CFP: Circulation of alternative urban models or alternatives to the circulation of urban models

Location: Hybrid (in-person and online)
Language: Spanish / English
Picture of a mural next to a stair with people holding houses.
Photo by Guillermo Jajamovich

Please check the venue and registration information in the future, as updates may occur. The Spanish version of the Call For Proposals is available here.

This seminar series is funded by the Urban Studies Foundation.

We invite you to participate in the third seminar of a series of seminars on the subject of “Alternative circulations? Situating policymaking, decoloniality, and urban models within Latin American cities”.

In this seminar series, we address the broader actors, circuits, and geographies involved in the circulation and mobility of urban models in and from Latin America. Together the seminars investigate the role of a range of actors, including experts and politicians, but also alternative actors such as those involved in urban social movements and alternative networks of “experts”, that are interwoven in policy mobility processes. In concrete terms, we will hold four seminars: Circulations of social urbanism and informal settlement upgrading: Between alternative and mainstream urban models (Mexico City, October 26th and 27th , 2023), Gender and care: New agendas in the formation and circulation of urban policies in Latin America (Bogota, March 20th and 21st, 2024), Circulation of alternative urban models or alternatives to the circulation of urban models (Buenos Aires, May 2024), and Theory and practice: Moving the conversation forward (100% virtual, June 2024).Under the title “Circulation of alternative urban models or alternatives to the circulation of urban models”, the third seminar seeks to build knowledge on the mobility of urban policies and models in Latin America, focusing on the networks, actors, and initiatives that have not yet received sufficient academic attention in the analytical framework we are promoting. Based on the idea that the circulation of urban policies is traversed by power asymmetries (Jajamovich and Delgadillo, 2020), the seminar seeks to expand existing approaches that tend to focus only on the circulation of ‘hegemonic’ urban policies and models such as urban megaprojects, smart cities, sustainability policies, transport policies, placemaking, tactical urbanism, cultural districts, innovation districts, creative cities, etc. In this way, the seminar seeks to avoid the overexposure of these policies and the actors that promote them while trying to avoid the invisibility and immobilization of the circulation of policies promoted by networks within other social and urban contexts. Without presupposing a rigid dichotomy between alternative and hegemonic circulations, the seminar opens the discussion and seeks to problematize the intersections and juxtapositions of different circulations, as well as to question the labels of ‘hegemonic’ and ‘alternative’. An archetypal case of these processes of mobility and mutation is the circulation of participatory budgeting, which originated in the 1980s in Porto Alegre from local governments associated with the Workers’ Party and which, in recent years, has been part of a set of instruments promoted by international organizations such as the World Bank (Peck and Theodore, 2015; Porto de Oliveira, 2017).The seminar encourages the presentation of papers that broaden the universe of actors, processes, and policies under analysis in the circulation of urban policies. In this sense, the topics we hope to include in the seminar are:– Theoretical and methodological challenges to the approach of alternative circulations.– Relations between ‘alternative’ and ‘hegemonic’ circulations. – New circuits of South-South circulation between ‘hegemonic’ and ‘alternative’ circulations.– Case studies focusing on networks, actors, and initiatives that are less analyzed from the perspective of policy circulation and mobility, such as: – International institutions, nodes, events, and networks (e.g. HIC-Habitat, SELVIHP, Fearless Cities, Alternative Habitat 3, World Social Forum, Rosa Luxemburg Foundation, etc.). – Emerging political forces (such as the municipalist movement, among others). – New feminisms, urban social movements, environmental movements, right-to-the-city movements, etc. – Transnational groupings of professionals and critical academics.– Concepts and practices that promote the construction of new spatialities (social production of habitat (PSH), co-production of the city, insurgent planning, conflictual planning, just city, radical cities, spatial justice, etc.). Although we exemplify contemporary cases, the seminar also seeks the active participation of works that analyze analogous processes in previous historical periods, as we promote the need for dialogue between different perspectives and disciplines while trying to avoid a certain fetishism of novelty. In all cases, we encourage the analysis of ‘alternative’ actors and networks, both in their role as urban policy circulators with their own urban agendas and transnational networks and in their role in critiquing and challenging urban mobility initiatives promoted by other public and/or private actors. In other words, papers that focus on policy transfer resistances (McCann and Ward, 2011) are welcome (i.e., the processes of policy circulation that encounter resistance where the actors who oppose them question the validity of the type of policy that is being ‘imported’).Abstracts: 250 words, in English or Spanish, including a title of no more than 20 words.Deadline: March, 15th, 2024Send to:Guillermo Jajamovich ( Duque Franco ( Anders Whitney (

Please note that we have funding available to pay for a portion of the travel costs of one exceptional PhD student to attend the seminar in Buenos Aires to share their research. If you are a PhD student, please be sure to let us know when you email your abstract to us. The PhD student selected for travel funding will be chosen based on an evaluation rubric.

Important dates:

January, 2024 Call for abstracts issued for Seminar 3
March 15th, 2024 Deadline for 250-word abstracts
March 31st, 2024 Notification of acceptance/rejection of abstracts by seminar organizers.
April 31st, 2024 Deadline for submitting the full paper
May 9th and10th, 2024 Seminar 3 in Buenos Aires

"We are extremely happy with the final publications from this seminar series, and we are grateful to the USF for sponsoring the event which made this possible."

Doing Global Urban Research, Seminar Series

Urban Studies Foundation is a registered Scottish charity. Registration number SC039937.

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