Chairing of Sessions at International Conferences


6-10 September 2022 I co-chaired with Prof.  Massimiliano Savorra & Prof. Guido Zucconi the session “1.13 Reconceiving urban planning strategies and cities after the big oil crisis of the 1970s: New challenges and the new mobility and ecology turn” at the X Congresso ASSOCIAZIONE ITALIANA DI STORIA URBANA (AISU) in Turin to be held between 6 and 10 September 2022. The session was part of Macrosession 1. Adaptiveness and Change. Crisis and new beginnings. 

1.13 Reconceiving urban planning strategies and cities after the big oil crisis of the 1970s: New challenges and the new mobility and ecology turn, chaired by Dr. ir. Marianna Charitonidou, Prof. dr. Massimiliano Savorra and Prof. Guido Zucconi

In 1973, after the big oil crisis both general public and experts were shocked after the decision taken by the OPEC (Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries) to increase oil price. The expression “end of civilization” was used to refer to the idea of an unlimited growth. In 1972, a report entitled “The Limits to Growth” signed by the “Club of Rome” expressed concerns about the exponential economic and population growth in front of a finite supply of resources. This report was the outcome of a study based on a computer simulation, at MIT and examined the consequences of the interactions between earth and the human systems. In 1961, Jane Jacobs, in The Death and Life of Great American Cities, analysed urban sprawl. During the 1970s, after a first phase of disorientation if not even panic, there was a phase of a more reflective kind of reaction expressed through the declaration of a necessity to revise that model by limiting growth, in a large spectrum of sectors, running from national economies to urban settlements. Urban planning strategies were affected by a new sensitiveness for built-up heritage and natural environment. Urban planning debates were dominated by a tension between those who criticized strategies that characterised the post-war period, such as the strategies that supported “urban renewal” and “slum clearance”, and those who believed in “ecology” and the balance in the interaction between humans and their natural environment.
The “new mobility turn” goes hand in hand with the intention to explore urban planning strategies that aim to contribute to a significant reduction in the use of individual car, and to an increase of the use of public transportation in our everyday life. The session welcomes papers that reflect on these questions:
• Which has been the impact of this evolution vis-à-vis the 1973 oil crisis on how urban structure is interpreted?
• To what extent the choice of reutilizing the stock of buildings, as in the case of the 1974 plan of Bologna, was a real alternative after stopping the urban sprawl?
• To what extent the new models of urban planning that emerged during this period achieved energy-saving?
• How the “new mobility turn” has conceptualised the reduction in the use of individual car, and the increase of the use of public transportation?
• How the ecological crisis is connected to the necessity to explore new ways of re-utilizing the patrimony of the past, and how new technologies can contribute to this?

You can read more information about the session here: 

For more info contact: Dr. ir. Marianna Charitonidou charitonidou.marianna.think@gmail.com or m.charitonidou@icloud.com

The abstract of our session entitled “Reconceiving urban planning strategies and cities after the big oil crisis of the 1970s: New challenges and the new mobility and ecology turn” can be seen here

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I chaired the Session entitled “Migration as a Gendered Process: Redefining Domesticity and Displacement” at the 15th International Conference on Urban History that was held in Antwerp between 31 August and 3 September 2022

Synopsis of the session

Migrant incorporation triggers processes of place-making which open up new social and conceptual spaces in the city. The session will shed light on how migration challenges the concepts of user, domesticity and citizenship, seeking to present the implications of the intersections between migration studies, urban studies, and gender studies for our comprehension of urban conditions and dynamics.
Unauthorised immigration has emerged as a generalised fact in all Western economies in the post-Second World War era. In such a context, mobility and migration are constituting elements of urban society. Taking as a starting point the fact that domesticity is a construction of the nineteenth century, the main objective of this session will be to shed light on how migration challenges the concepts of user, domesticity and citizenship. Saskia Sassen’s understanding of immigration as “a process constituted by human beings with will and agency, with multiple identities and life trajectories beyond the fact of being seen, defined and categorised as immigrants for the purposes of the receiving polity, economy and society” is useful in order to better grasp the impact of migration on the status of public space, leading to a more open conception of it and to the reconceptualization of the notion of place beyond traditional definitions, while challenging the boundaries between what is public, communal and domestic. Migrant incorporation triggers processes of place-making which open up new social and conceptual spaces in the city. Over the last four decades, there is a changing paradigm in migration studies that are gradually paying more and more attention to the gender composition of the migration streams. This trend of studying conjointly gender and migration phenomena becomes more and more dominant. Special attention will be paid to methods of gender and migration scholarship drawing on social science approaches, treating gender as an institutional part of immigration studies and establishing legitimacy for gender in immigration studies. The session aims to reflect on the implications of establishing methods based on the endeavour to merge migration studies, urban studies and gender studies for the perception of the concepts of placemaking, displacement and domesticity, on the one hand, and for how the mobility from city to city is understood within the contemporary transnational context, on the other hand.

Programme of the conference

Website of the conference

UAntwerpen