CFP: Struggling with the Planetary Turn, NGM June 2019, Trondheim, Norway

This paper session scrutinizes the recent planetary turn in urban studies, with its interest in the interface between nature/society, urban/rural, land/ocean political-economic-ecological capitalist social relations – or what has been called the political ecology of urbanization (Angelo & Wachsmuth 2015).


We live in an ‘urban age’; more than a decade ago UN estimated that more than half of the world’s population lives in cities. This has led to a renewed interest in Henri Lefebvre’s (1971) ideas of generalised planetary urbanization. According to this perspective we need to recognise that both global economic as well as ecological processes are constitutive of urbanisation – itself understood as a process. The built environments in cities are “designed, built and maintained by people” and are “necessarily connected with the wider natural environment” (Castree et. al. 2013, 43). From this perspective, cities should be regarded and studied as products of the wider historical-geographical process of the “urbanisation of nature” (Heynen, Kaika & Swyngedouw 2006, 5). This would entail moving beyond what has been called a “methodological cityism” in order to avoid “[a]n urban studies that is (city) site rather than (urban-)process focused” (Angelo & Wachsmuth 2015, 23). Nonetheless, connections between urbanization processes and relations to nature are however frequently assumed rather than examined, overgeneralization is common, and there is a lack of historically and contextually specific analyses. What does actually existing planetary urbanization look like and which kinds of resistance (if any?) are emerging?


Themes that will be addressed include (but are not limited to):


Political ecology of urbanization
Urban metabolisms
Critiques of sustainable urbanism
Convergences of urban and rural social movements
8th Nordic Geographers Meeting

June 16-19, 2019

Trondheim, Norway


Send abstracts to Mads Barbesgaard (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) and Anders Lund Hansen (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) of around 200 words by January 10th. Please write “NGM 2019 – struggling with the planetary turn” in the subject field.