The Right to the City and Social Ecology – Towards Ecological and Democratic Cities
The TRANSNATIONAL INSTITUTE OF SOCIAL ECOLOGY (TRISE) is glad to announce its fourth conference, taking place in Thessaloniki, Greece, from 1st to 3rd of September 2017.
Cities today are increasingly at the forefront of the environmental and social crisis. They represent both one of the major cause of the aggravation of these crises, but also a potential solution to them. All over Europe we now see a new wave of urban social movements arising: movements fighting hostile immigration policies, misogynistic culture, ecological devastation, and social exclusion – movements building economic, social, and political alternatives based on solidarity, equality and participation.
With the general theme of this year’s conference, “The Right to the City and Social Ecology – Towards Ecological and Democratic Cities”, we want to address the dire need to re-build our cities and urban environments –from their physical structures to their social and political realities. In the framework of Social Ecology we want to discuss the prospects and characteristics of radical urban movements of today; examine the revolutionary potential in the mobilizing concept of “the right to the city”; and look at how activist, scholars, and movements across Europe can work together towards an ecological and democratic future.
The conference will last from Friday to Sunday and consist of a broad range of seminars, workshops, paper presentations, and round-table discussions. Our ambition is to provide a moment for reflecting together on the current situation in Europe, in a fruitful conversation between theories and practices. Thus, we welcome interventions that aim at addressing one of the following sub-themes:
1) Recent developments and advancements in the theory of Social Ecology
Social Ecology is a rich body of ideas spanning over many different subjects and fields of thought: Ethics and philosophy; Urbanism and social development; Democratic theory and practice; The Nation state; Social hierarchies; Technology and Economy – to name just a few.
In this session, we welcome contributions that seek to trace and discuss recent developments in Social Ecology theory, or that make a theoretical contribution to a specific area of Social Ecology.
2) Social Ecology practices for urban system change
In order to transform our cities and fulfil the promise of “the right to the city” we need to address and work for change on multiple scales and fields. We need to change the way we work, produce, socialise and make decisions. And we need to do it in a way that challenges the logic of capitalism and hierarchical structures.
In this session we welcome contributions that deal with subjects such as Energy democracy, Liberatory technology, Food sovereignty, Radical agriculture, Sanctuary cities, Commons, Assembly democracy, Feminist city planning, Squatting and Housing co-ops etc. In short we are looking for concepts, tools, and practices that could be strategically important for bottom-up social change.
3) Case studies of radical urban movements in European cities
In recent years, we have seen the emergence of new urban and municipalist movements across Europe – movements that often differ in character and focus, but with a common denominator in their experimental and radical approach to politics and democracy.
In this session, we welcome contributions that look more closely at a specific city or town in Europe, describing the urban social movements active there and analysing their practices and characteristics to highlight both their strengths and shortcomings.
We welcome abstracts from activists and scholars by 1st of July 2017 and we welcome contributions in the form of paper presentations or workshops. If you wish to take part, please submit a short abstract (max 300 words) explaining the content of your talk or workshop, including a short CV briefing (about 5 lines).
Send your proposal to:
For the TRISE Programme Committee,