You take delight not in a city’s seven or seventy wonders,
but in the answer it gives to a question of yours.”
This quotation from Italo Calvino’s Invisible Cities illustrates the ways in which urban places stimulate the production of knowledge. Cities have long been the locus of information-gathering both on a municipal and on an individual scale. Developing ways to ‘know’ the inequalities in London prompted the development of spatially defined statistics, whereas the wide boulevards of Haussmann’s Paris gave rise to the flaneur and intimate knowledge of the street. Historically towns and cities have empowered, inhibited and conditioned the production of knowledge as has long been recognised by those working across the arts, humanities and social sciences. This conference seeks to engage with a number of questions concerning the relationship between the city and knowledge. How is knowledge in, and of, the city formed and expressed? How is this knowledge used to manage and inform urban change? What constitutes ‘expert’ knowledge? How is knowledge contested between and within interest groups? The conference committee invites proposals for individual papers as well as for panel sessions of up to 3 papers. Sessions that seek to draw comparisons across one or more countries, or open up new vistas for original research, are particularly encouraged.
Abstracts of up to 500 words, including a paper or panel title, name, affiliation and contact details should be submitted to the conference organiser and should indicate clearly how the content of the paper addresses the conference themes outlined above. Those wishing to propose sessions should provide a brief statement that identifies the ways in which the session will address the conference theme, a list of speakers, and abstracts. The final deadline for proposals for sessions and papers is 30 September 2014.