardottir, Vendum, Reykjavík

16:15–16:45 Final Discussion

What have you learnt from the conference? How can we go forward? Discussion with Master's and PhD students Ena Sredanovic, Chalmers, Jakub Dvorak, Chalmers, and Johanna Selin, Gothenburg University, interviewed by Magnus Johansson, Director, Mistra Urban Futures Skåne.

16:45–17:00 Reflections

Ann-Sofie Hermansson, Mayor of the City of Gothenburg and David Simon, Director, Mistra Urban Futures.

Introducing next year's conference in Kisumu with local host prof. Stephen G Agong, Vice-chancellor, the Jaramogi Oginga Odinga University of Science and Technology, Director, Mistra Urban Futures, Kisumu Local Interaction Platform.

Optional workshops 21 September

For those who wish to take a more active part in shaping the plans and projects.