Decolonising Urban Knowledges (RC21 Conference)

  • Travlou, P. (Organiser)
  • Catalina Ortiz (Organiser)
  • Giulia Testori (Organiser)
  • Marina Toneli (Organiser)

Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesParticipation in conference


Panel 4: Decolonising urban knowledge(s): an ordinary imperative in extraordinary times

Conveners: Catalina Ortiz | University College London, London, United Kingdom, Penny Travlou | ESALA, Edinburgh College of Art/University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, United Kingdom, Elizabeth Sweet | University of Massachusetts Boston, Boston, United States, Giulia Testori | Joint Research Centre - European Commission, Sevilla, Spain, Raksha Vasudevan | Teachers College, Columbia University, New York, United States, Marina Toneli Siqueira Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina, Florianópolis, Brazil

Description: This panel intends to bring together transdisciplinary research and practice on the avenues to decolonise urban knowledge(s) and foster epistemic justice around city making. Epistemic justice refers to counteracting practices of silencing or devaluing alternative forms of knowing and living that do not conform with assumptions about the ‘authority’ of scientific knowledge (Castan-Broto and Ortiz, 2021). Urban scholarship has been complicit in perpetuating a western superiority in our understanding of city making processes. In response, Jennifer Robinson’s notion of ordinary cities (2006) provided a fierce critique to the spatial division of academic theorization. However, less attention has been given to the repertoires used across ordinary cites to counteract the epistemic violence of Western superiority when framing theories, methods and engagement with city makers. We invite papers that engage with multiple forms of decolonising urban knowledges. We have the imperative to foster epistemic justice in urban scholarship (Ortiz, 2020). We are interested not only on the critiques of how urban knowledge(s) production is intertwined with the coloniality of power and being deployed constantly in the geopolitics of the neoliberal university system; but also on the practices that cultivate cultural humility (Sweet, et al. 2019), ethics of care, trans-local solidarity and critical pedagogies. We wish to interrogate how urban knowledge(s) played a role in the pandemic, as it has amplified the multiple systems that sustain territorial inequality -such as capitalisxdm, patriarchy, colonialism and racism-, but also if it the extraordinary times of the pandemic gave rise to innovative urban methods and engaging with urban knowledge(s) otherwise. We welcome contributions that speak about:

• The city and epistemologies of the South
• Decolonial urbanism
• Counter-hegemonic planning practices
• Decolonial critical urban studies
• Pluriversal urban thinking
• Inventive urban methods
• Feminist decolonial urban praxis
• Urban Activism
• Pedagogies for trans local solidarity
• Ethics of care and solidarity in urban research
Period25 Aug 2022
Event typeSymposium
LocationAthens, GreeceShow on map
Degree of RecognitionInternational


  • decolonising the curriculum
  • Global South
  • urban knowledges
  • Housing
  • urban planning
  • case studies