Opening Panel: Un-visioning Cities
Date: Wednesday, May 4, 2022 | 16:00-17:30 CET
Abstract: The spectre of urbanisation and urban growth statistics - especially in the global south - has led to an intense preoccupation with urban futures: what size of population by when, what percentage, where, poverty, consumption and cost projections... These forecasts underpin a now fairly established narrative about the future of cities that has to do with urban planning, infrastructure and services, spatiality and efficiency, public health, sustainability (pollution, consumption, degradation, climate vulnerability), technological solutions, and so forth. The "smart city" or the "sustainable city" is one of the future-proofed, packaged solutions to all of this.
Prof. Geci Karuri-Sebina
Speaker Biography: Prof Geci Karuri-Sebina is a Visiting Associate Professor at the Wits School of Governance(South Africa), involved in coordinating African Civic Tech Innovation Network and establishing the new Tayarisha African Centre of Excellence in governance. Geci has been working in the intersection between people, place and technological change for over 2 decades and is a well-known urban scholar-practitioner associated with the University of Cape Town’s African Centre for Cities, South African Cities Network, and Singularity University’s global faculty on the future of cities and governance. An architect, planner and futurist with a tech background, she also serves as a founding director of the Southern African Node of the Millennium Project, a regional advisor to the Africa Innovation Summit, and Vice Chair of AfricaLICS (the community of innovation scholars in Africa). Geci is co-convenor of the Capacity to Decolonise initiative, and is a curator with The Emergence Network.
Prof. Arturo Escobar
Speaker Biography: Arturo Escobar is an activist-researcher from Cali, Colombia, working on territorial struggles against extractivism, postdevelopmentalist and post-capitalist transitions, and ontological design. He was professor of anthropology and political ecology at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, until 2018, and is currently affiliated with the PhD Program in Design and Creation, Universidad de Caldas, Manizales, Colombia, and the PhD Program in Environmental Sciences, Universidad del Valle, Cali. Over the past twenty-five years, he has worked closely with several Afro-Colombian, environmental and feminist organizations on these issues. His most well-known book is Encountering Development: The Making and Unmaking of the Third World (1995, 2nd Ed. 2011). His most recent books are: Designs for the Pluriverse: Radical Interdependence, Autonomy, and the Making of Worlds (2018), and Pluriversal Politics: The Real and the Possible (2020). He is currently working on a book on relationality (Designing Relationally: Making and Restor(y)ing Life) with Michal Osterweil and Kriti Sharma.