Locating Climate Vulnerabilities at the Urban Crossroads

As the climate changes, spaces of social, economic, and environmental vulnerability in cities are opened up, deepened, or otherwise transformed. Mounting calls to retrofit urban sites and systems to meet the uneven and expansive demands of sea level rise, stronger storms, warmer temperatures, and other climatic forces increasingly collide with new and old claims to the urban, at times mending constellations of action and at others splintering the city along various fault lines. In this session, we seek to advance a critical urban research agenda that can conceptualize — and critically engage with — the evolving ways in which climate vulnerabilities are experienced, mobilized, and managed within and across urban contexts.

 We invite critical, empirically grounded, and conceptually robust research from any urban context and disciplinary background, and welcome early career scholars. Researchers are encouraged to submit paper ideas in the form of a short abstract. Proposals might consider one or more of (but are not limited to) the following:

  • How vulnerabilities evolve at the crossroads between specific urban interventions aimed at mitigating or adapting to climatic forces (e.g. policy efforts, infrastructure projects);
  • Intersections between vulnerabilities and other, broader contemporary processes (e.g. financialization, precarious employment, housing insecurity);
  • How vulnerabilities are differentially experienced across and within urban contexts;
  • How vulnerabilities are defined and acted upon across sites and scales, from everyday urban life to state halls of government to global institutions;
  • How vulnerabilities prompt new urban social movements or coalitions;
  • Conjunctural, historical, or otherwise iterative explorations of vulnerabilities.


Rebecca Elliott, London School of Economics r.elliott1@lse.ac.uk

Zac Taylor, University of Leeds gyzjt@leeds.ac.uk