Tuesday 15th October 2019 


0815-0900   Registration and Coffee 

With music from Sheffield University Student Brass Band

0900-0915   Welcome to the 4th Annual Realising Just Cities Conference 

Beth Perry, Co-Director, Urban Institute (University of Sheffield), and Sheffield-Manchester Platform Director, Mistra Urban Futures.

0915-0945   Realising Just Cities: An Overview of Activity and Impact

David Simon, Director, Mistra Urban Futures; Rike Sitas, Cape Town Platform Co-ordinator, Mistra Urban Futures and African Centre for Cities; Warren Smit, Cape Town Platform Director, Mistra Urban Futures and African Centre for Cities; Jan Riise, Engagement Manager, Mistra Urban Futures.  

0945-1030   What Difference Did It Make? Stakeholder Views 

Chair: Henrietta Palmer, Deputy Scientific Director, Mistra Urban Futures  
Speakers: Maria Sigroth, Head of Department Regional Planning and Environment, Gothenburg Region; Sharon Davis, Founder of Mums Mart and GM Savers; Peter Ahmad, Manager, City Growth Management, City  of Cape Town; Sam Okello, Member of Kisumu City Board and Chairman Kisumu Local Interaction Platform; Barry Ness, Skåne Platform Director, Mistra Urban Futures. 

See more videos from the sessions

1030-1100   Break (Hadfield Hall)


1100-1230   Parallel Sessions


Watch videos from ten workshops

Realising Just Cities in the context of Agenda 2030 and the Sustainable Development Goals (Banqueting Hall)
How can we realise just cities in the context of Agenda 2030? Drawing on experiences at our different platforms, this session shows how local work aligns with and contributes to global goals. Topic areas include: solid waste management, transport, food, cultural heritage, sustainable welfare and poverty reduction. Questions include: how can we address the challenges of resourceconstrained prioritisation SDGs and basic needs – e.g. solid waste management? How can and do cities operate and innovate in relation to global agendas as part of multi-level governance arrangements of differing coherence and proactivity? How have these cities embedded sustainability and SDG mapping in different national and local contexts? How do cities approach climate change, vulnerability reduction, resilience strategies and adaptive transformation in relation to the global agendas?
Leader: David Simon  Rapporteur: Barry Ness

Universities and urban development: knowledge in action (Drawing Room)
This workshop includes presentations which draw upon experiences of working in different contexts in the Mistra Urban Futures programme. Presenters will reflect on their experiences of working across boundaries and the opportunities and challenges posed in linking knowledge and action. In the process they will address the following: what are the issues raised for academic practice when working across boundaries with a commitment to producing social change. And what does this mean for the role of the university in urban development? 
Leader: Tim May   Rapporteur: Olivia Bina

Small but diverse: the role of urban and rural communities in place-based diversity and inclusiveness (Reception Room)
The workshop will focus on the roles of networks, institutions and projects in urban and rural communities in generating diversity and inclusiveness. There will be three presentations on cases in different countries, focussed on impacts, challenges and opportunities of different types of initiatives. This will be followed by generating shared knowledge with participants in the session, through workshop activities.
Leader: Eva-Maria Jernsand and Emma Björner  Rapporteur: Adrian Ball

1230-1330    Lunch and Networking (Hadfield Hall) 

Lunch will be served. Display tables for each of the Mistra Urban Futures platforms will aid networking and discussion. Please go to rooms for the afternoon sessions promptly for 1330 start.

1330-1500    Parallel Sessions

Building capacity for co-production: training the next generation of scholars and practitioners (Drawing Room)
If we are serious about co-production as a way to solve societal problems and realise urban justice, what kind of capacity development is needed for future scholars and practitioners? This workshop will explore different approaches to developing the competencies for co-production amongst practitioners and researchers. We will draw on different perspectives in the room and offer reflections from experiences across our platforms. The workshop will start with an open discussion on what competencies are needed, and how to develop them, followed by a panel discussion presenting and sharing learning from four different geographical contexts and situations. Key questions and themes that emerge from the panel will then form the provocation for smaller discussion groups. 
Leader: Henrietta Palmer  Rapporteur: Sean Cooke

Agenda 2030 and public finance: who pays for sustainable cities? (Goodwin room)
Global policy agendas such as Agenda 2030 allocate a central role to cities as sites and actors in achieving sustainable development. Whilst there has been a lot of attention to the different ways to plan for the implementation of the SDGs, there has been less focus on how this can be financed at a local level. Drawing on the experiences of researchers and policymakers across different cities, this session will reflect on the different approaches that cities are taking and on the fiscal structures, mechanisms, architectures that need to be in place to get SDG financing right.
Leader: Sylvia Croese, Liza Cirolia  Rapporteur: Michael Oloko

Participatory cities and alternative models of urban development (Banqueting Hall)
The UN has made a commitment to ‘meaningful participation’ at all levels as a fundamental precondition for realising just cities. But what does this actually mean in practice? This session will present research findings and hear from work across the platforms that sought to reveal different interpretations of and methods for creating more participatory cities. There will be a short activity for participants to share their own experiences and ideas about ‘meaningful participation’. What examples can people identify of ‘meaningful’ participation in different urban contexts? What participatory methods and tools can be used to value different kinds of knowledge in urban processes? What is the role of movements and coalitions in developing participatory cities?
Leader: Beth Perry  Rapporteur: David Rogerson

What is meaningful collaboration? Reflections from work on food systems and urban regeneration (Reception Room)
The workshop draws on experiences from two recent MISTRA supported collaboration and co-production projects. The workshop is made up of three aligned components. The first session aligns with a general understanding of coproduction, that of the collaboration between academics and policy makers in the pursuit of sustainable neighbourhood development. The second area of work investigates coproduction between academics from different contexts and regions. These two sessions raise interesting questions about process, power, voice, values, disciplinary positions, immediacy and contextual dynamics. These questions will be opened up to wider discussion with the audience through an interactive final session.
Leader: Warren Smit  Rapporteur: Kerstin Hemström

1500-1515    Mini Break


1515-1645    Parallel Sessions

Practices,processes and politics of city-academic partnerships (Drawing Room)
The importance of engaged scholarship is being recognised across the globe. In response, there has been a proliferation of different kinds of city-academic partnerships in many cities. City municipalities and universities have recognised the mutual benefits of collaborating on a range of issues – from developing responses to climate change; to better understanding how to finance development; to developing cultural plans that respond to the desires of residents. Mistra Urban Futures local interaction platforms have been engaged in different kinds of these collaborations. Through an interactive set of activities, this session seeks to generate lively collective discussion about the practices, processes and politics inherent in the work we have undertaken between the university and the city.
Leader: Rike Sitas  Rapporteur: Alexandra McVicar-Payling

What do we need to do differently to co-produce knowledge and action with residents, activists and communities? (Banqeting Hall)
This workshop will be an opportunity to hear directly from local residents and activists across the cities of Manchester and Salford about their experiences of knowledge coproduction with academics and professionals. We will also be joined by a representative from SDI Kenya who has partnered with Manchester community groups. Together with attendees, we will be exploring questions such as: what are the most important ingredients of effective knowledge co-production partnerships? What different considerations are necessary when working with grassroots communities compared to middle class activist networks or mature urban social movements? And what are the most common challenges that need to be addressed to meet diverse objectives? 
Leader: Sophie King   Rapporteur: Lyla Mehta

Co-production at pace: reacting to a climate emergency (Reception room)
In the present escalating discourse surrounding the climate emergency, this workshop will explore co-production’s potential role for translating the emergency into action in a variety of different contexts. Taking inspiration from two PhD research projects with municipal authorities and trade unions, this workshop will also draw on other examples of relevant co-produced climate actions in other spheres. Interviews with key participants will set the scene, introducing the climate emergency and co-production. A ‘live’ example will demonstrate the potential and challenges of co-producing climate action. There will be time for followon discussion, including wider examples and reflecting on ways forward. We welcome researchers exploring coproduction or sustainability, policy-makers and activists, and others with an interest in the topic—even if you are new to the idea of co-production.
Leader: Ryan Bellinson, Jenny Patient  Rapporteur: Carol Wright

1650-1720    What Have We Heard? Summing Up the Parallel Session 

Chair: Rike Sitas, Cape Town Platform / Coordinator: Mistra Urban Futures, the rapporteurs will be invited to summarise the parallel sessions and share their reflections. 

1720-1750    Panel: How can we support local action to address global challenges and realise more just cities?

Chair: Beth Perry, Co-Director, Urban Institute (University of Sheffield) & Sheffield-Manchester Platform Director, Mistra Urban Futures 
Speakers:  David Simon, Director, Mistra Urban Futures; Caroline Wanjiku Kihato, Visiting Associate Professor, Graduate School of Architecture, University of Johannesburg and Mistra Urban Futures Board member; Vanessa Toulmin, Director City and Culture, University of Sheffield; Mark Whitworth, Sustainability and Climate Change Service Manager, Sheffield City Council.

1750-1800    Closing Remarks and Thanks 


Realising Just Cities UK An Overview of Activity 2016-2019 PDF

 Please visit again for updates.  


  • Realising Just Cities UK - an overview of activity 2016-2019 PDF
  • RJC in context of Agenda 2030 David Simon PP (PDF)
  • Sara Ferlander Presentation Global Utmaning PP (PDF)
  • Mercy Brown RJC Conf PP (PDF)
  • Johan Larson Lindahl Stockholm PP (PDF)