Environment & Urbanization

World leading environmental and urban studies journal

Themes for future issues

October 2017: Towards more effective humanitarian response to urban crises.

Deadline for submissions: passed.

Humanitarian crises of various kinds – from natural disasters to conflict – are increasingly played out in urban areas. Responses by the humanitarian sector can have a role in meeting the needs of both displaced populations and host communities, for facilitating recovery of affected households, and for promoting longer-term self-reliance of populations. However, there is increasing recognition of the challenges facing the humanitarian sector in responding effectively in the complex urban environment, with high population densities, formal and informal land tenure systems, and multiple stakeholders all operating within close spatial proximity.

We welcome submissions that explore different facets of humanitarian response in urban contexts and help to document good practice.  Also, to draw lessons learnt in responses to urban humanitarian crises, whether these are natural or human-induced, protracted or short term. We also encourage papers that look at different approaches to humanitarian programming, and how these contribute to longer-term pro-poor urban development. 

April 2018: Local finance for local development.

Deadline for submissions: 15 September 2017.

Capital investment is essential for urban development, urban prosperity and the wellbeing of urban citizens. Such investment is particularly needed for extending and improving infrastructure. Dense population concentrations require investment in essential public goods and services. But this is lacking for an estimated 1 billion who are living in informal settlements in towns and cities of the global South. In addition, economic growth requires investment to increase production economies and enterprise expansion. And household asset accumulation is an important security against income vulnerabilities, and helps to secure new opportunities for increased incomes as well as provide for household members’ needs.

An important question facing all of those concerned with urbanization and urban development is: Where and how can needed investment capital be secured and expanded at the multiple scales at which it is needed – from households to urban government? For this issue of Environment and Urbanization we are asking for contributions that reflect on the provision of finance for urban development. These may be papers that deal with the ways in which city governments’ investment capacity can be secured and expanded, or those that focus on the experiences of securing such capital. Contributions may also consider the ways in which development assistance is delivered and the lack of local control over the use and management of funds, or innovative approaches to addressing this problem. Contributions may also focus on strategies to reach civil society and local enterprises, either through micro-finance or through community finance – including local funds set up to support community initiatives. The last two decades have seen a considerable expansion in efforts to support savings and loan finance. What have we learned about how these services can ensure that towns and cities of the 21st century achieve the SDG mantra of “leave no one behind”?

October 2018: Co-production: taking stock of achievements and possibilities.

Deadline for submissions: 15 March 2018.

The co-production of services and infrastructure by governments and citizens (both individually and collectively) has received increased attention in the last decade. This interest reflects a recognition of the historic significance of such activities for the provision of basic services in towns and cities of the global South. But it also reflects changing arrangements, as governments seek to respond to continuing deficits in services with – in most cases – little investment capacity, and citizens continue to struggle with the consequences of low levels of provision. 

We are calling for papers that explore the co-production of urban space, urban services and infrastructure and the challenges that these face. We are interested in understanding how models of co-production are changing with respect to both changing roles and responsibilities and changing scales of co-production, including the micro-level with project delivery. And on the production of the understandings and materialities of urbanization at the city scale. We are interested in new conceptualizations of co-production in terms, for example, of citizenship or changing political relations between city agencies and actors. We are interested in understanding changing urban identities as a result of co-production and their impact on the “production” of urban space and political outcomes, at both the municipal and national scales.