Urbanization, Environment and Uncertainty: Shifting Paradigms, New Agenda and the Potential of Visual Methods
Integrative Session organized by RC21 Regional and Urban Development, RC24 Environment and Society, RC33 Logic and Methodology in Sociology, WG03 Visual Sociology
Urbanization is a global, multidimensional process that is drastically altering human–environment relations, that have also introduced a new kind of awareness about the man’s responsibility for consequences for natural and human environments.
Urban contexs offer not only a privileged vantage standpoint to look at how scientific, technological and organizational achievements might have reduced the direct dependence of people on their immediate surroundings, but also a crucial object of study for the dynamics implicated by other interlinked and emerging phenomena – such as Climate Change, massive migration of people, economic and geo-political crises and changes in the capacity to sustain ecosystem services – which make urbanization a “dynamic, multi-scalar, and complex process where no actor, or set of actors, can have full knowledge or full control” (Ernstson et al., 2010).
Such a complexity demands radical shifts in paradigms, research agendas and methodological approaches, but also to foster discussions and design processes and organizations that will enable cities and the ecosystems they are part of, to become more resilient, adaptive and capable of facing uncertainties.
The aim of this integrative session is to explore and question methodological, epistemological and theoretical approaches in research focused on the multi-dimensional consequences of environmental hazards in urban contexts.