Thursday, 07 January 2021 08:56

RSPP Call for Papers | Special Issue on Urban Future in the Global South

RSPP Call for Papers

Special Issue on

Urban Future in the Global South

The Global South is undergoing an urban revolution with profound consequences to its society, economy, culture, polity, demography, human behaviour, and built and natural environments. Many associates this urbanism to arrhythmic (Lefebvre, 2004; Shaban and Datta, 2019) development of Global South through ‘fast urbanization’ (Datta and Shaban, 2017) based on ‘fast policies’ (Peck and Theodore, 2015) from Global North, while others locate the changes in the paradigm of new economic development and social liberation (Brugmann, 2009).  Some studies have located the urbanization in the Global South within the essence of northern urbanity or ‘planetary’ urbanism (Brenner and Schmid, 2015), while others have differentiated its character and called it ‘Southern Urbanism’ (Schindler, 2017).  ‘Fast’ urbanization and city building is seen as utopia by the post-colonial states of the Global South to overcome their economic underdevelopment. The amassed investments in cities by both the private sector and the entrepreneurial states are sharpening the rural-urban divides in development with massive consequences to both the poverty and aspiration led migration to urban centres, especially to the mega cities. Theme based urbanism and city building from garden city, ecocity, intelligent city to smart city has emerged as a trope for urban future and sustainability.

This urban moment in the Global South is caught in many contradictory processes: slow societies with fast urbanism; burgeoning urban system with imbalanced hierarchies of cities; increased city building and rising houselessness and inadequate social and physical infrastructure; rising means of transport with increased traffic congestions; economic growth with increased inequalities; increased accumulation of wealth in urban centres with increased dispossession of the rural; increased nationalism with increased exoticism; increased emphasis on democracy with decreased citizens’ participation; increased size of government with declining social welfare; increased planning with rising informality; rising economic development with increased adverse environmental consequences; rising middle class with sharpening ethnic divides; increased policing with rising crimes, etc.

In the above context, we invite well-researched papers and case studies from the Global South (Latin America, Africa, Asia, and Oceania) around the following sub-themes (with discussion on implications to the urban future),

  1. Urban planning and local context
  2. Urban infrastructure (including digital Infrastructure)
  3. Urban mobilities
  4. Urbanization and democratic participation
  5. Socio-spatial segregation and exclusion in cities
  6. Urban violence and community resilience
  7. Urban environment and climate action
  8. Engagement with sustainable urbanization

The papers with peer review process will be published in special issue of the journal Regional Science, Policy and Practice (of the Regional Science Association International).


Abdul Shaban, Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai [This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.]

Tomaz Ponce Dentinho, University of the Azores, Angra do Heroísmo [This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.]


  • Expression of interest until February 15th 2021
  • Full paper submission July 31st 2021
  • Online publication date, one month after the paper is accepted
  • Expected Compiled Publication July 2022


Brenner N and  Schmid C (2015) Towards a New Epistemology of the Urban? City 19 (2-3): 151–182. 

Brugmann J (2009). Welcome To Urban Revolution: How Cities Are Changing The World. New Delhi: HarperCollins.

Datta A and Shaban A (eds) (2016) MegaUrbanization in the Global South: Fast Cities and New Urban Utopias of the Postcolonial State. New York: Routledge.

Lefebvre H (2004) Rhythmanalysis: Space, Time and Everyday Life (Translated by Stuart Elden and Gerald Moore). Paris: Continuum.

Peck J and Theodore N (2015) Fast Policy: Experimental Statecraft at the Thresholds of Neoliberalism. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press. 

Schindler S (2017) Towards a paradigm of Southern urbanism. City 21(1): 47-64.

Shaban A and Datta A (2019) Towards 'Slow' and 'Moderated' Urbanism. Economic and Political Weekly 54(48):36-42.

Read 13515 times Last modified on Thursday, 07 January 2021 09:57

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The Regional Science Association International (RSAI), founded in 1954, is an international community of scholars interested in the regional impacts of national or global processes of economic and social change.

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