Thinking about the relationships between religious institutions and actors and urban planning in Latin America

Location: Online and UFABC Santo André Campus: Block B, 8th Floor Auditorium (A801)
Language: Portuguese and English

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Interrogating the Role of Religious Actors in Shaping Urban Planning: Reflections from Middle Eastern and Latin American Cities

This workshop is the first of a series of three workshops entitled ‘Interrogating the Role of Religious Actors in Shaping Urban Planning: Reflections from Middle Eastern and Latin American Cities‘, conceived by Dr Azadeh Mashayekhi (UCL, United Kingdom), Dr Camila Saraiva (UFABC, Brazil) and Dr Noura Wahby (AUC, Egypt), and funded by the Urban Studies Foundation.

The aim of this series of events is to reflect on the relationships and connections of religious actors and institutions with the production of cities and urban planning. The workshops will be held in Santo André (Brazil), Cairo (Egypt) and London (United Kingdom) with the aim of creating an interdisciplinary network of academics, professionals and activists from different disciplines dedicated to investigating the role of religious institutions and actors in the production of urban space in Latin America and the Middle East.

Four guiding research questions will frame the workshops dedicated to Latin America in Santo André and to the Middle East in Cairo, and will guide a collective research agenda to be agreed upon at the final workshop in London:

  1. How have the activities of religious institutions and actors been historicised and contextualised within broader political-economic processes and at the interfaces between the state, civil society and the market?
  2. How have religious institutions and groups engaged with urban planning and development activities to gain economic and political power (as spatially and politically motivated urban actors)?
  3. How can a consideration of the different roles played by religious actors in urban planning (as a spatial and political practice) contribute to reflections on the production of urban space and territorial justice?
  4. How can we engage with religious institutions and groups to explore their influence and action in planning in a practical and constructive way? This first workshop brings together Brazilian, Argentine, and Colombian researchers to discuss the following research axes: first, the role of Catholic actors and institutions (or those inspired by Catholic values) in the transformation of favelas and peripheries; and second the growing role of actors and institutions linked to neo-Pentecostalism in favelas and peripheries.


November 7th, 2023

18.00 – 18.15 Opening: Professor Jeroen Klink (UFABC), Camila Saraiva (UFABC), Noura Wahby (AUC) and Azadeh Mashayekhi (UCL)
18.15 – 20.00 Keynote Speaker: Professor Ronaldo de Almeida (State University of Campinas and the Brazilian Center for Analysis and Planning, Brazil)

November 8th, 2023

9.30 Reception / Coffee

10.00 – 12.00 PANEL 1: Catholicism and the struggle for urban improvements in favelas and peripheries
Claudia Touris (Professor at the Faculty of Social Sciences of the Universidad de Buenos Aires, Argentina)
Itaquê Barbosa (Professor at the Zumbi dos Palmares University and Researcher at the State University of Campinas and the Brazilian Center for Analysis and Planning, Brazil)
Mario Brum (Professor at the History Department of the State University of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil)
Liliana Sánchez (Professor in the Department of Social Work at the University of Antioquia, Colombia)
Discussant: André Pasti (UFABC)

12.00 – 13.00 Lunch

13.00 – 15.00 – PANEL 2: Neo-Pentecostalism and ‘local power’ in favelas and peripheries
Bruno Paes Manso (Journalist and Researcher at the Center for the Study of Violence at the University of São Paulo, Brazil)
Carly Machado (Professor in the Department of Social Sciences at the Federal Rural University of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil)
Marcos Carbonelli (Professor at the Universidad Nacional Arturo Jauretche, Argentina)
Vagner Marques (Professor at Sumaré College and Researcher at the Pontifical Catholic University of São Paulo, Brazil)
Discussant: Camila Nunes Dias (UFABC)

15.00 – 15.15 Coffee

15.15 – 17.00 Collective reflection and closing (restrict participation to organizers and presenters)

Registration for virtual participation is open until 5th November.

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"The USF International Fellowship helped me write two journal articles with an internationally renowned scholar in a world-class research environment. As a visiting scholar at Cardiff University, I was provided with convenient working space, good access to university resources, and regularly participated in enriching seminars and workshops. The very generous USF grant helped me cover all the costs related to my activities in Cardiff, making my life and work easier. Moreover, the fellowship boosted my motivation to further pursue my career in Urban Studies."

Dr Engida Esayas Dube, International Fellowship

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

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