How can we improve urban governance through youth inclusion? Are the existing participatory approaches indeed working? And how could technology be leveraged for better outcomes?
Fondation Botnar launches a unique and powerful call for proposals for critical and comparative research on urban governance.
Deadline for pre-proposals: 31 August 2022
Deadline for full proposals: 25 November 2022
Full research call
Today, more than half of the world’s population live in urban settings. By 2050, that figure is expected to rise even further, to 6.5 billion people, with the vast majority being young people. Even by 2030, an estimated 60% of urban populations will be under the age of 18. It is therefore young people who are, and will be continuing to, drive the future of our cities.
This rapid urbanisation goes hand in hand with another global trend: the fast-growing spread of data-driven, digital technologies that are being used to improve the administration and governance of cities. These digital urban infrastructures can facilitate inclusive, democratic, and participatory decision-making, but they can also have the opposite effect. They can be used to surveil, monitor, and “datafy” people in public spaces, thereby potentially endangering rights. Therefore, we need to better understand how data-driven and digital technologies can support or threaten young people’s health, wellbeing, and livelihoods.
Responding to this need, and to ensure cities ethically and equitably deploy data-driven and digital technologies to give young people a greater say, Fondation Botnar is inviting applicants to submit research proposals as part of a new interdisciplinary research program: ‘Technology and youth participation in governing intermediary cities in LMICs’ (TYPCities). The program will run for three years (2023-2026).
From August – October 2018, I will be a visiting scholar at the Universidad de la Republica’s Department of Social Sciences. The research stay serves to connect to sociologists, criminologists and political scientists based at UdelaR – especially the research group of Professor Nico Trajtenberg – and to conduct field research on the reconfiguration of urban security management in the City of Montevideo.
From June – August 2018, I will be a visiting researcher at the University of Amsterdam’s Department of Political Science. The research stay serves to connect to UvA-based security studies scholars, especially Marieke de Goede’s ERC research program on the production/translation of ‘security knowledge’, as well as to local urban studies specialists, such as Rivke Jaffe and her ERC grant on urban security assemblages in cities of the global south.
From 1 September 2017 – 30 November 2017, I will be a Visiting Faculty at the Kathmandu School of Law’s Research Department . The research stay serves to connect to local urban and security studies specialists, and to conduct field research on the reconfiguration of urban security management in different sub-city laboratories, the Gongabu New Bus Park, the Basantapur Durbar Square, Thamel, and the Lajimpat residential area.
During the year 2017, I am counselling another Pro Helvetia Förderprojekt in visual arts. The project is developed by photographer Giacomo Bianchetti. It addresses the power of global corporations, the collusion of public and private stakeholders, as well as the exclusionary dispositives by which annual Bilderberg meetings are accompanied. Having followed the latter conferences for many years and through different European countries, Giacomo’s Bilderberg 2017 project develops a new technological and visual rendering of this high-level get-together, while also contrasting it with his previous works and exhibitions.
For more information visit Giacomo Bianchetti’s website or download his publication on Bilderberg 2015 in Telfs-Buchen (Austria) here.
From 1 November 2016 – 30 January 2017, I will be a Visiting Scholar at the Groupe de Recherche sur la Stratégie et la Sécurité, Faculté des Sciences Juridiques, Economiques et Sociales, Université de Marrakech. The research stay serves to connect to local urban and security studies specialists, and to conduct field research on the reconfiguration of urban security management in different sub-city laboratories, the Souks des Ferblantiers, the Place Djemaa el-Fna, the Gare Routière, and the Quartier de Guéliz.
Since winter 2015, I am counselling a Pro Helvetia Förderprojekt in visual arts. The project is developed by photographer Salvatore Vitale, and seeks to capture practices of contemporary national security management in Switzerland. Under the title How to secure a country, he visualises standard operating procedures of national danger management broadly defined – the control of borders, people, goods, urban spaces, mobility and so on. By focusing on manuals for professional security production, and their practical implementation in the field, he lends attention to – and displays in new ways – the difficult and bureaucratic rationalisation of the fluid thing termed ‘(in-)security’.
For more information and early results of this project, visit Salvatore Vitale’s website or read his interview for American Suburb X.
From 15 August – 30 October 2016, I will be a Visiting Scholar at the Centre for Urban Conflicts Research, Department of Architecture and Urban Studies, University of Cambridge. One goal of this stay is to connect to local urban and security studies specialists, and to refine the analytical framework of my ongoing SNSF Ambizione enquiry into the global politics and practices of urban protection. Another aim is to design a collaborative research project with Dr Wendy Pullan on the politics of memorializing genocide in the City of Kigali, an upcoming case study city.