Search
Search type

Manchester Urban Institute

Big group of people at an event

Events archive

The Manchester Urban Institute has an extensive archive of guest talks, seminar series, workshops and conferences.

These events took place on and off campus, locally, nationally and overseas and often in collaboration with a range of colleagues across The University of Manchester and with external partners.

Multimedia resources from many of our events are also available.

2015

December 2015

Open Space event

A talk with special guest speaker Jhono Bennett (University of Cape Town)

Funded by cities@manchester Open Space aims to facilitate dialogue between advanced PhD students, early career researchers and academic staff across the University of Manchester. This event is open to all postgraduate students.

Open Space seminar

Speakers:

Natalie Langford (GDI, University of Manchester) and Corinna Braun-Munzinger (GDI ,University of Manchester)

Funded by cities@manchester Open Space aims to facilitate dialogue between advanced PhD students, early career researchers and academic staff across the University of Manchester. This event is open to all postgraduate students.

Urban ethnography maphack

Two anthropologists, Dr Jessica Symons (University of Salford) and Dr Camilla Lewis (University of Manchester) invited people from across different disciplines to take part in an exercise that mapped urban ethnographies in cities across the world to create a freely available online resource. 
 
This workshop was supported by Mistra Urban Future. It also launched the Urban Ethnography Reading Group announcing a programme of reading group gatherings from January 2016. This Reading Group is supported by SURF, a research group within SOBE (School for the Built Environment) at the University of Salford and cities@manchester at the University of Manchester.

Open Space event

A talk with special guest speaker Owen Crankshaw (University of Cape Town)

Funded by cities@manchester Open Space aims to facilitate dialogue between advanced PhD students, early career researchers and academic staff across the University of Manchester. This event is open to all postgraduate students.

November 2015

Open Space event

A talk with special guest speaker Owen Crankshaw (University of Cape Town)

Funded by cities@manchester Open Space aims to facilitate dialogue between advanced PhD students, early career researchers and academic staff across the University of Manchester. This event is open to all postgraduate students.

Open Space event

A postgraduate research masterclass with special guest speaker Sue Parnell (University of Cape Town)

Funded by cities@manchester Open Space aims to facilitate dialogue between advanced PhD students, early career researchers and academic staff across the University of Manchester. This event is open to all postgraduate students.

Place, poverty and inequality

A roundtable event organised in conjunction with the Royal Town Planning Institute.

Open Space seminar

Speakers:

Kelvin Charles (Politics, University of Manchester) and Jon Las Heras (Politics, University of Manchester)

Funded by cities@manchester Open Space aims to facilitate dialogue between advanced PhD students, early career researchers and academic staff across the University of Manchester. This event is open to all postgraduate students.

Pop goes the biosphere: ecological infrastructure for smart city growth

By using technology-based solutions to bring nature back into cities we can realise health, economic and cultural benefits, make cities resilient in the face of global competition and climate change, and establish them as a core driver of the shift to smart city growth. 

This event was organised by Vincent Walsh (Chief Executive, Biospheric Studio) as part of the Massive Change series and co-hosted by cities@manchester and Manchester Museum.

Speakers: Kate Chappell (Manchester City Council), Andrew Karvonen (cities@manchester), Istvan Kenyeres (Organica Water and the Biopolus Group, Budapest), Paul Lancaster (Tech North) and Vincent Walsh (Biospheric Studio).

Asylum and the city: discussing displacement

Part of the 2015 ESRC Festival of Social Science this event was a panel discussion and exhibition (photography, printmaking and podcasting), based around work undertaken with asylum seekers to mark the 15th anniversary of the UK asylum dispersal programme.

Panel: James Allen (Manchester Refugee Support Network), Jonathan Darling (University of Manchester), Estelle Worthington (Regional Asylum Activism), Anna White and Emily Hughes (Pod Collective).

Researching Latin American cities 

The Centre for Latin American and Caribbean Studies (CLACS) and the Global Urban Research Group (GURG) at the University of Manchester co-organised this one day workshop aimed at Masters and PhD students to explore the challenges for Latin American cities, addressing the somewhat fragmented nature of existing literature by discussing and deploying different disciplinary approaches.

October 2015

The impact of austerity on black and minority ethnic communities

Guest speaker: Omar Khan (Runnymede Trust)

A special guest lecture as part of Black History Month.

Co-organised by cities@manchester, the Centre on Dynamics of Ethnicity (CoDE) and the University of Manchester's Just Greater Manchester initiative.

What’s in store for China? New urbanisation and its challenges

Speaker: Professor Cecilia Wong (Co-director of cities@manchester, Director of the Centre for Urban Policy Management)

Part of the Planning & Environmental Management 2015 seminar series.

Taking Power Back - Manchester launch

cities@manchester, the New Local Government Network (NLGN) and the Centre for Local Economic Strategies (CLES) co-hosted this event to mark the publication of Taking Power Back, the new book by NLGN director Simon Parker. The event was introduced by Jim McMahon, Leader of Oldham council, followed by a discussion between Simon and Neil McInroy, Chief Executive of the Centre for Local Economic Strategies.

September 2015

Inequalities in Greater Manchester: taking stock and taking action

A one day conference held in Manchester, convened by Professor Ruth Lupton (School of Environment, Education & Development). 

Keynote speakers included: Naomi Clayton (Centre for Cities), Sir John Hills (LSE), Right Reverend David Walker (Anglican Bishop of Manchester).

The event was co-organised by cities@manchester and the University of Manchester's Just Greater Manchester initiative.

July 2015

Race Capital? Harlem as setting and symbol: an interdisciplinary project

A two day workshop convened by Dr Andrew Fearnley (American Studies, School of Arts, Languages & Cultures), held at the Institute for Research in African American Studies, Columbia University, New York.

June 2015

Thinking the suburb globally: moving sub/urban studies beyond the white picket fence

Guest speaker: Roger Keil (York University, Toronto)

A special public guest lecture presented by cities@manchester alongside the 2015 Summer Institute in Urban Studies.

Summer Institute in Urban Studies

cities@manchester's second Summer Institute in Urban Studies (SIUS15) will be held at the University of Manchester 28 June - 2 July 2014. It is designed to provide an opportunity to investigate leading-edge theoretical and methodological questions, along with a range of associated career development issues, in the urban studies field.

The Institute will feature contributions from internationally renowned figures in urban studies, from inside and outside of Manchester.

Foresighting a future with cities

Keynote speaker: Sir Alan Wilson, UCL (Chair of Lead Expert Group of the Government Office of Science Foresight). 

This forum was co-hosted by cities@manchester and the Collaboratory for Urban Resilience and Energy (CURE).

Placemaking and the future of Oxford Road

A cities@manchester Urban Forum presented in association with Corridor Manchester.

Oxford Road is the heart of Manchester’s knowledge economy and is rapidly transforming into an internationally renowned hub of culture, business, higher education, and innovation. In addition to the major transportation upgrades that will be undertaken in the near future, a wide range of organisations are working to create a vibrant, distinctive, and compelling destination that will attract shoppers, employees, students, and visitors alike.
 
In this Urban Forum, a panel of stakeholders will reflect on the opportunities and challenges of placemaking on Oxford Road and the transformation of this key district in Manchester over the coming years.

Panel:
Jo Beggs (Manchester Museums Partnership), Eamonn Canniffe (Manchester School of Architecture), Jayne Cartwright (vInspired), Diana Hampson (University of Manchester), Toby Sproll (Bruntwood). Chair: Andrew Karvonen (Lecturer in Architecture & Urbanism, University of Manchester)

MARC Day 2015

A selection of presentations by staff of the Manchester Architecture Research Group (MARG) showcasing their current work.

Innovation, sustainable cities and the University

A series of events organised over two days by the Collaboratory for Urban Resilience and Energy (CURE).

May 2015

Urban policies, spatial re-balancing and city regions

Guest speakers: various

This one day conference was co-hosted by cities@manchester and the Centre for Urban Policy Studies (now the Spatial Policy and Analysis Laboratory).

Bridging the gap between urban transport needs and policy in India

Guest speaker: Madhav Badami (McGill University)

A special guest lecture presented by GURG.

April 2015

Targeting urban inequalities through infrastructure: reflections on Colombia

Guest speaker:  Julio Davila (UCL)

This event was co-presented by cities@manchester and the Centre for Latin American Studies (CLACS).

The mathematisation of daylighting: a history of British architects' use of the daylight factor

Speaker: Alan Lewis (Research Associate, Manchester Architecture Research Centre)

Part of the MARG spring seminar series.

Urban Informality workshop

GURG held this two day workshop on campus, bringing together a range of speakers, researchers and postgraduate students to explore themes of political, economic and spatial informality.

March 2015

Shadow modernisms, secret spaces; towards the critical preservation

Guest speaker: Xenia Vytuleva (Columbia)

Part of the MARC spring seminar series.

New conflicts in the margins of the city: public policies in the favelas of Rio de Janeiro

Guest speaker: Neiva Vieira de Cunha (UERJ)

This event is part of the Centre for Latin American and Caribbean Studies (CLACS) 2014-15 Seminar Series: 'Latin America: The Potential of the Global South?'

MARC Spring talks: DOUBLE BILL

Speakers:

Albena Yaneva - 
What is Cosmopolitical Design?

Angela Connelly - 
Re-imagining Urban Futures: Artistic Interruptions

Open Space seminar

Speakers:

Robert Schulz (SoSS - Politics) -
Neither repetition nor reflection: sacrificial commemoration practices and post-conflict reconciliation

Judith Krauss (SEED - GDI) - 
Paradoxes of certification: Thoughts from doing research in the Nicaraguan cocoa sector

Funded by cities@manchester Open Space aims to facilitate dialogue between advanced PhD students, early career researchers and academic staff across the University of Manchester. This event is open to all postgraduate students.

Transforming Manchester Workshop IV

Contemporary Manchester exhibits a perplexing mix of both ongoing decline and dynamic transformation. While the narrative of success is certainly the dominant one in the city, only its most zealous advocates would claim that the work is done, that the deep-seated processes of decline have been arrested and reversed. In essence, the regeneration and restructuring of Manchester continues to be a work in progress. Certainly, there have been some high-profile achievements—think of the airport, the redeveloped city centre, the vibrant culture-economy—but these sit often uneasily alongside reminders that all is not well in this place. Problems of localised deprivation, of endemic low pay in many parts of the economy, of political and social alienation, of crumbling public infrastructure remain very real ones, even if they figure only fleetingly in the city’s boisterous narrative of successful urban transformation. Making some kind of sense of this complex and partial transformation is the central objective of these one day workshops, held in Manchester.

February 2015

The smart city is a techno-utopian fantasy

Guest speaker: Alan Wiig (Temple University)

Smart city initiatives have been adopted worldwide, proposing techno-utopian solutions to urban problems big and small. These policies are indicative of the digitization of urban life, where social and economic exchange rely on globalized telecommunications networks and digitally-focused governance strategies. Propelled through events such as IBM’s Smarter Cities Challenge, the smart city offers a data-driven logic of widespread benefit to a city and its residents that masks the underlying advancement of entrepreneurial development objectives. The rhetoric of intelligent, transformative digital change works much more to “sell” a city in the global economy than to actually improve urban conditions.

Forced migration and urban space in the Middle East

Speaker: Lucas Oesch (Visiting Research Fellow, Geography, University of Manchester)

Chaired by Jonny Darling (Geography, SEED)
Part of the Geography seminar series 2014-15

Situated practices: the mundane and iconic in Brussels' architecture

Speaker: Isabelle Doucet (Lecturer in Architecture & Urbanism)

Part of the MARC spring seminar series.

Is an elected mayor for Manchester a good thing?

A cities@manchester Urban Forum presented in conjunction with the Centre for Local Economic Strategies (CLES).

Unlike London, Greater Manchester does not have a directly elected mayor.  However - as part of the  recent devolution deal for Greater Manchester - by 2017 we will be getting one. Are the people of Greater Manchester excited at this prospect? Is this a good thing, and will an elected mayor boost democracy and accountability, herald a new era for the city region?  Or is it unnecessary, a potential problem- representing a narrowing of democracy with too much importance and power placed on 1 person?

Panel:
Iain Deas (Senior Lecturer in Urban & Regional Policy and Planning, University of Manchester), Francesca Gains (Professor of Politics, University of Manchester), Donna Hall CBE (Chief Executive, Wigan Council), Neil McInroy (Chief Executive, Centre for Local Economic Strategies)
Simon Parker (Director, New Local Government Network). Chair: Cecilia Wong (Professor of Spatial Planning & Director of the Centre for Urban Policy Studies, University of Manchester)

Open Space seminar

Speakers:

Melissa García Lamarca (Geography) - 
Mortgaging lives: the biopolitics of the housing boom-bust in the Barcelona metropolitan area

Julie Ann Delos Reyes (Geography) - 
Mining Shareholder Value: Financialization, extraction and the geography of gold mining

Funded by cities@manchester Open Space aims to facilitate dialogue between advanced PhD students, early career researchers and academic staff across the University of Manchester. This event is open to all postgraduate students.

Planning the smart city: who's in control?

Speaker: Richard Kingston (Senior Lecturer in Urban Planning & Smart Cities / Deputy Director of CUPS - Centre for Urban Policy Studies)

Part of the Planning & Environmental Management seminar series 2014-15.

Informal settlements and housing provision: where are Latin American governments heading?

Guest speaker: Clara Salazar (Colmex)

This event is co-hosted by GURG and part of the Centre for Latin American and Caribbean Studies (CLACS) 2014-15 Seminar Series: 'Latin America: The Potential of the Global South?'

Defining the urban: transdisciplinary views

A one-day workshop organised by Deljana Iossifova (MARC), supported by cities@manchester, GURG, GDI and MARG and the School of Environment, Education and Development.

This event is part of a larger project aiming to develop new, collaborative and transdisciplinary approaches to urban challenges. The collaboration of researchers and practitioners with different disciplinary backgrounds is necessary and increasingly common in urban practice and research. However, the lack of a shared terminology and clear definition of the term 'urban' can make it difficult to progress a common agenda. The workshop brings together the editors of and some of the contributors to the volume ‘Defining the Urban’ (Ashgate, forthcoming). They will provide and discuss working definitions of the term ‘urban’ and discipline-specific approaches to the city. At the end of the day, a round table will bring together all speakers to identify commonalities and divergences as well as future possibilities for common approaches to the urban.

Ten years after Murambatsvina: what are the current prospects for the urban poor in Zimbabwe?

Guest speaker: Beth Chitekwe-Biti

In 2005, the government of Zimbabwe evicted hundreds of thousands of low-income citizens from their homes and workplaces. Ten years later, an economic crisis, government of national unity and now the return of ZANU-PF, what is the situation of these households?  And what are the prospects for achieving inclusive towns and cities? 
 
Beth Chitekwe-Biti has years of experience working on these issues in Zimbabwe, first as a government planner and then as a civil society professional supporting organizations of the grassroots. She recently completed a PhD at the University of Manchester with a focus on the struggles of social movements in Namibia. This special guest lecture is presented by GURG.

 

2014

December 2014

Environmental transitions: perspectives on everyday urban and regional transformation

Guest speakers include:

  • Dr Vanesa Castan Broto (University College London) - Experiences of transitions in South Europe: Environments, knowledges, communities
  • Dr Petr Jehlicka (Open University) - Post-socialist household food production: Resistance hidden in plain sight?
  • Dr Saskia Vermeylen (University of Lancaster) - Institutional Conservation Practices and Rhizomatic Contestations in the Kalahari Desert, Namibia

This seminar, co-organised with the Collaboratory for Urban Energy and Resilience (CURE), seeks to explore how lived experiences of nature, community and everyday life challenge linear understandings of social and environmental transition. Chaired by Dr Andrew Karvonen (University of Manchester) and followed by a drinks reception and the launch of the book ‘Communities in transition’ by Dr Saska Petrova with Professor Maria Kaika (University of Manchester). 

Open Space seminar

Speakers:

  • Daniel Slade (Geography & Planning, University of Liverpool) - Interrogating the reform of planning practice, and the practice of planning reform, in central government
  • Creighton Connolly (Geography, University of Manchester) - Malaysia’s Swift(let) housing boom: A landscape political ecology of urban ‘swiftlet farming’ in Malaysian cities

Funded by cities@manchester Open Space aims to facilitate dialogue between advanced PhD students, early career researchers and academic staff across the University of Manchester. This event is open to all postgraduate students.

November 2014

Manchester Policy Week 2014

Led by policy@manchester this week-long flagship event brings together leading thinkers from the world of politics and policy to grapple with key issues. This year's theme is 'Addressing Inequalities' - marking the launch of both the University’s Social Responsibility signature programme of the same name - and Just Greater Manchester, a University-wide initiative which focuses on addressing inequalities in the Greater Manchester region.

The event includes lectures, debates and workshops organised by researchers across the University, featuring expert academics, high-profile figures and policy influencers.

cities@manchester hosts the urban-themed day within Policy Week - 8 separate events covering such topics as poverty, housing, economy, food security, development, education and devolution via panel discussions, a keynote lecture, debates and live illustration.

The maintenance of urban circulation: Operationalisation of the city / civitas as a managerial entity

Guest speakers: Simon Marvin & Andrés Luque-Ayala (Durham University)

A guest seminar as part of both the Geography and Planning & Environmental Planning Series, in conjunction with cities@manchester.

Learning from digital visualisations of urban redevelopment projects

Guest speaker: Gillian Rose (Open University)

Manchester Architecture Research Group (MARG) present this guest lecture as part of their Autumn 2014 series.

Open Space seminar

Speakers:

Sebastian Juhnke (Sociology, SoSS) - Competing understandings of multiculturalism in two super-diverse urban neighbourhoods in London and Berlin


Matt Thompson (Planning and Environmental Management, SEED) - Mutual ownership of housing and the politics of locality in Liverpool


Funded by cities@manchester Open Space aims to facilitate dialogue between advanced PhD students, early career researchers and academic staff across the University of Manchester. This event is open to all postgraduate students.

cities@manchester & CURE present a DOUBLE BILL of special guest lectures

Guest speaker: Stephen Graham (Newcastle University) -

Super-tall and ultra-deep: the cultural politics of the elevator

Guest speaker: Jenny Pickerill (University of Sheffield) -

Placing eco-homes: How place is (mis)understood by eco-builders

Slum Speculation and Ageing

Guest speaker: Vandana Desai (Royal Holloway, University of London)

This event is chaired by Melanie Lombard (University of Manchester) and is part of the development@manchester series, in conjunction with the Global Urbanism research group.

The seminar series aims to facilitate dialogue and discussion, providing a space for invited leading development thinkers to share their latest research ideas with the University of Manchester’s members of staff and students in the School of Environment, Education and Development (SEED) and across different faculties.  As such, it is interdisciplinary in nature, covering a broad range of topics, from environment and conservation, poverty and inequality, global development policies and institutions to social theories and historical approaches to the study of development.

October 2014

The city as canvas: designing creative places

This event is in conjunction with Design Manchester Festival 2014 and introduced by Malcolm Garrett, RDI.

Contemporary cities serve as sites for a wide range of interventions by designers, ranging from informal graffiti and temporary installations to community murals and rearrangement of public spaces. Artists and designers have a critical role to play in making cities distinctive, attractive, liveable, and dynamic. In this Urban Forum we will discuss the meaning of design interventions in Manchester and other cities.

Panel:
Laura Elliott (Director, ARTSPACE), Michael Mayhew (Artist Curator, City Arcadia Coventry), David Rudlin (Urbanist, Urbed - Urbanism, Environment & Design), Garry Hunter (Curator & Writer), Jack Thompson (Technical Director, Manchester International Festival). Chair: Andrew Karvonen, Lecturer in Architecture & Urbanism (University of Manchester)

Buildings must die

Guest speakers: Jane Jacobs (Yale National University of Singapore College) & Stephen Cairns (Singapore-ETH Centre)

Manchester Architecture Research Group (MARG) present this guest lecture as part of their Autumn 2014 series.

Public space policy in urban informal settlements in Mexico

Guest speaker: Mauricio Hernandez (University of Veracruz)

A seminar organised by the Global Urban Research Group (GURG) as part of the Planning and Environmental Management Seminar Series 2014.

Smart cities

Guest speaker: Antoine Picon (Harvard University)

Manchester Architecture Research Group (MARG) present this guest lecture as part of their Autumn 2014 series.

September 2014

Fighting fuel poverty: informing radical policy ideas for our cities

This is an official fringe event as party of the 2014 Labour Party Conference in Manchester, co-organised with policy@manchester and Manchester Energy.

Panel:
The Right Revd David Walker (Bishop of Manchester, Chair of the Greater Manchester Poverty Commission), Pierluigi Mancarella (Lecturer in Future Energy Networks), Prof Stefan Bouzarovski (Professor of Geography), Helen Grimshaw (Sustainability Consultant, URBED). Chair: Dave Haslam (Writer, Broadcaster and DJ)

Rebuilding Britain - planning for a better future

Guest speakers: Kate Henderson and Hugh Ellis (Town and Country Planning Association)

This event is part of the Planning and Environmental Management Seminar Series.

The fabric of space: water, modernity and the urban imagination

Guest speaker: Matthew Gandy (UCL)

The relationship between water and modernity is not the domain of just one or even a few disciplines: established areas of research in engineering, environmental history, and urban geography, for instance, can be complemented by insights drawn from other fields such as anthropology, architecture, comparative literature, art history, and sociology. To take account of the interdisciplinary scope of water, and its intersections with urban culture, has daunting implications for both writing and research since disparate concepts and methods are necessarily combined with uncertain analytical and expository implications.

This event is the School of Environment, Education and Development (SEED) 2014 annual lecture, with an introduction by Kevin Ward (Director of cities@manchester).

June 2014

Summer Institute in Urban Studies

cities@manchester's first Summer Institute in Urban Studies (SIUS14) will be held at the University of Manchester 29 June - 4 July 2014. It is designed to provide an opportunity to investigate leading-edge theoretical and methodological questions, along with a range of associated career development issues, in the urban studies field.

The Institute will feature contributions from internationally renowned figures in urban studies, from inside and outside of Manchester.

May 2014

Manchester's creative economy - where to next?

Manchester is home to a vibrant and active artistic community. But can the city nurture and sustain a robust creative economy in the long term? And what are the implications for those who work within it? In this Urban Forum we will explore current and future issues of pay and compensation for the ‘creative precariat’, modes of support provided by local authorities and third sector organisations, and the role of further and higher education in developing skills and employability.

Panel:
David Gledhill (Rogue Studios), Kate Oakley (University of Leeds), Jim Ralley (Hyper Island), John Owens (Instruct Studio). Chair: Abigail Gilmore (University of Manchester)

This event also launches an exhibition of the winning images from the recent #cityfuturesmcr Instagram competition. The exhibition will be held at Twenty Twenty Two 20-22 May.

Hallsworth Visiting Professor: guest lectures

Guest speaker: Nik Theodore (University of Illinois at Chicago)

Labour standards in low-wage industries in the US: findings, methods and implications
Generative work: day labourer's Freirean praxis
Antipode and Neo-liberalism: an unlikely love/hate affair?

Nik Theodore is Professor of Urban Planning and Policy and Associate Dean for Faculty Affairs and Research in the College of Urban Planning and Public Affairs of the University of Illinois at Chicago.  His co-authored book with Jamie Peck on policies mobilities, Fast Policy, is forthcoming with the University of Minnesota Press. His research has been published in economics, public policy, and urban studies journals including: Cambridge Journal of Economics, International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, Urban Geography, European Urban and Regional Studies, Global Networks, Urban Studies, Political Geography, Antipode, and others.

For three weeks in May 2014 Nik was Hallsworth Visiting Professor in the School of Environment, Education & Development and presented three special guest lectures.

April 2014

Can Manchester become a cycling city?

Cycling is increasingly becoming a preferred mode of transport in cities around the world. What is the state of cycling in Manchester and what is its potential to become a cycle-friendly city in the coming years? In this Urban Forum we will explore the transformation of Manchester into a cycle city.

Panel

Pete Abel (Love Your Bike), Kate Chappell (Manchester City Council), Steve Connor (Creative Concern), Graeme Sherriff (University of Salford). Chair: James Evans (University of Manchester).

February 2014

Austerity, warmth and well-being: connecting fuel poverty and urban health

Fuel poverty discussions often focus on how low-income residents can pay their household energy bills in winter months. However, there is also significant health issues associated with living in cold conditions for long periods of time. Damp and draughty houses have negative impacts on the physical and mental health of occupants, particularly vulnerable populations of children and the elderly. In this Urban Forum a panel of experts will provide insights on these interrelated problems.

Panel: 
Pat Karney (Councillor, Manchester City Council), Arpana Varma (Institute of Population Health, The University of Manchester), Paula Whittaker (Medical Practitioner), Damian Burton (SmartGreen Sustainability Ltd). Chair: Sergio Tirado-Herrero (Centre for Urban Resilience and Energy, The University of Manchester).

Sustainable city betrayed? Calgary's neoliberal sustainability politics and its consequences

Guest speaker: Byron Miller (University of Calgary)

Byron Miller's recent work focuses on the spatial constitution of social movements, urban governance and governmentality, and the politics of urban sustainability. He worked as an urban planner for the city of Scottsdale, Arizona, in the early 1980s, spent three years living and studying in Freiburg, Germany in the late 1980s, and taught at the University of Cincinnati 1993-2000, before taking up his current position at the University of Calgary where he coordinates the Urban Studies Programme. He teaches courses on urbanisation and urban planning, urban social geography, urban politics and governance, globalization and field courses on urban sustainability in Europe.

2013

November 2013

The potential impacts of welfare reform on the housing market

Guest speaker: Len Gibbs, Chief Executive of EPIC Housing

Len will talk about the current and potential impacts of welfare reform on the funding and management of social housing, the potential demand for all sectors of rented housing and the likely effects on housing providers. He will argue that the role of welfare benefits in the British housing market is profound and under-appreciated and that the challenges to social housing providers are enormous. His presentation will use Stoke-on-Trent as a case study. 

July 2013

Geographies of aspiration: urban places, constitutive connections and methodological innovations

Venue: Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, National University of Singapore 
Organisers: Tim Bunnell, Mike Douglass, Rita Padawangi and Kevin Ward 

Co-organised with Asian Urbanisms research cluster and Asia Research Institute, National University of Singapore.

The purpose of this workshop was to bring an expanded range of actors into accounts of the ways in which cities are constituted through geographically extended – but also locally grounded – relations. In particular, seeking to extend beyond those who make policies to consider actors who experience their consequences and who strive to (re)make cities from ‘below’.

June 2013

Informal Politics in the City: Migration, Informality and Urban Citizenship

A one day workshop on informal politics in the city, migration and informality.  The workshop will bring together those working on urban informality and migration, with the aim of teasing out the relevance of migration for understanding urban informality and highlighting the importance of the informal context for those working on migration.  We will do this by focusing on the different ways in which migrants do politics, here understood in a very broad sense as everyday politics – and in all their diversity: based on migrants’ own identity as migrants, religion, work, or neighbourhood based around issues of housing.  We will explore what kinds of visions of cities these different types of strategies promote and also how they contribute to the making of cities.  Papers will be based on research carried out in Barcelona, Buenos Aires, Nouakchott, Dakar, and Harare.

Speakers include: Debby Potts (Kings); Diana Mitlin (Manchester); Hannah Cross (Manchester); Jerónimo Montero Bressán (Manchester); Marina Wertheimer Becich (Sheffield); Tanja Bastia (Manchester); Uma Kothari (Manchester)

Manchester: towards a just city?

Manchester like many cities at present suffers from growing divides, poverty and inequality. The Council has cut jobs and reduced services, while the centre of the city and surrounding retail high streets are blighted with a growing number of empty store fronts. With house prices stagnant or falling and unemployment levels across Greater Manchester continuing to rise, it is unclear how housing or labour markets can improve the living conditions of the local area. Some analysts point to possibilities for job growth from the creative industries and financial services sectors, but these opportunities remain as yet unrealised.

In this Urban Forum we bring together a number of stakeholders to explore where Manchester is now, the challenges it faces and what it needs to do to become more at ease with itself and more socially just.

Panel:
Neil McInroy (Chief Executive, Centre for Local Economic Strategies (CLES)), Allison Foreman (Project Development Coordinator, Greater Manchester Pay and Employment Rights Advice Service), John Holden (Deputy Director of Research, New Economy Manchester), Clive Memmott (Chief Executive, Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce). Chair: Adam Leaver (Manchester Business School, University of Manchester)

May 2013

Social return on investment in social housing: a look at a live case study of housing retrofit in Salford

Guest speaker: Tim Whitley, Associate Director, Arup

Tim Whitley takes a leading role in low energy design and low carbon energy advice for a variety of building types. He has over 20 years experience in the industry which is supplemented by site coordination and research experience.

As an Associate Director, Tim is part of the Arup North West leadership team and has been responsible for numerous key projects in the North West. He takes an active role in promoting low energy design and sustainability on all projects. He has presented at conferences and Universities and has been responsible for publications relating to low carbon heritage buildings, housing retrofit and museum and art gallery sustainability.

Diverse Neighbourhoods: Policy messages from The University of Manchester's research

Neighbourhoods with a greater mix of residents from diverse ethnic and religious backgrounds have been widely stigmatised, and recent political debates have associated immigration and ethnic diversity with a reduction in social cohesion. However, findings from research conducted at the University of Manchester show that it is deprivation, rather than diversity, that is the key factor. This conference aims to disseminate such research to policy, third sector, media and public audiences.

This conference will bring together University of Manchester researchers with local and national policy makers, third sector organisations, non-academic users and the media on the characteristics and resources of ethnic and religious diverse neighbourhoods, counteracting common myths about these areas. Thus, the main aim of the conference is to influence how people involved in the governance of diverse neighbourhoods, broader political bodies, and the media think about diverse communities.

In the Jungle of Cities: mobs, murders, crowds, riots and crises in the modern city

The relationship between the modern city and violence has been an essential one for literature, film, television and other cultural production. ‘‘In the Jungle of Cities’: mobs, murders, crowds, riots and crises in the city’, a one day conference to be held on May 30th 2013 at Chetham's Library, will seek to interrogate the relationship between violence and urban spaces from an interdisciplinary perspective. Papers will be presented by established scholars, early career researchers, and postgraduate students. The conference will bring together researchers examining this topic from a wide range of different fields including literature, history, architecture, politics and cultural studies.

Symposium and Public Lecture: The future of the multi-ethnic city

Guest speaker: Professor Caroline Knowles, Goldsmiths - 'Digging Up the Urban Periphery: Reflections from Beijing on Migration, Ethnicity and Cities'

This interdisciplinary event will bring together scholars interested in race, ethnicity and the urban. It will address questions such as: What is the future of post-industrial cities in an era of renewed economic uncertainty and a creeping racialised politics of citizenship? How can scholarly work engage with questions about the future of such cities and the engendering of new inequalities?

April 2013

Town centres - challenges, opportunities and change in Greater Manchester

Guest speaker: Garreth Bruff, Policy Manager, Greater Manchester Integrated Support Team, Association of Greater Manchester Authorities (AGMA)

Everyone has a view on the issues facing their local town centre, from car parking to shopping on Amazon - we all know the problems and who deserves the 'blame'. This talk looks at some of the issues and potential solutions, focussing on the principal town centres of Greater Manchester and the types of intervention available at both local and city-region scales if town centres are to successfully restructure in response to changing consumer demands.

Garreth Bruff is a Policy Manager for the Association of Greater Manchester Authorities/Greater Manchester Combined Authority, where he has managed a number of pieces of collaborative work into the future of GMs town centres. Prior to this he had the illuminating experience of working as town centre manager in his own local town, Barnsley.

Creating 'age-friendly cities': developing a new urbanism for all generations

Joint event with MICRA (Manchester Interdisciplinary Collaboration for Research on Ageing)

Ageing populations are an important feature of city life, with more people living into their 70s, 80s and beyond. But combining the interests of older populations with urban environments focused on attracting younger generations may result in conflict. How can the city of the future work to support all generations? What are the public spaces that need to be created to encourage a dialogue across generations? This research forum will tackle these and related questions drawing on current work in Manchester and across other European cities.

The aim of this Urban Forum will be to highlight some of the challenges in bringing different age groups together but also the benefits and possibilities arising from new forms of solidarity.

Panel:
Stefan White (Manchester School of Architecture), Paul McGarry (Senior Strategy Manager, Valuing Older People Team, Manchester City Council), Graeme Henderson (Research Fellow, IPPR North). Chair: Chris Phillipson (MICRA, University of Manchester)

March 2013

Feeding the city:  the politics and promise of urban food

Cities around the world are emerging as key locales for growing food. A variety of approaches are being piloted to enhance health and well-being, encourage local economic growth and self-sufficiency, enrich social cohesion and community development, and diversify urban greening and resilience. In this research forum, we will discuss the opportunities and barriers of urban agriculture and speculate on the future of growing food in cities.

Panel:
Graeme Sherriff (Manchester Architecture Research Centre, University of Manchester), Chris Walsh (Kindling Trust), Debbie Ellen (independent researcher), Liz Postlethwaite (Director - Small Things Creative Projects), Chair: Carly McLachlan (Tyndall Centre and Sustainable Consumption Institute)

January 2013

Coproducing policy to address poverty

Guest speakers: Daniel Silver and Amina Lone, Directors at Social Action Research Foundation

SARF discuss approaches to involving communities in policy development and connecting to political decision making. SARF is a think-tank that aims to coproduce policy to address poverty and deepen democracy.

2012

November 2012

Transforming Manchester Workshop III

Contemporary Manchester exhibits a perplexing mix of both ongoing decline and dynamic transformation. While the narrative of success is certainly the dominant one in the city, only its most zealous advocates would claim that the work is done, that the deep-seated processes of decline have been arrested and reversed. In essence, the regeneration and restructuring of Manchester continues to be a work in progress. Certainly, there have been some high-profile achievements—think of the airport, the redeveloped city centre, the vibrant culture-economy—but these sit often uneasily alongside reminders that all is not well in this place. Problems of localised deprivation, of endemic low pay in many parts of the economy, of political and social alienation, of crumbling public infrastructure remain very real ones, even if they figure only fleetingly in the city’s boisterous narrative of successful urban transformation. Making some kind of sense of this complex and partial transformation is the central objective of these one day workshops, held in Manchester.

Wither Urban Studies?   

An event organised by Open Space - an interdisciplinary forum for doctoral and postdoctoral research supporting dialogue on cities and beyond, initiated by Geography PhD researchers and supported by The Leverhulme Trust.

July 2012

Ten Years After! What is the legacy of the 2002 Commonwealth Games for Manchester?

July 2012 marks the tenth anniversary of Manchester's hosting of the 2002 Commonwealth Games. Although born out of two failed Olympics bids, the Games were regarded by many in the city region as an undoubted success. Indeed, the emphasis at the time on ensuring that the Games left a legacy for East Manchester has informed the planning of other large scale cultural and sporting events around the world, including the upcoming 2012 Olympics in London. Yet, while there were lots of good intentions ten years ago, not everything has gone to plan. The global economic downturn has not helped, while the 2010 election of the Coalition government has led to a number of changes in the local institutional environment. Together what these mean for the on-going redevelopment of East Manchester remains unclear.

This Urban Forum will bring together a range of stakeholders to debate the legacy of the 2002 Commonwealth Games, both for the people of East Manchester, and for the city region more widely.

Panel:
Pete Bradshaw (Manchester City FC), Camilla Lewis (University of Manchester), Tom Russell (former Chief Executive, New East Manchester), Rev. David Gray (Growing Faith in Community Project). Chair: Kevin Ward (University of Manchester).

June 2012

Towards a sustainable Manchester?

In the context of the ever deepening financial crisis and a series of environmental uncertainties, attention has turned to how cities can be adaptable, resilient and sustainable. In addition to actions by government, there is growing acknowledgement that other 'local' groups will need to play a role in redefining what constitutes economic activities. Building upon their existing contribution, these groups will be required to be involved in the production of a more economically robust Manchester.

This Urban Forum will bring together stakeholders with a wide range of view to debate this vital issue. In so doing, the aim is to develop understandings that can inform further developments in the city. 

Panel:
Charlie Baker, URBED (Urbanism, Environment and Design) Ltd, James Evans (University of Manchester), Todd Holden (Low Carbon Policy and Programmes, Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce), Neil McInroy, (Centre for Local Economic Strategies), Chair: Andy Karvonen (University of Manchester).

Innovation: easy to say, harder to do

Guest speaker: Cathy Garner, Principal at Knowledge Economy Innovations and former CEO of Manchester: Knowledge Capital

You can hardy watch an advert or open a newspaper today without seeing a claim about innovation. Like “growth” it is the new “must have” for economies , for firms, for products and for cities. Innovation comes in many guises and sizes and Cathy Garner has worked in the general field of innovation for too long to mention. In this talk she will draw on her experience in both economic and social innovation to look at changing paradigms and practices and to highlight why it is often more difficult than you can imagine to innovate. She will draw on case examples and personal experience to illustrate both the need for and the barriers to successful innovation.

May 2012

Transforming Manchester Workshop II

Contemporary Manchester exhibits a perplexing mix of both ongoing decline and dynamic transformation. While the narrative of success is certainly the dominant one in the city, only its most zealous advocates would claim that the work is done, that the deep-seated processes of decline have been arrested and reversed. In essence, the regeneration and restructuring of Manchester continues to be a work in progress. Certainly, there have been some high-profile achievements—think of the airport, the redeveloped city centre, the vibrant culture-economy—but these sit often uneasily alongside reminders that all is not well in this place. Problems of localised deprivation, of endemic low pay in many parts of the economy, of political and social alienation, of crumbling public infrastructure remain very real ones, even if they figure only fleetingly in the city’s boisterous narrative of successful urban transformation. Making some kind of sense of this complex and partial transformation is the central objective of these one day workshops, held in Manchester.

A world of cities? Comparison across disciplines

Across the humanities and the social sciences there is a long tradition of comparative studies of cities. In disciplines such as anthropology, history, human geography, languages, linguistics, political science and sociology much work has been done comparing the differences and similarities between cities, with often one city often emerging as being the ‘norm’ against which others are compared.

This workshop explores what thinking about comparison in this way means for a comparative study of cities in the twentieth first century remains unclear.

From bats to buildings, people to parks - but what has £520m HLF investment in the NW really delivered?

Guest speaker: Sara Hilton, Heritage Lottery Fund

Sara will look at the investment made by the Heritage Lottery Fund across the North West since it was established in 1994 - bringing a transformation of the region's museums, historic buildings, public parks, natural landscape and cultural traditions. Drawing on case studies and research, she will explore how there is more to heritage than doing up old buildings - with investment bringing huge benefits to people, townscapes, communities, tourism and the economy. She will also look at some ways in which universities can get involved in HLF-funded projects, either as lead-applicants, or through collaborations with other organisations.

April 2012

England's core cities in a globally competitive urban age

Guest speaker: Chris Murray, Director, Core Cities Group

England's Core Cities produce 27% of the nation's wealth, but generally under-perform when compared with their continental counterparts. Coming at a moment of significant policy and political change for cities, this discussion will consider the following questions. How can English cities respond to the challenges of global competition; what can they do differently to lead economic recovery; and what policy shifts are needed locally and nationally to make this happen?

March 2012

Creating a sustainable Manchester: can the UK’s first industrial city blaze a trail for sustainable living?

Guest speaker: Mike Reardon, former Strategic Director, G.M. Environment Commission

Greater Manchester – as a designated Low Carbon Economic Area - has ambitious plans to make the city region a leading sustainable, smart and economically successful place to live and work. But what is it really like working to develop progressive policies and programmes when the often radical challenges of sustainability come up against the demands of everyday business? And, so far, how much has really changed? What about the difficult choices that lie ahead and the trade offs that might yet be made? Are people, organisations, governance structures and ways of working in the city region up to the job of delivering such a momentous shift in direction?

Mike Reardon, the former Director of the Greater Manchester Environment Commission, will draw on his long experience of working in both local and central government to deliver a frank assessment of what has been achieved. He will give his personal view on the ways in which the City Region can find new ways of creating jobs and restoring social justice while also reducing its carbon footprint and attracting ‘green’ investment’.

Using market forces to improve education in Manchester: possibilities and challenges

The Government has committed itself to create independent state schools (i.e. academies and free schools) in the belief that this will raise overall standards. A positive view says that this will inject new energy into the system and, at the same time, usefully intensify competition within the education 'market-place'. There are, however, fears that this approach will further fragment the state education system and compound the disadvantage faced by children and young people from poorer backgrounds.

This Urban Forum will bring together stakeholders with a wide range of view to debate this vital issue, aiming to develop understandings that can inform further developments in the city.

Panel:
Aneez Esmail (Chair of Governors, Chorlton High), Helen Gunter (School of Education, University of Manchester), Stuart Leeming (New Islington Academy and Deputy High Master, Manchester Grammar), Kieran McDermott (CEO, One Education), Julie Thorpe (Co-operative College), Chair: Gillian Evans (University of Manchester)

February 2012

In a pickle? Adapting to new realities in a regeneration quango

Guest speaker: Richard Crabtree, Homes and Communities Agency

The transition to a new government has not been an easy one. This talk will reflect on what the Homes and Communities Agency used to be about, and after a period of transition, how the government’s housing and regeneration delivery quango is responding to the new government’s priorities. Is life really that different after all?

January 2012

Transforming Manchester Workshop I

Contemporary Manchester exhibits a perplexing mix of both ongoing decline and dynamic transformation. While the narrative of success is certainly the dominant one in the city, only its most zealous advocates would claim that the work is done, that the deep-seated processes of decline have been arrested and reversed. In essence, the regeneration and restructuring of Manchester continues to be a work in progress. Certainly, there have been some high-profile achievements—think of the airport, the redeveloped city centre, the vibrant culture-economy—but these sit often uneasily alongside reminders that all is not well in this place. Problems of localised deprivation, of endemic low pay in many parts of the economy, of political and social alienation, of crumbling public infrastructure remain very real ones, even if they figure only fleetingly in the city’s boisterous narrative of successful urban transformation. Making some kind of sense of this complex and partial transformation is the central objective of these two one day workshops.

2011

November 2011

Economic geography gone weird!

Neil McInroy, CEO, Centre for Local Economic Strategies               

At a recent speaking engagement a question from the floor to Neil was preceded by the statement, 'Yes I know of CLES, you're Economic Geography that's went a bit weird'. In this talk, Neil will canter through the work of CLES, the leading UK member and research organisation dedicated to local economic development. In particular, he will explore how their policy and research work straddles both traditional and alternative thinking. Above all he will show the difficulties and possibilities of lodging new ideas and concepts into real world policy practices.

2010

State of Manchester City Region

This public debate took place on Tuesday 13 April 2010 between 6 and 9 pm at the Friends’ Meeting House in Central Manchester. The thinking behind its organisation was simple: the combination of global post-recession debates about the futures of cities coupled with the forthcoming UK national election presented an excellent opportunity to think about the kind of futures residents of this city region would like to see. Over three hours 90 plus people listened to speakers, debating and discussing what they had to say.

A range of public, private and third sector members, activists, and others outlined their concerns around the core themes of the economy, the environment, housing and transport. As one might expect, there was both agreement and disagreement over the many issues facing the city region. There was one issue that all agreed on however.

A view that these sorts of events are extremely useful in providing a space for public debate united the room. It is to be hoped that it will mark the beginning of a series of similar events in which the issues facing the city region of Manchester can be discussed involving a variety of different publics.

Event recordings

Rationale

Contemporary Manchester and its wider city region exhibit a perplexing mix of both ongoing decline and dynamic transformation. The city has always been a restless one. Waves of social, cultural, economic and political change, while not always made in Manchester, nearly always yield particularly vivid expressions and/or responses here. Episodes of path-altering, revolutionary change punctuate the history of the city and its wider region, and more often than not these have a real, extra-local significance. One thinks of Engels’ accounts of the world’s first urban-industrial proletariat, the radical importation of American capital and mass production methods into Trafford Park at the beginning of the twentieth century, the successive waves of cultural and artistic innovation and the physical remaking of the downtown since the 1990s.  If those in charge of the city could have ever claimed to have been in control of their own destiny, the last thirty years have seen Manchester’s future shaped increasingly by its outward relationships. Much of what currently takes place within the Manchester city region owes as much to decisions taken in far away places such as Delhi, Bangkok, and Shanghai as it does to those in taken in Trafford or Wigan.

While this narrative - of success -- is certainly the dominant one in the city, only its most zealous advocates would claim that the work is done, that the deep-seated processes of decline have been arrested and reversed. In essence, the regeneration and restructuring of Manchester remains a work in progress. Certainly, there have been some high-profile achievements—think of the airport, the post-Bomb regenerated Manchester city centre, the vibrant culture-economy of the city region, the Sports City development, the regenerated Salford waterfront —but these sit often uneasily alongside reminders that all is not well in this place. Problems of localised deprivation, of endemic low pay in many parts of the economy, of political and social alienation, of crumbling public infrastructure remain very real ones, even if they figure only fleetingly in the city’s upbeat accounts of successful urban transformation. As the much of the western world slips into what is likely to be a deep and prolonged recession, those leading England’s northern city regions face some real challenges. Will the undoubted successes of the last two decades stand the test of the credit crunch, falling house prices, and rising unemployment? How will the relationship between the ten boroughs stand up to the deepening economic downturn? What do residents expect from the main political parties in the run up to a national election?

In light of the challenges facing cities and their regions, 2010 will see the first State of Manchester city region Debate. This evening event will be a chance for the citizens of the city region to have their say on the big issues it faces. So the event’s primary audience will be its local citizens: Manchester city region’s public so to speak. Attendance at the debate is free and open to all from the Manchester city region but attendees must register in advance, either at (website) or by phone (number). It is hoped that this event will mark the beginning of a sustained discussion over the future of the city region of Manchester, contributing to wider debated over the future of UK cities in both the on-going economic crisis and the run up to a national election in 2010.

Speakers

  • David Campbell (GMCVO)
  • Caroline Downey (Merci)
  • Alan Harding (IPEG, SoSS, University of Manchester)
  • Michael Hebbert (MARC, SEED, University of Manchester)
  • Will Hutton (Work Foundation)
  • Brendan Nevin (Nevin Leather Associates)

Organisers

  • Kevin Ward (Chair, Geography and SEED, University of Manchester)
  • Peter Fell (Director of Regional and Economic Affairs, University of Manchester)
  • Juan Gomez (Head of Economic Strategy, Commission for the New Economy)
  • John Handley (Centre for Urban and Regional Ecology, SEED, Manchester)
  • Alan Harding (Institute for Political and Economic Governance, SoSS, University of Manchester)
  • Michael Hebbert (Manchester Architectural Research Centre, SEED, University of Manchester)
  • Vincent Pattison (Global Development Institute, SEED, University of Manchester) 

Presentations

Letters to the incoming PM