CUI '17 / V. International Contemporary Urban Issues Conference will be held at Nippon Meeting Halls in Istanbul. The conference is coordinated by DAKAM (Eastern Mediterranean Academic Research Center) and will be organized by BILSAS (Science, Art, Sport Productions).

All abstracts are going to be selected according to double blind reviews and accepted papers will be published in the Conference Proceedings E-Book with an ISBN number that will be given to you in a DVD box during conference registration.

We invite you to join us at the event in Istanbul and would like to emphasize that proposals from different parts of the world are welcomed.

For the publication opportunities, registration conditions and presentation instructions, please visit the REGISTRATION INFO page. For accommodation opportunities and city tours, please read the ACCOMMODATION & TOURS1 page. 

The conference aims at fostering discussions of theory and research on urban issues. Focusing on a multidimensional urban phenomenon, this international conference aims to deepen the understanding of informality by opening it to discussion with contributions from various disciplines like architecture, urban planning, sociology, history, economy and anthropology.

Emergence of informality as a concept in scholarly discussions can be traced back to the 1970s when “the informal sector” was first used by ILO reports on employment and poverty. The results of the global economic restructuring -such as the flexibilization of production and employment relations, deterioration of collective responsibility and welfare functions of the state- damage the security of urban poor in terms of housing and working. Meanwhile, recent socio economic public policies seem to intensify the condition of informality. Now, it is widely accepted that informal way of living is a necessity for the urban poor as a survival strategy. Hence, informal work and housing constitute a significant proportion of urban economies and policies.

What is new in the neo-liberal age is the extending scope of informality. Today, the boundary between the formal and informal is blurred more than before since most urbanites, including the middle classes, experience both formal and informal encounters in their everyday life. Besides, even the urban rich contribute to informality by the development projects on the invaded peripheral land. Consequently, contemporary informality affects not just a marginal segment of the society but a majority of people living in urban space.

Track 01: Rethinking Informality

Informality at Home

  • Architecture of informality
  • Squatters / slums / shanties
  • Self-Help housing & upgrading
  • Gated communities
  • Laws and regulations of housing construction
  • Daily life in between formal and informal
  • Immigrants and refugees
  • Crime (association of crime with informality)
  • Urbanization and informality
  • Everyday resistance
  • Place politics
  • Survival strategies

Informality at Work

  • Informal economy and service sector
  • Factors shaping informal economy
  • Immigration and informal labor
  • Sub-contracting (Multinational companies, public employment, etc.)
  • International division of labor
  • Globalization/localization effects on work
  • Underground business networks
  • Alternatives to public services
  • Street art / graffiti / musicians

Informality in Theory

  • The evolution of the concept in theory
  • Globalization/localization theories
  • Forms of Informality
  • “Culture of poverty”/ “myth of marginality”/ “quiet encroachment of the ordinary”/”mystery of capital”
  • Urban informality in popular culture

Track 02: Transportation, Planning and Local Administrations

  • Transportation and Local Differences
  • Transportation and Economic Development at the Local Level
  • Urban Mobility
  • Automated Driving and Smart Mobility
  • Investment in Transport Infrastructure
  • The promotion and integration of non-motorised modes
  • Resilience to the effects of changes in the climate
  • Assessment of techniques for the appraisal of major projects
  • Models to support Transport Planning and Policy
  • (This track is connected to the Locality Issues Research Direction of DAKAM)

Track 03: Policy Matters and Political Transformations

  • Citizenship / immigration / informality
  • Alternative ways of civic participation
  • Decision making at the local/national levels
  • National public policies’ strategies dealing with the informal
  • Legal and institutional framework
  • Informality and the ‘Right to the City’
  • Social Policies to fight/support the informal
  • The Role of the Local Governments on the Public Security
  • Coverage and Quality of Health Services
  • Politics and local elections
  • The policies, instruments and orientation of International Organizations like UN, WDB, ILO
  • Instruments of NGOs and opposition
  • (This track is connected to the Political Theory Studies Research Direction of DAKAM)

Track 04: Economy, Inequality and Urban Space

  • Economic restructuring and economic crisis
  • Local Governments and Economy
  • Equlity, inequality and urban space
  • Cities and Dynamics of economy
  • Role of the cities in the globalization process
  • Resistance and Urban Space
  • Social Capital and Urban Land Use
  • (This track is connected to the Economy Studies Research Direction of DAKAM)

Track 05: Ecology and Urban Studies

  • Local Governments and Energy
  • Urban Green Space
  • Ecology and built area – buildings, roads, drainage etc
  • Pollution and Industry
  • Natural resources and urban planning
  • Natural landscape/protective landscape – forest/wildlife ecology
  • Agriculture, Productive landscape – rural ecology
  • Rural Planning
  • Street trees and home gardens
  • Water bodies – ponds, rivers
  • Urban ecosystems: Climate, soil, hydrology, species composition, population dynamics, flow of energy.
  • (This track is connected to the Ecology Studies Research Direction of DAKAM)

Contact: conference[at]

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