The Urban Convocation


The Urban Convocation is a collective process of dialogue among 25+ researchers located in 20 urban labs, active in multiple and markedly different contexts.

Each lab focuses on the emerging implications of current conditions for research design, understanding their local contexts and assessing the potential changes in priorities. 

Our motivation as a collective is to work through how Covid-19 might interweave, disrupt and reshape existing research methods and priorities through a modest and exploratory process of reflection and comparison of diverse experimental responses spanning different contexts. 

Initially the Convocation collectively identified three themes of immediate significance:

  • The need to improvise and experiment with revised and modified approaches to researching our respective urban contexts.
  • To develop a sensitivity to understanding the specific socio-material context as structured by the roll-out of the pandemic.
  • To provide essential life support particularly where existing informal structures have broken down.  

The convocation has been meeting monthly and has become a space for solidarity, friendship, provocation and mobilisation. It has provided a space to curate collaborative reflections, generate new lines of critical inquiries, share practical actions and support a collective effort to build solidarity across the global research community. 


Nausheen Anwar, Karachi Urban Lab

Gautam Bhan, Indian Institute for Human Settlements

Julie-Anne Boudreau, Instituto de Geografia, UNAM

Mariana Calvacanti, Universidad Federal de Rio de Janeiro

Rodrigo Castriota, Universidad Federal de Minas Gerais

Belen Desmaison, Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú.

Juan Du, Hong Kong University (now University of Toronto)

Veronica Gago, #NiUnaMenos; Universidad de Buenos Aires

Graeme Gotz, Gauteng City-Region Observatory

Prince Guma, British Institute of East Africa

Mona al Harb, Beirut Urban Lab

Marco Kusumawijaya, Rujak Centre for Urban Studies

Taibat Lawanson, University of Lagos

Anant Maringanti, Hyderabad Urban Lab

Simon Marvin, Urban Institute, University of Sheffield

Nihal Perera, Ball State University 

Beth Perry, Urban Institute, University of Sheffield

Edgar Pieterse, African Centre for Cities, U Cape Town

Martina Reicker, American University of Cairo

Prasad Shetty, School of Environment and Architecture

AbdouMaliq Simone, Urban Institute, University of Sheffield

Elisa Sutanadjaja, Rujak Center for Urban Studies

Jean-Charles Tall, College universitaire d'architecture de Dakar

Pelin Tan, Artuklu University, Bard College

Tau Tavengwa, Cityscapes Magazine

Alan Wiig, University of Massachusetts Boston