Doing Global Urban Research

Dr John Harrison and Dr Michael Hoyler

Funding period: 1 September 2015 – 30 September 2015
Type of funding: Seminar Series

Dr John Harrison and Dr Michael Hoyler led a 3-day international event entitled ‘Doing Global Urban Research’ at the Department of Geography, Loughborough University, which queried the current state of empirical research (and the methodological approaches urban scholars possess) for conceptualising global urban complexity. How, the organisers asked, are researchers doing global urban research? In response to the need for more theory infused concrete-complex empirical studies, the event aimed to reflect on this question, focusing on the richness of the methodological approaches and the blossoming of empirical research in the area of global urban studies. It sought to provide an opportunity to confront the research challenges and consider the methodological responses presented by new geographies of urban theory. Bringing together researchers from diverse disciplinary backgrounds who shared common ground through their interest in global urban research, the event had 4 primary objectives:

1) To provide a platform to showcase the best examples of theoretically-informed, empirically-grounded, policy-relevant research in global urban studies.
2) To provide a forum to confront the research challenges and opportunities presented by new geographies of urban theory.
3) To consider the methodological/empirical responses to new geographies of urban theory.
4) To establish the near-future priorities for researchers doing global urban studies.

Overall, the primary aim of ‘Doing Global Urban Research’ was to bring together researchers working on different aspects of global urban research to provide a forum for dialogue, discussion, and debate on how – both individually and collectively – urban scholars can contribute to advancing urban theory through the doing of global urban research. Details of the event can be downloaded here, and the seminars resulted in the publication of one book on the theme and several journal articles (see below).

Seminar Series Publications

Harrison, J., & Hoyler, M. (Eds). (2018). Doing Global Urban Research. London: SAGE Publications Ltd.

van Meeteren, M., Derudder, B., & Bassens, D. (2016). ‘Can the straw man speak? An engagement with postcolonial critiques of “global cities research”’, Dialogues in Human Geography, 6/3: 247–67. DOI: 10.1177/2043820616675984

Schindler, S. (2017). ‘Towards a paradigm of Southern urbanism’, City, 21/1: 47–64. DOI: 10.1080/13604813.2016.1263494