State of Australasian Cities (SOAC) 2021

State of Australasian Cities (SOAC) 2021


Conference Program and Registration

Join us at the State of Australasian Cities (SOAC) 2021. The SOAC Conference will be held in Melbourne and is hosted collaboratively by RMIT University, Monash University, Swinburne University and the University of Melbourne.

With vaccinations being rolled out internationally, the world is looking to the COVID recovery phase, whilst simultaneously grappling with the ongoing impacts of climate change and the urgency of a post-carbon transition. Within this context questions of equitable just recoveries for Australasian cities are being debated, among ongoing social, economic and environmental transformations that are spatially and socially differentiated.

Urban scholarship and policy practices have struggled to keep up with the changes pressing upon and emanating from Australasian cities, either before or during COVID. Experiences of climate change, unsettled coloniality, declining housing affordability, employment restructuring, democratic irruption, digital disruption, rewilding nature, contested social and cultural identities, upscaling disasters, and emergent infrastructure fragilities, among other urban and regional reconfigurations, have deepened, and in some cases revealed new urban challenges and fissures.

New research is urgently needed that records and appraises processes and dynamics of urban and regional change and the human (and non-human) experiences of these. Yet scientific questions have also emerged around discontinuous urban data, conducting fieldwork under distancing regimes, or simply how to engage effectively and with impact among shifting constraints and uncertainties. Such questions are also set among the shocks to the university sector of staff and funding cuts raising questions about precarity, security of tenure and freedom to speak.

SOAC 2021 will focus on urban and regional transitions in the COVID recovery era to report and appraise the social, spatial, and economic consequences for equity, inclusion and justice. The conference aims to connect these questions to urban practice and inform more robust policy and public discussions about the emerging new futures of Australasian cities and regions.

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