Crisis as condition?
Exploring the new notion of urban vulnerability, resilience and response

Time: 13:00 - 14:30, Wednesday October 27
Room: PA314, P46 OsloMet

The irreversible transition towards urban living entails complex challenges and vulnerabilities for citizens, civic authorities, and the management of global commons. Political and institutional fragmentation, and rising inequality and austerity, are changing the structural conditions for cities and citizens.

Increasing populations run head on into strained urban infrastructure capacity, challenging the integrity of the built environment, and prospects for mobility and livability. Climate change is shifting the nature of energy use and storage, resource use and scarcity, and food and water security. 

The COVID-19 pandemic has illustrated the widespread political, economic and social vulnerability posed by health emergencies that are unlikely to abate in the coming decades, but also the (in)abilities of governments and populations to respond. All of these changes are having fundamental implications for the resilience and vulnerability of societies, and how cities are planned, governed and lived in.  

Rather than viewing these as disconnected events, or crises that ebb and flow with a return to an equilibrium of normality, we arguably now move from one shock or crisis event to another, often so smoothly that precarity has become normalised. As media and technology theorist Steven Jackson has suggested, we live in an ‘always almost falling apart world’. We are slowly breaking – and trying to fix – our climate, infrastructure, institutions, economies and societies.  

In considering the ways in which crisis is constitutive of the current urban condition, this panel invites papers that examine and consider how interconnected crises emerge and manifest in cities globally, how these crises are (or fail to be) managed, and new forms of urban practice that seek to address crisis as the ‘new normal’. 


  • 13.00-13.05: Welcome
  • 13.05-13.10: Context Setting: Crisis as Condition and Learning from urban crisis
  • 13.10-13.25: Contingency City – The Architecture of Emergency Preparedness in Norwegian Cities: Håvard Breivik-Khan & Peter Hemmersam
  • 13.25-13.40: “New horizons for urban development” -Sustainable countermeasures against forty years of neo-liberal urban development in coastal cities, Gisle Løkken
  • 13.40-13.55: Architecture during Urban Crisis: Trajectories of Social Urbanism in Medellín, Jorge Perez
  • 13.55-14.15: Roundtable discussion on Crisis as Condition and Q&A
  • 14.15-14.30: Summary and Close.


  • Lisbet Harboe, AHO 
  • Hanne Cecilie Geirbo, OsloMet 
  • Kristian Hoelcher, PRIO