Urban Planet

The Roundtable series conducted under the heading of “Urban Planet” seeks to foster a deepened understanding of the human relations and living conditions inside megacities and (mega-) urban agglomerations. They also intend to contribute to the development of best practices to cope with the plentiful challenges that urbanization entails. Besides, the underlying interest of the Roundtable series is to explore whether the described new urban spaces do not only harbour undeniable risks for unrest, violence and warfare, but also possess the potential to create new civilizing arrangements and human innovation. Can megacities and (mega-) urban agglomerations become an urban environment where citizens have not only the right but also the chance to pursue their aspirations; where, as John Friedman put it, “human flourishing is inscribed in the liberal democratic ethos?” Or “is the sociology of protest in the immiserated megacity a regression to the pre-industrial urban mob … easily managed by clientelism, populist spectacle and appeals to ethnic [or religious] unity” essentially turning into “volcanos waiting to erupt”, as Mike Davis asserts provocatively? Toward what end is the urban planet advancing?

The following Roundtables address(ed) these issues:

Urban Governance: Innovation, Insecurity and the Power of Religion
Tenth Berlin Roundtables on Transnationality, March 18 - 23, 2009

Collective Identities, Governance and Empowerment in Megacities
Eighth Berlin Roundtables on Transnationality, June 11 - 16, 2008

Migration into Cities
Seventh Berlin Roundtables on Transnationality, October 25 - 27, 2007