12th International Conference on Urban History. European Association for Urban History (EAUH) Portugal, Lisbon, September 3-6, 2014
Martin Melosi (University of Houston, Texas) / Dieter Schott (TU Darmstadt, Germany)
We invite proposals for a conference session (main session, 3 hrs) which is meant to investigate into the ways, cities have been developing environmental and sustainability policies since 1970. The official description of the session (No 26) reads as follows:
Environmental protection and the search for sustainability have been prominent issues on the urban agenda since the 1970s and the 1990s respectively. Cities in Europe and elsewhere have moved towards centre stage of the worldwide discourse on sustainable development. In this session we start from the hypothesis that cities have been developing their sustainability policies in extremely variable ways and that it might be of major historical as well as political relevance to chart their trajectories and to ask for the differences encountered.
Cities in our view are built environments, where civilization and “nature” interact most conspicuously and pervasively and produce what some scholars have termed ‘second nature,’or possibly hybrid social/natural entities. The focus of the session should be on urban strategies, arguments, debates, conflicts over and contemporary experiences of attempts to improve urban sustainability. Papers should be concerned with urban (municipal) environmental politics and with activities and discourses of actors from civil society. Subjects could be e.g. the re-integration of rivers and streams into the urban landscape, the massive promotion of solar energy or other alternative energy sources by political measures like the ones taken in the German city of Marburg, or the re-modeling of formerly industrial urban wastelands into urban parks as seen in the Ruhr Valley cities in recent years. We are particularly interested in papers from the following fields:
1. Since the ambition to make cities more sustainable always requires a reduction of resource use, studies of natural resources and their urban management, of material and energy flows and the metabolism of cities will be of major interest.
2. We are furthermore interested in papers addressing methodological and theoretical issues of urban environmental history, e.g. the concept of the city as a socio-natural site (Winiwarter/Schmid), of actor-network-approaches (ANT) etc.
3. In terms of relating urban environmental history to a wider scholarly context we are interested in papers discussing potential links and bridges towards contemporary (political) history on one hand, general urban (cultural) history on the other hand. This aspect also addresses the issue of sources: which new sources might be used for such studies and what kind of problems arise from their use.
We will prioritize proposals with a comparative and international dimension.
Proposals (300 words abstract) should be submitted online via the EAUH 2014 website
The deadline for paper proposals is October 15, 2013. The papers themselves will be due in July 2014. For more information about the timetable, see the "Dates and Deadlines" section of the EAUH 2014 website.
We encourage prospective presenters to contact one or both of us at our e-mail addresses below before making an official proposal.
Thanks very much, and we hope to see you in Lisbon!!
Martin Melosi histn@Central.UH.EDU
Dieter Schott firstname.lastname@example.org
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