International Urban Conference "UNSETTLED Urban Routines, Temporalities and Contestations"

Published at: 27 September 2016

The Interdisciplinary Centre for Urban Culture and Public Space at the Faculty of Architecture and Planning, TU Wien, invites participation in the conference Unsettled: urban routines, temporalities and contestations.
The conference aims to explore conditions and conceptions of the unsettled. Urban life is characterized by diverse manifestations of instability which continuously stretch or redefine the social order and/or critical/community infrastructures of cities: everyday struggles related to the capitalist system of production, revolutions in political life and political system overthrows, quests for dominance and their oppositions in political, social, economic, ecological or cultural domains. These unsettling practices simultaneously challenge and nourish a variety of idea(l)s of the city as an inclusive place of liberation, cooperation, equal opportunities and shared (better) futures. The goal of the conference is thus to (1) understand the uncertainties, disturbances, inconsistencies, residuals and blind fields which constitute the urban both as lived space and the political idea(l), and (2) foster an inquiry into the socio-political potentialities of unsettling and re-settling urban routines, temporalities and contestations.

The conference explores different notions of unsettled, and thus invites contributions reflecting one or more of the following aspects: - unsettled as a condition or pre-requisite for urban change, where established political practices are challenged by (voices aiming at) incremental or more radical change; - unsettled in the sense of the uneven making of public space through contrasting relations of power across daily routines and transformative urban strategies; - unsettled as a state of mind which results from practices of unsettling which affect individuals and groups in both constructive and destructive ways; - the acceptance of unsettled as a description of urban realities which are socially produced in and of material space – such as where people are displaced from their homes through warfare or economic and – urban restructuring; - and finally, of unsettled as a paradox, where the city is understood as both a place of settlement of buildings and populations while also a site of unsettlement through trajectories of constant change.

We look forward to original contributions that examine these dimensions considering the past, present or future of the city, urban societies and urbanization processes. During the conference we will discuss such urban realities in the context of unsettled places, conditions, structures, actors, collectives, populations, routines, realms and situations of the city. Embedded in the City of Vienna Visiting Professorship Programme at TU Wien, the conference works across urban practice and urban theory. In this context, the conference will emphasise urban culture and public space as areas for intersecting research and action which explores notions of the unsettled in contemporary cities. We invite interdisciplinary public from universities, research institutes, offices, public authorities, activists, consultancies, and others to present critical, subversive, reflexive, interventionist, activist and visionary research, ideas and practices concerning notions of the unsettled.

To register for the conference please send an email to unsettled(at), stating your name and affiliation. The conference registration fee is 50 EUR. Fee is waived for students providing a proof of matriculation with their registration request.

Abstract submission
Abstract of paper proposals (300 words) should take up and speak to at least one of the dimensions of unsettled delineated in the call for papers.
Speakers are asked to submit a short biography (50 words) and should indicate the theme that their contribution could connect to (1st choice, 2nd choice). Please send your proposal to

Important dates
Deadline for paper proposal submissions: 15 October 2016
Notification of paper acceptance: 15 December 2016
Deadline for conference registration: 1 February 2017