Call for papers for RGS panel session on urban climate responses

Linda Westman, Hita Unnikrishnan & Lorraine Dongo are organising a panel at the 2023 RGS-IBG Conference, situated within the theme on climate changed geographies, which focuses explicitly on how climate change is, and is not, changing our discipline


Climate change reconfigures social relations, with profound implications for how cities are imagined, governed, and constituted through everyday life. The global climate emergency forces us to confront our ways of life, which may inspire responses that challenge power relations and generates alternative imaginaries of the urban. If so, can urban climate responses reflect modes of managing and living in cities grounded in resistance, emancipation, and multiplicity? This panel will explore emergent theoretical lenses on urban climate action as experienced in the margins. We invite contributions that broadly engage with some of the themes below:

  • Urban climate responses under geopolitical transformation. Climate change may generate a moment of reckoning with our fossil fuel-dependent society, the grossly unequal global economy, and post-colonial domination sustained through those economic relations. We welcome contributions that examine decolonial and neo-colonial manifestations of urban climate responses.
  • Urban climate responses in ‘ordinary’ settings. Most theories on climate urbanism emerged from observations of ‘global’, ‘Tier-1’, high-income cities across the globe. Uncertain are the ways in which imaginaries, everyday practices, and social relations are reconfigured and reconstituted in
  • urban spaces beyond the limelight of these global hierarchies (Castán Broto et al, 2020). We invite contributions that explore urban climate action through the perspective of the mundane, overlooked cities, and small urban areas.
  • Urban climate responses beyond neoliberalism. The neoliberal critique occupies a paradigmatic position in the climate urbanism literature. We welcome contributions that posit new and radical alternatives on urban climate action beyond the confines of neoliberal underpinnings. Examples include climate action from the perspectives of degrowth, collective/community ownership, and popular economies.
  • Urban climate responses on the margins. Simone (2022) uses the term “surrounds” to describe interstices that emerge within urban liminal spaces, at the edges of urbanity, just outside of mainstream perception. What does climate action look like in these spaces, and how do responses in the surrounds challenge what we know of climate urbanism? What do theories from the ‘margins’ – intersectionality, black studies, subaltern studies, queer urbanism, and other perspectives – offer to challenge mainstream theories on climate urbanism. 

If you wish to contribute to the session, please send an abstract to  by 24th February 2023 with “Submission to panel on urban climate responses” in the subject line.

This panel session is situated within the RGS-IBG 2023 conference theme on climate changed geographies, which focuses explicitly on how climate change is, and is not, changing our discipline:

Castán Broto, V., Robin, E., & While, A. (2020). Climate urbanism: Towards a critical research agenda. Springer, Cham.
Simone, A. (2022). The Surrounds: Urban Life Within and Beyond Capture. Duke University Press.

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