Learning from Small Cities: New Urban Frontiers in the Global South

Further to my earlier CfP for the 2014 Royal Geographical Society (RGS-IBG) annual meeting,  I am very pleased to announce that our double session ‘Learning from Small Cities: New urban Frontiers in the Global South‘ has been chosen to represent RGS-IBG/Wiley’s new open access journal Geo, which will launch at the conference. As part of this RGS-IBG are sponsoring a set of sessions that are engaging with audiences in novel ways across the discipline of geography. These sessions are expected to be ‘high-quality, innovative, peer-reviewed research that makes the most of digital and open access capabilities to engage new audiences and policy-makers in new ways’. These sessions will be highlighted in the written conference materials and signaled through the conference app. They are approaching around 6/7 different session/strands – our double session is one of the strands.

Listed below are the breadth of papers that will be part of this double session.


Organizers: Ayona Datta (University of Leeds, UK) and Abdul Shaban (Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai)

Paper Session: Learning from Small Cities: Urban neoliberalism and ‘smallness’

  • Urban Neoliberalism and Small Cities in the Global South  Mathieu Hilgers (Free University of Brussels)
  • Learning from Solo (aka Surakarta), Indonesia  Tim Bunnell (National University of Singapore, Singapore)
  • The Taj Mahal Love Story:  ‘Smallness’ in the age of heritage tourism in Agra  Sheela Prasad (University of Hyderabad), Kapil Kumar Gavsker (University of Hyderabad)
  • The Forgotten City: Small Urban Centres in the Global South  Ian M. Cook (Central European University, Hungary)
  • Redefining the role and place of small towns and cities in the South African urban system  Etienne Nel (University of Otago, New Zealand)

Panel Session: Learning from Small Cities: Urban experiments, creativity and identity

  • City Forgotten: Urbanization and local citizenship in Malegaon, Maharashtra Ayona Datta (University of Leeds) and Abdul Shaban (Tata Institute of Social Sciences)
  • Auroville, Utopianism, City-ness: experimental urbanism, ideology and the ‘city’ as category of analysis  Tariq Jazeel (University College London)
  • Ramallah is (not) Paris  Christopher Harker (Durham University)
  • Urban Citizenship in Small Cities: Dalit identity in Pokhara during political transition in Nepal  Bishnu Pariyar (University of Leeds), Jon Lovett (University of Leeds)
  • Vibrant small cities can keep rural youth closer to home: A case study of Narendra Nagar, Tehri Garwhal, India  Mutka Naik (mHS City Lab)

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