Urbanisation, Infrastructures and Everyday Life in East Asia

Conference Themes

Countries in East Asia are currently undergoing significant urban transformations linked with shifts in various infrastructural systems. For instance, China is modernising its sanitation infrastructure in tandem with the construction of millions of housing units in line with its New-type Urbanisation Plan (2014-2020). Japan, the most highly developed country in the region, recently vowed to update its sanitation infrastructure in view of the Tokyo Olympics 2020. In Mongolia, where some 35 per cent of the country’s urban residents have no access to sanitation, calls for a nation-wide initiative to address severe sanitation challenges are mounting. 


However, there are explicit tensions between the apparent need to develop national infrastructures and the possible implications that this may carry for human health, social relations and environmental sustainability. For instance, unequal access to urban infrastructure – from sanitation to communication – can lead to stratified health outcomes. Differing everyday practices associated with competing coexisting infrastructures can result in exclusion and isolation of already marginalised groups. Resource-intensive and polluting modern infrastructures can trigger the degradation and loss of ecosystems and their services. 


This conference invites contributions concerned with: 


  • the design, planning, implementation, maintenance and use of urban infrastructures (including, but not limited to, sanitation, transportation, health care and education); 
  • the social meanings underpinning infrastructural systems and their processes; 
  • the wider environmental effects of urban infrastructures; and 
  • the human well-being outcomes of urban infrastructural transitions (public health in particular).


We are interested in systems approaches and perspectives that place everyday life at the centre and take into account multiple scales (from the human body to the global climate), critical resources and human social systems to understand and address infrastructure challenges in urban East Asia. We welcome contributions on other experiences or comparative studies from other regions where they fit with the conference themes. 


The conference will explore research, policy and praxis on all aspects of infrastructures, their development and outcomes, including – but not limited to – the following:


  • Urban infrastructures and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs): e.g., water, sanitation, waste, or related systems across varying spatial scales 
  • Uses and experiences: everyday practices, individual and group experiences, well-being outcomes
  • Design and planning: circulating knowledges, policy mobilities, development paradigms, cultural bias, global/local relationships, politics and power
  • Implementation and maintenance: finance, resources, models
  • Transdisciplinarity: conceptual frameworks, research design and methodologies
  • Perspectives on urban socio-technical relations which exceed, or bring together, individual infrastructural sectors and systems (transportation, water, etc.)
  • East Asian and comparative case studies: historic and contemporary accounts 
  • Activist and community praxis, including decolonising approaches to infrastructural development, urban change, and resource/waste management 
  • Education and dissemination: strategies, tactics and lessons learned

Timeline

  • Deadline for abstract submission: 30 September 2018
  • Early bird & speaker registration: 15 November 2018 – 15 January 2019
  • Conference: 1-3 May 2019

Organising Committee

Conference Convenors

Dr Deljana IOSSIFOVA, Manchester School of Architecture/Confucius Institute/Manchester Urban Institute, University of Manchester
Dr Alison BROWNE, Sustainable Consumption Institute/Geography/Manchester Urban Institute, University of Manchester


ECR Committee
Ms Cecilia ALDA VIDAL, Sustainable Consumption Institute/Geography, University of Manchester
Ms Demetra KOURRI, Architecture, University of Manchester


Coordination

Ms Tabea HECKRODT, Confucius Institute, University of Manchester
Mr Kai XIAO, Dean of Office of Confucius Institute Affairs, Beijing Normal University


Scientific Advisory Board

Dr Daphne GONDHALEKAR, Urban Water Systems Engineering, Technical University Munich

Prof Zhenzhong HUANG, School of Law, Beijing Normal University 

Dr Sarah JEWITT, Geography, University of Nottingham
Dr Jieyu LIU, SOAS China Institute, SOAS 

Dr Anna PLYUSHTEVA, Cosmopolis Centre for Urban Research, Vrije Universiteit Brussel  
Dr Choon-Piew POW, Geography, National University of Singapore
Dr Tatjana SCHNEIDER, Architecture, Technical University Braunschweig
Mr Ulysses SENGUPTA, Complexity Planning and Urbanism, Manchester School of Architecture 

Prof Jianwen WEI, China Academy of Social Management, Beijing Normal University
Prof Stefan WHITE, Place-Health Architecture Space Environment, Manchester School of Architecture

Prof Xiulan ZHANG, School of Social Development and Public Policy, Beijing Normal University

The conference is hosted under the auspices of the Manchester Urban Institute.

Support for Early Career Researchers

Bursaries for final year PhD students and Early Career Researchers (within three years of PhD) are available on a competitive basis. Registration fees for successful applicants will be waived and their travel and accommodation expenses reimbursed upon submission of valid receipts following the conference. 


In order to qualify for consideration, you should:


  • be in the final year of your doctoral programme or within three years of completion of your PhD
  • complete a brief statement (500 words max) explaining what you hope to gain from attending the conference and submit this together with a concise budget and your abstract using the online form

Selection will be made purely on the basis of the quality of the submitted abstract and statement. Successful applicants will be notified by 15 December 2018.