From the insurrections of the Arab Spring against oppressive regimes in North Africa and the Middle East to the rallying cry of Black Lives Matter against institutional racism in the US, protests, marches, insurrections, uprisings, riots, have swept the world’s cities in the past decade. Indeed, for centuries cities have been stages for challenging authority and empowering calls for change. Yet beyond their potential for protest and dissent, what is the role of the city as a spatial and political construct in addressing the deep injustices and stark inequalities of our times that activists and social movements are making visible?
Spatiality, policy and governance, have a pivotal agency in advancing or limiting social justice. From economic regeneration programmes to transport planning, from housing policy to public space design, from land use planning to citizen participation, the processes and the tools by which the city regulates its spaces and their development have a profound effect on the lives of its people. What are the ways through which the mechanisms of the city produce and perpetuate injustices? Where do the strategic levers of change lie within the interdependent layers of urban systems?
There is no stronger driver for change than the realisation of injustice. Away from top-down formal and institutional urbanism this quest for justice is inspiring and empowering people to reimagine their cities anew. How are communities on the ground pioneering practices and interventions bottom-up by which the wrongs of the city can be made right? How can higher level urban strategies, policies and institutions learn from and support citizen-led initiatives and their ambitions?
The journal is calling for submissions that critically reflect on our past decade of urban protest, that shed light on the mechanisms of injustice embedded in our cities and their development, that explore how people and communities can lead the way towards cities of justice.
Deadline for submissions: 28 February 2021, 23:59 London time
We publish work in a variety of formats and media bringing together peer-reviewed research, design and policy proposals, activist and community voices, visual arts and creative writing, in a critical and analytical discourse on the city created by the strength of a diversity of perspectives from the Global North and the Global South.
Guidelines for submissions:
Image notes: #BlackLivesMatter protest, Sergels Torg, Stockholm, Sweden, June 2020. Teemu Paananen on Unsplash .com