Call for Papers – Green Urban Commons?


Green urban activities in public space – between gentrification, privatization, socio-ecological transformation and right to the city

Friday 23rd – Saturday 24th Oct. in Vienna

Public spaces are contested. They are appropriated, reinterpreted, privatized, commercialized and beautified. They are impacted by neoliberal urban development as well as by urban social movements.

Which role do green urban activities play in the struggle over use and meaning of public spaces?

Historically and contemporarily these activities are diverse – solidarity gardening and agricultural projects intervene into neoliberal urban development and create counter-models; fruit and wild plant collectors use edible resources in public space; guerilla gardeners gain access to land in the city; and more and more people participate in community gardening.

The reactions of the local state are divers – some of these practices are tolerated, others are blocked or destroyed and some of them are supported, institutionalized or even initiated by the local state.

The growing literature on urban community gardens, solidarity agriculture and guerilla gardening focuses mostly on the descriptive level. At the conference, we would rather like to highlight a critically analytical and critically solidarian perspective on green urban activities and green urban commons.

In this context, there will also be room for discussing the role of green urban activities within the neoliberalization of the urban. Furthermore, the notion of the commons shall be scrutinized critically and put into relation with the category of public space, which shows a range of meanings.

The conference intends to create room for presenting academic and non-academic scientific studies on the topic and for discussion. It aims to enable exchange and networking between scholars and to contribute to a reflection of the relation between movement oriented scholarship and concrete social struggles for a right to the city in the context of green urban activities.

The conference language is German, panels in English will be organized depending on submissions.

Two keynotes on urban development and urban social movements will introduce the conference.

We welcome submissions of scientific studies concerning the following issues:

  • historical and contemporary urban agricultural movements
  • community gardens, guerilla gardening
  • projects of urban collective agriculture
  • use of fruits and wild plants in the city
  • role of green urban activities in contemporary processes of urban development (e.g. in relation to gentrification, urban competition, smart city etc.)
  • Theoretical and conceptual research to the mentioned fields of interest (commons, right to the city, public space etc.)

Deadline for submissions of abstracts in German or English language (app. one page) is 28th June 2015.

Submissions are to be sent to

Feedback on acceptance of submissions will be given until 15th July.

Attendance of the conference is for free.

Travel costs (train and bus) may be rebursed depending on needs and available financial means of the conference budget (at maximum € 200 ,-). We will be glad to help with the organization of private accomodation.

The conference will probably include a city tour to sites of green urban activities and green urban commons in Vienna.

Further information on program and location will follow.

The conference is an initiative of the WWTF-project „Green Urban Commons“ (2014-2016)


Posted on June 3, 2015, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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