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


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

Call for abstracts

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’. 

Submit an abstract

We ask that abstracts limited to 200-300 words be sent directly to the organizers of the different sessions. Please see the session pages for details.

Please share this call with your colleagues or other interested parties. We hope to see you in Oslo come October!

On language

The conference primary language is Norwegian and Nordic languages, but many of our sessions will be conducted in English. All sessions welcome contributions in English, unless explicitly stated otherwise.