Claiming the University for Critical Urbanism

A new New Urban University article, published in CITY, is now out online – read it here!


New Urban University at Going Global 2017

New Urban University insights were presented at the British Council’s annual Going Global conference in London this May. Jean-Paul Addie introduced the event’s closing plenary on “Global Urbanization: Town vs. Gown” and joined a panel discussion on the future of city-university relations with distinguished city and higher education leaders, including:

  • Christopher Rodrigues CBE, Chair, British Council
  • Yerlan Aukenov, Deputy Mayor of Almaty, Kazakhstan
  • Professor Jo Beall, Director Education and Society, British Council, UK
  • Luca Bergamo, Vice-Mayor, Rome Municipality, Italy
  • Marie-Christine Lemardeley, Deputy Mayor – Higher Education, Research and Student Life, Paris City Hall, France

Check out the highlights from the session and read Addie’s background paper on the conference theme of ‘Global Cities: Connecting Talent and Driving Change‘ through the hyperlinks…



Evaluating Universities’ Urban Strategic Goals

In this post, I outline a framework to assess universities’ strategic goals and institutional practice as the related to the mediation, centrality, and difference: the core categories of the New Urban University as a mode of critique, strategic orientation, and base for concrete tactical interventions. The following forms the basis of a content and discourse analysis that can be used to assess how universities’ strategic goals might be aligned and leveraged for sustainable, progressive, and socially-just urban futures:

Urban Universities Framework 1

Continue reading “Evaluating Universities’ Urban Strategic Goals”

New Urban University at the 2017 AAG

The Annual Meeting of the American Association of Geographers return to Boston, MA this April. The New Urban University Project will again be represented in several sessions:

Jean-Paul Addie will be presenting From the Region in Itself to the Region for Itself: The Limits of Academic Metropolization on Saturday 8 April as part of a series of sessions on the process of metropolization.

This talk will engage the growing recognition of, and advocacy for, mutually beneficial linkages to be forged between cities and universities around regional development. As producers of urban knowledge and urbanizing actors in their own right, universities play a vital role in identifying the projects, processes, and actors involved in the construction of the ‘region in itself’. But whereas academic and urban leaders in cities with one or two universities can open dialogues about citywide collaborations, such strategies are rendered highly complex when scaled to extended, globally-integrated metropolises where provosts and presidents must compete for attention in a crowded governance arena. Drawing from the case of Greater New York, this paper critically examines universities’ ability to, and strategic interest in, leveraging such emergent scalar geographies to transcend parochial territorial interests and generate modes of urbanization and collective action constitutive of a ‘region for itself’.

And building from the projects underlying interest in critical urban theory, Jean-Paul will also be discussing the nature of dialectics in contemporary urban studies in a panel on ecology, politics and the anthropocene, held on Thursday 6 April. In this panel session, he will explore levels of generality and the ‘ecological dominance’ of the urban  to frame planetary urbanization as Marxian a method of urban analysis.


What Role for Academia in the New Urban Agenda?

Recap: Knowledge and Capacity after Quito: Mapping Out Academia’s Commitment to the New Urban Agenda and Sustainable Urbanization

Habitat III, Quito, Ecuador

15-20 October 2016

  • Which should be the role of research and academia in the implementation of the New Urban Agenda?
  • What value would a Multi Stakeholder Knowledge Platform for Sustainable Urbanization add to existing knowledge production and sharing efforts at the national, regional, and global scales?
  • How would a Knowledge Platform operate, and what range of financial and human resources would it require?
  • What forms of capacity development initiatives does the New Urban Agenda engender/ require to address urban and rural human settlements in equitable sustainable manner?
  • How can capacity development initiatives be scaled up and/ or rolled out in the most vulnerable regions of the world?

These questions guided the conversation at the Research and Academia stakeholders roundtable, one of the few sessions at the Habitat III conference in Quito to directly address the role of universities in driving sustainable urban development.


Continue reading “What Role for Academia in the New Urban Agenda?”

From the urban university to universities in urban society

New article now available in Regional Studies!

The impacts of neoliberalization and the global extension of urbanization processes demand a reappraisal of the urban university for the 21st century. The history of the modern urban university, and current calls for universities to assume proactive roles as economic drivers and civic leaders, disclose problematic tendencies, including: normalizing local/global binaries; focusing on a narrow set of university–city connections; and constructing the university and the city as monolithic rational agents. In response, this paper draws on Henri Lefebvre’s theory of urban society to mobilize mediation, centrality and difference as a mode of critique and strategic orientation for a ‘new urban university’.