Call for abstracts
Operationalizing the Just City
Annual conference of the Aesop Thematic Group on Ethics, Values and Planning

You are invited to join the hybrid (Dortmund and online) two-day conference on 24 and 25 February 2022 of the Aesop Thematic Group on Ethics, Values and Planning, by submitting an abstract of max. 300 words before 12 November 2021.

Impacts of the ‘urban triumph’ have become increasingly discussed in the literature. Negative effects include inequality, polarisation, segregation, gentrification and unaffordable urban housing. In response, pledges for the advancement of more inclusive, accessible, liveable, or socially sustainable cities have been put forward, commonly discussed under the umbrella of ‘the Just City’. What that entails, what this concept practically implies, often remains vague and poorly articulated.

At a superficial level, everyone wants a ‘just city’, but once we make explicit what that means, the differences that exist and the difficult ethical choices that need to be made might become apparent and sometimes even permeated by deeply contrasting views. The question of what a just city is cannot be evaded, as its answer has great implications for the implementation of urban policies and planning interventions. Therefore, we need ‘to get our hands dirty’ and try to genuinely operationalise the concept.

With this call, contributions applying the concept of (or related to) the Just City in empirical research and contributions providing reflections on the following issues are welcomed:
  • How to apply the just city?
  • Which theory/idea of justice is legitimate to apply in a specific situation and why?
  • Which goods, capabilities, functionings, distributive rules and so on, to apply and in which circumstances?
  • How are different dimensions of the just city (e.g., distribution, democracy, recognition) related?
  • What indicators and measures to use for the valuation of justice and its different dimensions?
  • How does a just city relate to other values (e.g., kindness, dignity, equality, freedom)?

More specifically, we are searching for contributions that put into practice this abstract concept by emphasising its concrete social, spatial and political implications and aspects. We expect to collects contributions that will provide empirical explanations and, at the same time, relevant general reflections.

Date: 24-25 February 2022
Location: Dortmund and online (limited capacity)
Abstract deadline: 12 November 2021
Submissions via: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSc-wxlIu4sxJ92jcnfrSfds_7GhGu5jYwuf-ISykEvwkessMg/viewform
Stefano Cozzolino & Arend Jonkman