The Good City: Urban Transformation, Comparison and Value

18 - 20 April 2018 in Oxford, UK

Livestream 1

#TheGoodCity livestream videos available on youtube


The Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) Urban Transformations (UT) network is hosting an international conference offering a gathering space for researchers focusing on issues of comparative urbanism across global, European and UK scales. The conference aims to summarize UT’s work, and then benefit from the range of experiences to outline new methodologies and vocabularies for conducting comparative and future-oriented urban research.

Find out more about the UT network


Themes for Urban Comparison & Values for Urban Futures

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The central focus of this conference will be on how scholars and policy makers can talk across cities and times (past, present and future) in normative but non-homogenizing ways. We therefore structure sessions to address the relationship between desirable values in urbanization and co-existing diverse themes (whether based in reality or perception) of the city. This approach embraces new efforts to quantify cities and catalogue comparative indicators for global urbanism, while also being critical of the dangers in setting universal standards. When pairing together desirable values for setting goals for urban futures with different themes for structuring urban comparison – documenting and narrating such values across time and space – we aim to account for multiple appropriate forms of urban life as well as universal aspirations for every context: what should your city be and become? Based on what principles and priorities? How can these principles and priorities be shared with other cities to set tailor-made goals and paths to meet those goals?


Conference organisers: Dr Andreza de Souza Santos, Professor Michael Keith and Dr Nicholas Simcik Arese