[URBANTH-L]Call for papers: 8th N-AERUS Conference, 6th-8th September 2007, London, UK

Eleni Kyrou ucfuelk at ucl.ac.uk
Tue Mar 20 13:44:04 EDT 2007

We are proud to announce the 8th N-Aerus 
Conference titled "Grassroots-led Urban 
Development: Achievements; Potentials; Limitations".
The conference will take place from Sept 6th to 
Sept 8th 2007at the Development Planning Unit 
(DPU/University College London) in London.

Call for papers: 8th N-AERUS Conference, 6th-8th September 2007, London, UK
English | Spanish | French

Grassroots-led Urban Development: Achievements; Potentials; Limitations

There is a growing recognition within development 
of the role of grassroots organizations in 
addressing problems in urban areas in low- and 
middle-income nations ­ not only in what they 
demand and negotiate from governments but also in 
what they themselves can do. Their achievements, 
innovations and capacities are documented in a 
growing number of case-studies ­ for instance of 
‘slum’/squatter financing and upgrading, new 
house developments and basic service provision. 
There are also many nations where grassroots 
organizations have formed their own 
‘slum’/shack/homeless people’s federations to 
support each other’s initiatives and press for 
support and change within municipal, city and national governments.

This development of ‘collective capacity’ by 
grassroots organizations and federations has led 
to large-scale programmes in many nations and 
many strong and innovative partnerships between 
these organizations, the private sector and local 
governments. There are also some examples of 
national governments and international agencies 
developing mechanisms to team up with grassroots-led urban development.

These initiatives emerge in specific social, 
political, cultural and economic contexts and 
there is much to be learnt from understanding the 
contexts within which the potential for 
interaction between grassroots-led actions, 
initiatives and movements and state structures and supports is realised.

At the same time, such recognition is accompanied 
by a debate highlighting the limitations of the 
role that grassroots-led initiatives can play in 
urban development. This debate questions the 
capacity of grassroots organisations to bring 
about urban change at scale, efficiently and 
effectively; the legitimacy and accountability 
deriving from their growing political role and 
its claim for bottom-up politics; and the way in 
which the emerging configurations of grassroots, 
private sector and local authorities tend to 
marginalise central government involvement.

This Conference aims to provide an opportunity 
for researchers, policymakers, development 
practitioners, private sector representatives et 
alia from Europe and elsewhere to reflect 
critically on the achievements, potentials and 
limitations of grassroots-led urban development.

Papers are encouraged on any topic of relevance 
to this Conference theme, including:
    * Networking and federating as strategies to 
increase grassroots organizations’ scope for action and for negotiation;
    * The interface and configurations of power 
between grassroots-led initiatives and other 
institutional stakeholders within an understanding of local context;
    * Tools, methods and financial provisions 
that support grassroots-led urban development;
    * Intra-city, inter-city and international 
exchanges as means for promoting learning and action;
    * Grassroots perspectives on livelihoods and 
on social protection/safety nets;
    * Avoiding evictions and negotiating tenure 
or, where this is not possible, community-managed relocation;
    * Grassroots-led strategies and actions for 
changing urban governance; and,
    * Current and potential roles for 
international donors: do they support, co-opt or 
subvert grassroots-led development?
The Conference is organised and hosted by the 
Development Planning Unit (DPU / University 
College London) and the International Institute 
for Environment and Development (IIED).

Submission timetable:
Abstracts of between 150 and 250 words should be 
submitted in .rtf or .doc by Friday, 1st June 2007, to calls at naerus.net

Abstracts should:
a) state the issue to be addressed
b) define the context
c) highlight the main arguments

Authors of the selected papers will be notified 
by e-mail by Friday, 15 June 2007. Final papers 
should be submitted by Wednesday, 15 August and 
will be posted on the N-AERUS website.

N-AERUS will try to provide paper copies for 
distribution at the Conference. However authors, 
particularly from Europe, are strongly encouraged to bring their own copies.

FUNDING: Limited financial support will be 
available to support the participation of some 
researchers or practitioners from Africa, Asia 
and Latin America, whose papers are accepted for 
presentation at the Conference (deadline for 
abstract submissions: 1st June 2007). Candidates 
are encouraged to indicate their wish to be 
considered for funding when submitting their abstracts.

ACCOMMODATION: Some low-cost accommodation will 
be available for participants. Relevant details 
to apply for low-cost accommodation will be 
provided on the conference website 
(www.naerus.net) along with supplementary 
information on additional accommodation at special negotiated rates.

COSTS: No registration fee accompanies attendance 
of the conference. There will be however a charge 
for all participants to cover the costs of 
documentation, lunches and coffee/tea and an optional excursion.

Network-Association of European Researchers on Urbanisation in the South
WWW site: http://www.naerus.net

Please visit the naerus-website www.naerus.net to 
find the call for paper document in three 
languages (English, French and Spanish)

Peter Gotsch (GLORA, Universität Karlsruhe, Germany)
Eleni Kyrou (DPU, London, England)
Harry Smith (CEHS, Edinburgh, Scotland)

mail for inquiries:
info at naerus.net

(Ms) Eleni Kyrou
MSc Urban Development Planning
Development Planning Unit

9 Endsleigh Gardens
London WC1H 0ED
+44 (0)20 7679 1104 (direct)
+44 (0)20 7679 1111 (DPU)
+44 (0)20 7679 1112 (fax)
E-mail: e.kyrou at ucl.ac.uk
DPU Website: www.ucl.ac.uk/dpu  

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