3. Grassroots & activism

Track info:

The track addresses the conference’s main topics on conflict and cohesion in cities through focusing on both case specific examples and theoretical perspectives of grassroots activism in Europe and beyond.

Drawing on research from Norway, Denmark, Netherlands, Kenya, China, Brasil and Argentina, the inter-disciplinary researchers with backgrounds in the fields of sociology, human and political geography, political sciences, peace and conflict studies, architecture and planning, heritage conservation and urban development, will present their research in parallel sessions 1 and 2.

Building on the topics emerging from the presentations, as well as the conference’s main topics, parallel session 3 will focus on different scales and modes of grassroots activism, challenges and opportunities for transformation, cooperation and cohesion in, among others, the areas of climate change, social justice, urban transformation, and formal/informal democratic participation.”

  • What roles do grassroot initiatives and activism play in creating new arenas for productively engaging with conflict? 
  • What are the challenges faced by bottom-up initiatives in navigating the space between conflict and cohesion? 
  • What new ways of organizing in times of conflict are provided by grassroots and activists? 

Parallel session 1, Thursday 27, 10.30 – 12.00:

ROOM: Athene

  • Ingri Bøe Buer – University of Manchester – The Boy Behind the Gun: Rethinking Public Security as Care Instead of Violence.
  • Marcin Sliwa – University of Oslo – Imitating Urban Planning as a Strategy to Reduce Eviction Risks: Lessons from Informal Settlements in Buenos Aires
  • Laura Genet Marano – University of Oslo – Planning for Scale: Story of Change for an Epistemic Community Dedicated to Inclusive Cities – From the Neighbourhood Up
  • Yu Wang – NTNU and Shandong Jianzhu University – Self-Organizing Growth vs. Top-Down Dominated Development: Transformation of the Historic Urban Landscape in Xi’an, China

Parallel session 2: Thursday 27, 14:30-16:00

No program. Participants may join other tracks – or explore Oslo.

Parallel session 3: Friday 28, 10:30-12:00:
Table talks: Conflict and cohesion in urban research – what now?


  • Einar Braathen – NIBR, OsloMet, – Can protest-movements contribute to urban climate change?
  • This session is organised as a workshop where contributors and audiences will discuss topics on grassroots & activism emerging from the previous sessions, as well as the conference’s main topics. We will discuss different scales and modes of grassroots activism, challenges and opportunities for transformation, as well as cooperation and cohesion. During the workshop we will discuss ideas for “a way forward”, and identify three key points (i.e. future tasks, solutions, challenges and/or opportunities) for grassroots & activism to productively engage with conflict in cities. These points will be presented in the following the session.