Critical Geographies of Urban Health & Well-being (CFP, Conference, Southampton, 21–22 November 2013)


A two-day conference and open discussion organised by the RGS-IBG Urban Geography Research Group (UGRG).

Dates: 21-22 November 2013

Location: University of Southampton, UK

Preliminary Call for Contributions

This year’s UGRG Conference will explore the relationship between urban space and health and well-being, of how theories of urban space can inform health and vice-versa. Health and well-being may be defined using the WHO’s framework, in which ‘health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity’ This conference is interested in health and well-being research that is not just ‘in’ but also ‘of’ urban space, overlapping with, informing and being informed by urban theory. This can include spatial inequality, policy mobilities, global cities and place effects, but also therapeutic landscapes, food deserts and obesogenic environments.

We are interested in bringing together a range of perspectives on urban health, including public health, urban geography and urban studies, food studies, sociology of health, and town planning. To take the example of town planning and health, Corburn (2009) emphasizes that urban places and the city planning processes that shape them—particularly those processes governing land use, housing, transportation, job opportunities, social services, the quality of the urban environment and opportunities for public participation in local government—are increasingly understood as powerful determinants of population health. Premature death, and the unnecessary burdens of disease and suffering, is disproportionately concentrated in city neighborhoods of the poor, where residential segregation concentrates poverty, liquor stores outnumber supermarkets, toxic sites are adjacent to playgrounds, and public resources go to incarceration rather than education.

Guiding topics include (but are not limited to) the following:

-critical evaluation of normative health concepts such as the ‘healthy city’ movement, therapeutic landscapes

-connecting urban and health theories

-migration and health

-gender, urban space and health

-marginal urban places, marginal health?

-structural violence vs interpersonal violence through city spaces

-critical disability studies

-spaces of care in the city

-urban health governance: governing un/healthy populations, the ‘sick’ city, the ‘bacteriological’ city, urban drug policy

-biopolitics and biopower of urban life and death

-global mobility of immaculate health policies

-everyday mobility and health

-city spaces of mental health

Papers are welcomed from researchers (including PhD students) at any stage of their careers. We will also be holding a ‘pecha-kucha’ session as we did last year.

The deadline for 200 word abstracts is due 5pm Friday, 27 September 2013 to be submitted to Southampton’s Online Store (note that the abstract submission is separate from the registration).

The registration deadline will follow within 3-4 weeks, again through the Online Store. Register as early as possible – places will be limited to 50. Standard registration will be £75; for post-graduate students and unemployed, it will be £35. Please visit here.

Please contact Geoff DeVerteuil if you have any questions.

Please visit the UGRG website for this information and further updates.


About Centre for Medical Humanities

Centre for Medical Humanities
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