Call for abstracts: IIHS Annual Research Conference (Urban ARC) 2017

Monday, 31 October 2016

The Indian Institute for Human Settlements (IIHS) has called for paper submissions to its inaugural research conference, Urban ARC, to be organised around the theme ‘The City in Transition’ in January 2017.

According to the World Urbanization Prospects: The 2014 Revision, Highlights, nearly 90% of growth in the global urban population by 2050 is expected to be concentrated in Asia and Africa: in India alone, half of all Indians may live in urban areas by 2050. This global urban transition will have deep economic, political, social, cultural and ecological impacts. It is therefore imperative to build a better understanding of what these transitions and related impacts mean in the context of countries in the Global South.

Focusing on the theme of ‘The City in Transition’, IIHS will be hosting the first edition of its annual research conference, Urban ARC, in January 2017 to begin exploring some of these questions. Building on IIHS’ goals of fostering research and innovation around challenges and opportunities of India’s urban transition, Urban ARC 2017 will be broadly organised around themes of transition, transformation, and change, focusing on the urban context in the Global South more broadly, and Indian and South Asian urbanisation in particular.

Urban ARC 2017 will host researchers from across the world working on various aspects and facets of transition in urban spaces, geographies, built forms, economies, ecologies, societies, politics, and cultures. It will have a strong interdisciplinary focus, encouraging researchers to engage with multiple perspectives and viewpoints while using the theme of ‘transitions’ as a lens to critically examine urbanisation and related questions.

Call for Abstracts

Urban Arc 2017 will be broadly organised around the theme ‘The City in Transition’. The conference invites new and original research which attempts to reconceptualise the urban in flux, engaging with particular themes or sectors such as urban sustainability, equitable economic development, land, infrastructure and services, or housing. Researchers are encouraged to engage with new urban forms and modes of urban governance and future imaginations of the urban.

Urban ARC 2017 aims to push the frontiers of urban research originating from the Global South and will situate discussions on transition under a larger framework of knowledge creation from the South. In particular, we will look at methods of research particularly useful for southern contexts – for example, activism as research, or community-generated data.

Each presentation will be attached to one of the eight panels mentioned below. Each presentation can be made at only one panel and applicants will need to choose a panel while submitting their abstract. The 8 panels are:

  • Urbanisation and climate change seen through industry sectors
  • Building the city: Examining intersections of governance and growth
  • The city and its politics: Mirrored transitions
  • Relating migration to future and current urbanization
  • Towards a southern practice
  • A city in flux: Examining transition in Bengaluru
  • The ‘periphery’ and the future of urbanisation
  • Risk creation in urban areas

In addition to the 8 panels the conference will host two curated roundtables featuring eminent global scholars working in the areas of the urban. These curated engagements will feature work addressing issues of methodology and pedagogy in and from the Global South.

Dates and Procedures

Abstract Submission: Deadline 12:00 AM, 20November, 2016. All abstracts will have to be submitted online here.

Intimation: Researchers will be informed of their acceptance to Urban ARC 2017 by 15 December, 2016 via email.

Submission of Final Presentation: Final presentations must be submitted by 12:00 AM, 14 January, 2017.

Urban ARC 2017 will take place from 18 to 20 January, 2017.


Urban ARC 2017 will be held at the Indian Institute for Human Settlements’ Bangalore City Campus (BCC), 2nd Main Road, Sadashivanagar, Bengaluru – 560 080.

Financial Support

Limited funding is available for early-career researchers who require financial support. Applicants who wish to avail of the same must indicate so while filling in the relevant section in their application.

Additional Events

In addition to the panel presentations, Urban ARC 2017 will also be hosting a set of public events including book reviews, city walks, and art exhibitions. More details about these events will be made available in due time.

All copyright for original work will lie with the author(s). IIHS will use material only with prior permission.

Further Information

The Indian Institute for Human Settlements (IIHS) is a national education institution committed to the equitable, sustainable and efficient transformation of Indian settlements. More details about IIHS, its research, practice, and work can be found at its website. For more information on the conference please write to or visit the conference webpage.

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