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The city in urban poverty
A proposed workshop will explore links between geographic space and urban poverty. Although contemporary urban poverty definitions recognise its multidimensionality, the space of ‘the urban’ is surprisingly one-dimensional, with cities conceptualised as static containers for broader structural processes. Within urban studies however, an influential view is emerging of ‘the urban’ as the “co-presence of multiple spaces, multiple times and multiple webs of relations” (Amin and Graham, 1997:417), meaning that spaces are active in shaping social relations. Such multiplicities undoubtedly explain how poor people manage to sustain urban livelihoods (albeit precariously) and, as the proposed event will explore, are simultaneously a cause of poverty. The world’s fastest growing cities are located in the global South, facing huge poverty challenges, where urban sustainability cannot be addressed without tackling urban poverty. But, how poverty is addressed depends on how it is measured, which in turn depends on definition. Posing the question: ‘where is the city in urban poverty?’ the event will bring together leading scholars, policymakers and NGOs. The findings will be of immense importance to policymakers and organisations of the urban poor themselves seeking to enlarge their claims on more sustainable city futures through enriched analyses of urban poverty.
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