Welcome to Oslo!

Next year's EURA conference "Contradictions Shaping Urban Futures" will be held in the Norwegian capital June 15-17.

Accepted panels have been announced!

Extended Deadline for Abstracts: December 17 2019

Contradictions Shaping Urban Futures

At a time when an increasing share of the global population is living in urban areas, there is a need to re-examine the role(s) which cities take in coping with contemporary challenges and contradictions.

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1. WEALTH VS POVERTY

Poverty is not only a result of low incomes, but also high living costs. Urban growth increases housing demand and imposes spatial constraints for new housing construction, which in turn inflate house prices and correspondingly living costs. However, house prices tend to exhibit considerable intra-urban variation. As low-income households gravitate towards low-cost areas within urban regions, neighborhoods tend to be segregated by income, ethnicity and/or access to public services.

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2. SUSTAINABLE VS UNSUSTAINABLE URBAN DEVELOPMENT AND GROWTH VS DEGROWTH

Sustainable urban development models, strategies, policies and tools are operating in nearly every geographical and political context around the world. Urban spatial development and growth measures of cities are essential as they influence economic performance, public health conditions, and determine social cohesion and segregation. These measures vary widely in different geographical contexts as regards available approaches, policy instruments and forms of implementation.

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3. REPRESENTATIVE DEMOCRACY VS NETWORK GOVERNANCE VS POPULISM

How do cities handle tensions between representative and participatory democracy, and between expert based network governance and populism? How can cities cope simultaneously with democratic practices that distribute and concentrate powers that shape joint urban futures? How can participatory democracy enhance solidarity among city dwellers?

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4. INCLUSIONARY AND TOLERANT VS EXCLUSIONARY AND INTOLERANT 

Inclusiveness, diversity and tolerance are key issues when city politicians, planners and builders envision city futures and urban transitions. However, urban environments and commons, public and semi-public spaces, and neighbourhoods are often characterized by the co-existence of tolerance and intolerance, and inclusiveness and exclusiveness.

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5. THE MULTIETHNIC URBAN COMMUNITY VS THE ETHNICALLY DIVIDED CITY

Immigration is one of the main drivers for urban transformation. Cities are the main receivers of migrants and can be seen as laboratories for how to construct and find suitable solutions for the multiethnic society. Today, multiethnic or superdiverse cities are becoming the norm rather than the exception. Related, but somewhat conflicting, political and scholarly issues are inclusion – cohesion – security and exclusion – friction – insecurity.

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6. CREATIVE URBAN METHODS

Urban researchers are increasingly recognizing that in order to capture the variety and dynamism of urban sites and experiences across space and time, they need to be more creative and inventive in their approach to methods. New interdisciplinary methodological synergies are being developed within domains such as art, design, anthropology and architecture, implying that urban research is increasingly the result of an original combination of qualitative and quantitative data.

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Why Oslo?

We asked local researchers why Oslo makes an interesting – and contradictionary – destination for urban research. Here’s what they told us.

Explore Oslo. Take the tube from the Far West End to the Far East End of the city: observe the increasing social divisions.

Oslo is the European Environmental capital of 2019. What can be learned? 

Look at the new compact housing projects. The more compact, the more they are sold by a rhetoric related to ‘park’, ‘green’, ‘garden’, ‘view’, ‘vibrant’.

Marketization of housing, gentrification and segregation. Where are “all” the welfare means aiming at redistribution?

2019: A new housing policy for Oslo to facilitate housing possibilities for the ordinary wage earner like a single nurse.

Get to know “Bagsy”, Oslo’s optical sorting robot which separates plastic, compost and residual waste from the city’s households.

The new and greener city government of 2015 managed to speed up and change the city towards less cars, better public transportation, more bicycles and walkable areas. How to explain the success?

Ask a city dweller about why Oslo is a good place to live – the answer is: because it is so close to the nature!

Enjoy the political and administrative decentralisation of public services to the city district level, paralleled by an extreme centralization of cultural institutions.

Oslo takes climate leadership nationally and internationally- pushing the agenda and search for new solutions forward. But, is the city doing enough and the right things?

Children and youth are taking to the streets for more radical policies to prevent climate change, at the same time people are organizing to get rid of the increasing number of toll rings for cars in the city. Is the governance system able to find good enough political solutions?

“Give people the possibilities to live different lives!”

– Raymond Johansen, Governing Mayor

VENUE

Oslo Metropolitan University

Located in the heart of Oslo, OsloMet is the city’s newest university. It is one of Norway’s largest universities, with a student body of approximately 20 000 students and 2 000 employees.

OsloMet seeks to be an urban university with regional and national responsibilities, and with a clear international character. Our mission is to deliver knowledge to solve the future challenges of the welfare society. 

A majority of the study programmes that we offer are professional programmes in which theoretical courses and supervised professional training are closely aligned.

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